Finch Paper Robots

A collection of vintage robots winds up being perfect inspiration.

An art director with Finch Paper had seen some of my robot illustrations and contacted me to create a series of robots to promote their line of digital printing papers – papers designed specifically for the rapidly growing market of digital printing presses. Eventually I created about half a dozen unique robots, each with its own bright color. The illustrations were used on packaging, point of purchase displays, and promotional giveaways. Ironically, no actual robots were made.

Early on when I was learning how to model and render objects in 3D I started creating images inspired by old toy robots. I had been especially drawn to robots that had come out of Japan during the 1950s. To me they epitomized how concepts of technology can be hijacked by popular culture and evolve into something that is both symbolic and a contradiction. The clunky robots dreamt up in science fiction and comic books were often merely a mash-up of machine and man. They were a sort of metal Golem, whose roughly human-like shape served more as a receptacle for us to imagine a mechanical spirit, than it was an honest attempt to make a practical machine. After a few years, one wall in my studio literally became filled with tin toy robots.

Selected works