Some months ago someone asked me, “What’s with all the robots?” while looking at some of my artwork. It’s true. I dig robots. Specifically, I dig these guitar playing pop art robots that I’ve come to develop over the years. Above is one of the more recent examples. The guitar body and headstock are actually my design as well. Here is the robot evolution.
During my freshman year of college I was big into adapting song lyrics and titles into works of art. This robot was given the name “Mr. Self Destruct” after the song by Nine Inch Nails of the same name. The robot has nothing to do with the song other than that. It was merely a question of a what a robot named “Mr. Self Destruct” might look like. Some time after that I added this little guy:
The unicycle legs remained, but were mounted to the tire rims instead of the center for less of a Gizmo Duck look. The robot isn’t actually playing the guitar and still seems generally angry about something.
Eventually he got legs. This version is an early version of the robot I’ve come to call Bad Bot. He’s generally recognized by his darker face and black star on his chest. Sometimes he has spikes, boots, a cape, or other accessories. Notice how the early version above is much more rigid.
Just as important as the robot sometimes is the guitar being playing. Very often I go out of my way to make the guitar facing the viewer as head on as possible. This started out as a small black and white drawing (2″ x 3″) and I scanned it and colored in in the computer. I don’t have any one favorite guitar make and model, but I’ve always been fond of a Shell Pink Fender Stratocaster. When I draw these robots, very often I imagine them with silver and light purple accents. However, in this case I “painted” the background before I colored in robot, so the robot got a complimentary orange treatment. I’d very much like to do a series of screen printed posters in this style.
Finally, a work in progress. The spikes on the hand are a good indicator that this is a Bad Bot variation. This is a preliminary sketch for a screen printed poster. And the evolution continues: I’m thinking about bringing a bass playing character in the scene, possibly with unicycle legs again, as well as a drum set playing robot with tank treads and built-in percussion instruments. Stay tuned!