Starting Young

Four-year-old Marie Curie could read French and Russian. Amadeus Mozart published his first musical composition when he was five. Pablo Picasso made his first etching at age eight. While seven-year-old Christopher Timmons’s eventual place in history is still unknown, his artistic abilities have already provoked comparisons to other child prodigies.

Like Picasso and his distinct periods, Timmons’s work has developed over time, with subject matter that may change but always has the natural world at its core. International art critic Marie Gateau believes that the recurring presence of animals in Timmons’s compositions speaks to some inner pain (an interpretation refuted by Timmons’s family).

The art world’s warm embrace of Timmons has surprised some, given his choice of Adobe Photoshop CC to express himself. But to this child of the digital age, the image-editing software is just another tool—his version of paint, brush, and canvas.

Click to watch our video profile, in which you’ll meet Christopher Timmons and his family (shown here).


Timmons graciously shared a few of his favorite Photoshop techniques with us. To give your own art that Timmons flair, follow his process in the screen-capture videos below.


“Filter > Liquify let me make this repugnant mug even more meownstrous,” says Timmons. “I used the Pucker tool to scrunch up the nose, Bloat to bug out the eyes, and Forward Warp to create a goofy grin that’s more reflective of this guy’s total lack of inner dialog. Spin is my go-to when I want to make ears more demonic.”

“I isolated the tongue on a layer, then went to Edit > Transform > Warp and played with the grid to give it a convincing shape. Now that I’m looking at it again, I really should have added more drool,” notes Timmons.

“When I want to push it, I composite parts of other images. I don’t get outdoors much to take photos so I searched Adobe Stock for ‘beady eyes.’ I have nothing against lemurs…but it just worked.”

“I grabbed the tooth from an Adobe Stock image, too. I made a loose selection with the Quick Selection tool, then used Select and Mask to clean it up. I cut and pasted it into my document, did a little more masking to integrate it, and the pawtrait was complete,” Timmons concludes.

Pablo Picasso’s career spanned eight decades, and his vision still reverberates today. It's too early to say whether Christopher Timmons’s impact on the world will be similar, but even now, Adobe is proud to be associated with this talented artist.

April 1, 2018


Jamie Wright, Lekker Media

Daniel Cowles, Erica Larson, Terri Stone, Adobe Systems