Making it up

Yesterday, my cab driver asked me what I do for fun. I said “um, I paint robots”. While I do other things, I realized that painting robots was the first thing that came to mind. I feel so much ownership over my creative practice now, and somewhat defensive of it. Painting and scheming up new things that need robots on them is something that I do for myself, that I give myself, and I don’t know what I would without it now. I feel like it’s pretty common to question yourself when you start dedicating time to something that isn’t making you money, or advancing your career, or bringing you whatever kind of recognition it is we’re taught to want. I feel silly telling people that I paint, as if I should tell them about my day job instead. I feel like I have to qualify “I paint” with “well, not for a job, like, I do it sometimes…I went to art school so…I have to do something creative or…” and crap like that. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that you don’t need to apologize for doing things you like, if you feel like it’s making you a happier or more content person, or it’s fufilling a desire, or it’s just relaxing. There doesn’t always have to be an end goal. If you don’t have a personal practice that makes you happy, you can make one up. Try stuff. Maybe you’ll really like making bread. Does that mean you need to open a bakery? Nope. You can just love making homemade bread in your pjs on Saturdays, and that’s it, but it’s enough.

Here’s a robot I painted last night. I can’t tell if he’s sleepy or pissed or what. I’m just happy that I used color and wasn’t scared of how it would look.



Daily Robot Shop: An art show


On December 4th, Friday night, 6 to 9, I’ll be turning Craft House into a pop-up Daily Robot Shop. I’ll have more updates as the date draws closer, but I can tell you that there will be art of every shape, size and price, and I can tell you that I’m wildly excited about it.

If you’ve been to a show at Craft House, you know it’s just the sweetest little gallery space on South Division in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since this is also December’s First Friday, businesses and galleries all around Craft House will be open for your wandering pleasure.If you haven’t been to a First Friday, this is a chance to explore this amazing community of artists and galleries and makers and dreamers.

For the next month and a half or so, most posts will explore what happens when I attempt to prepare for a show, making a mess with materials I’ve yet to work with, and generally opening my studio up to you. I promise to be super honest, even when it sucks. You should let me know what you think about it. It will be like a conversation, and that will be the best. It will make the robots better, too. Do it for the robots.

More to come.


Starting a thing

A good idea can be very exciting. Actually starting the thing, and continuing to push it forward, be it a creative project or a personal challenge, can be tough. Below is a visual representation of how I felt when I realized that if I was going to put on a show of robot art art and goods, I was going to have to jump in, whether I was ready or not:


I started this “one robot a day” thing to challenge myself to dedicate time and energy to making artwork. I wanted a personal creative practice, and I wanted to prioritize it. However, I found myself getting hung up on posting completed pieces, for you lovelies to purchase. I realize now that, in addition to finished work, I want to tell you what happens before and after and instead of a completed piece. It’s much messier, and probably more interesting. I have a show coming up, here in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan, on December 4th and 5th, and I promise that those details are coming soon. I’ll be showing painted canvas pieces, handmade and printed cards, gift wrapping things, robot toys (!!!) and maybe a t-shirt or two. When this show first came to be, I was excited, and then I felt overwhelmed with what the show “should” look like, and I started listening to that little voice that says “your art sucks, dummy” and I felt like hiding under a giant roll of craft paper. Thankfully, I have very special people in my life who ask me how my robots are doing, and don’t run away when I start to dump all of my fears and anxieties on them. Hearing myself say the things I was worried about out loud made me realize that, while they were all pretty reasonable fears, they didn’t need to keep me from making this show happen.

Last night, I opened the giant box of canvas that had arrived in the mail days before. I softly swore at it a couple times as I manhandled it onto the kitchen table, while the dog sweetly wove herself around my feet. As I unrolled the canvas, the smell of fresh paint and cloth announced the arrival of a truly blank slate. That was a nice moment.

This morning, I woke up to a room full of excitedly painted, unfinished robots, like this one. 8″ paint brush is also pictured, for your reference. Oct15

Starting a thing can be hard, and I don’t know exactly why. I do know that my new method of moving through those initial fears will be to smash into it, with a giant roll of canvas, and a whole lot of paint, and occasional cursing, and the acceptance that sometimes you just need to make the thing.

Fall days and robot updates

It’s gray and drizzling here in Michigan, which I feel to be a robot’s favorite weather. They’re gray, the sky is gray…right? I’ve put down my paintbrush for the last week and have been focusing my attention on getting some of these guys ready for screen printing, and card printing and all sorts of other exciting robot items for you to love on. I wanted to give you a little update, and am so excited to give you more information on an upcoming show here in Grand Rapids,  which I should be able to do sometime in the next week or so.


robots at home

I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, custom projects are always being accepted! Let me draw you robots!


What is the Daily Robot Shop?

This is a place for me to tell you about my experience, making robots and trying to figure out this whole “creative practice” thing. I’ll tell you about new things I’m working on here, on the website, and you can buy those things by clicking on “Shop” on the left side of the homepage.
I love commissions. Contact me via the contact form on the home page and we can chat robot art.
Everything you see is made by me, unless otherwise mentioned. I use a local Grand Rapids company for screen printing, and my talented mother helps with things that involve sewing. I paint and draw from my little house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, drinking too much coffee, preferably with my dog at my feet.

I hope that you find something you’d like, or some words that you can connect with.