We were so impressed with Lisastarchild's Sleepy Robot collection that we decided not only to feature her in our Holiday Gift Guide but to delve into her artistic psyche as well. She was kind enough to grant us an interview.
What inspired you to become an artist?
In the beginning it was always my mom. when I was growing up she was alway making various crafts, but she was really into ceramics. In later years the work of artists/toy makers Buff Monster and Luke Chueh really influenced my art.
How long have you been doing this?
I started sculpting when I was 8 or 9 and dropped it for a while when the real world started to take over, but picked it back up in late 2009.
How did you come up with the name?
The first robot I ever made was a little bot nodding off to sleep. I liked him so much I named my shop/brand after him.
Which is your favorite?
That's tough because each one of my figures holds a special place in my heart, but if I had to choose... I used to sell a little robot drinking a beer that looked a little tipsy. I laughed every time I looked at it.
Where do your ideas come from?
Just random things that come to me when I'm sitting around doing nothing or sculpting. I have an entire notebook dedicated to ideas for robots and figurines I haven't created yet. My mind never stops churning.
Do you attend art fairs?
Yes. I attend fairs around North East Ohio mostly. I'm hoping to travel a little more once my finances allow it.
What kind of material are the bots made of?
Polymer Clay. I use mostly Sculpey.
What was the inspiration for your Zombie Toast?
A friend of mine has toast every morning for breakfast. Wanting to try something different one day, she put a piece of dark rye bread in her toaster. When it came out, the first thing that came to mind is that it looked like zombified toast. After that, whenever she made toast I'd ask her if she was making "Zombie Toast." A few weeks later I made my first zombie toast figure and gave it to her as a birthday gift. He still sits in her kitchen to this day.
Do you do special orders?
Yes I do. I make custom jewelry starting at $8 and custom figurines starting at $15+ depending upon details.
How about if someone wanted to personalize one?
All someone would have to do is contact me before purchasing an item via Etsy convo and let me know then additions they would like. I would update the listing accordingly for the custom. Personalizations are usually only $1-$2 more depending upon what a customer would like.
If someone orders one now could they get it in time for the holidays?
Yes. The cut off date for placing orders for guaranteed holiday delivery will be December 8th for Domestic and December 1st for international shipments. You can still place orders after these dates, but I cannot guarantee that the order will reach its destination by the holiday.
I would like customers to be aware that I will be out of town November 18th-December 1st. During this time there will be a delay in shipping. All orders received by 6pm EST, November 15th will be shipped before I leave. All orders placed after Nov. 15th will be filled and shipped in the order they were received as soon as I return.
You previously told me that you are an animal lover. I saw several, including the one you made in a monkey costume and your Mad Cow. Will there be more Sleepy Robot 13 animals?
Definitely! I have a few in the works now and will try to complete them as time permits.
What are your future plans?
I am currently working on trying to get a small business grant so I can move into an artist space, with a studio that will be open to the public. I am currently operating out of my living room and bedroom...frankly its kinda driving my boyfriend nuts! I also hope to have one of my figures mass produced in vinyl by the end of 2011.
When does tradition become something that should perhaps become obsolete? Every year, the small village of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture in western Japan celebrates the beginning of the annual whaling season with their Isana Festival. Included is a pseudo hunt by men in rowboats chasing a 30ft. mechanized whale around their bay. Unfortunately, the country has been subject to controversy of late as Japan claims that whaling is part of their culture, for both research and eating, while other countries and animal activists, such as those who created the documentary "The Cove," claim that there is unnecessary violence and killing that includes not only whales but dolphins.
This Ready Robots Clock comes from Megan and Mendy Winborg and can be considered art as well as a functional timepiece. Each one is handmade and stretched over canvas and has a AA battery operated (not included) clock in its center. A portion of the price is donated to childrens' foundations.
Originally released by the Czech-based Amanita in October 2009, Machinarium will be making its way to the WiiWare download service. XGen Studios, the company behind Defend Your Castle, is assisting on the game that not only requires plenty of mouse clicking, but logic as well. The goal is for protagonist Josef to save his robogirfriend and the city of Machinarium.
As promised, we couldn't wait to show you the work of Hauke Scheer and his company Scheer Imagination. This U.R.I.-NAL 9000 is astounding in its detail and we are so pleased that Hauke sent us one all the way from Germany to keep us company. Made of resin, this will surely be a collector's item.
Because we suspected that Hauke was as much into robots as we are, we decided to ask him a few questions and found that his talent and sense of humor are certainly worth the read.
I understand U.R.I. is a limited edition?
Yes, this medium grey colored variant is limited to 50 figures. However if they sell well I will produce more figures with different colors variations. Those will probably have higher production numbers so the medium grey variant will be the most valuable over time.
Is there a real U.R.I.-NAL 9000?
Unfortunately, no. I designed this character simply to be a fun toy figure. However a lot of people have told me they would love to have a real working one. So if there is some robot company out there that would be interested in producing a real one, I would love to hear from them. :-)
Do you foresee one in the future?
Well, you never know. It would be fun having hundreds of urinals walking through town on a Saturday night.
What was your inspiration?
I actually made another toilet robot before. That one was just meant to be a spoof on those cute Disney characters that are made from household items, like the ones in 'Beauty and the Beast.' However, I was always a little dissatisfied with that one because apart from being funny, the design did not make much sense. I decided to give it another try and come up with something that would kind of work in the real world. So the idea for the U.R.I.-NAL 9000 was born.
Will you be making any future robot figures?
Sure. I love robots and cyborgs and those will always be part of my work. The latest robot I created was the Flying Fridgebot from my Bionic Bjoern Figure Series. A prototype figure for that one is currently in development. The fridge will actually open and close and have some beer cans in it.
How did your career in the arts start?
I studied 3D modeling at the Vancouver Film School. Afterwards, I worked on a couple of small computer games as well as in advertisement. But during all that time I was always working on personal projects as well creating several of the characters I am now selling as figures on my website.
How long have you been an artist?
I have created science fiction and fantasy characters since I was in my teens. I started 3D modeling in my twenties when I was at university. My professional career started when I went to Vancouver Film School.
Do you make each one or just the first?
All the figures are actually sculpted and produced by a professional toy company in China. I send them various pictures of my 3D art so they can sculpt the figures to my designs. I wrote an article on the whole process a little while ago that can still be found in the notes sections of my Facebook page.
How does one make something out of resin?
Basically you have to create a silicone mold from your original sculpture and then you can start casting away in resin. You can get both the silicone for making the mold and the resin for casting in most art shops. Since you do not need expensive steel molds like you do with plastic figures, resin is used both by large manufacturers as well as hobby modelers.
Do you still do work for video games and advertisements?
At the moment I am concentrating on my own work and getting my figure business up and running properly. However, I am always interested in cool projects in either the video game or the advertisement industry.
What will be your next creation?
I am currently working on a series of animations for my Bionic Bjoern figure series. This one and others can be seen here. I will create various friends and enemies of Bionic Bjoern for these animations. However most of them exist currently only in my mind. :-)
How can your fans get in touch with you?
You can buy my figures here.
My art can be seen on this site.
If people want to get updated on upcoming figures they can become a fan of my company Scheer Imagination on Facebook.
Or they can just email me at: contact(at)scheer-imagination.com.
Thanks for your time and U.R.I, Hauke. Best of luck in all your endeavors!
We are not sure if this is very kewl art or terribly wrong. Canadian Rob Spence lost an eye in his teens and now, with the help of some buds, has developed a prosthetic one that can broadcast video and will become a public feed. The device consists of a 1.5mm low-res cam, a small circuit board, video transmitter and a microbattery that Spence says can be recharged via his laptop's USB.
KumoTek Robotics has launched an interactive robotics exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum. It features several dinosaurs built by Japan's Kokoro that respond to each visitor in a different way. The star of the show is RoboSUE, a Tyrannosaurus rex that has cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence, and is bound to scare the little ones. The show is scheduled to run through September 6.
The Traveling Man keeps watch over Deep Ellum Station, making us think that if what Stephen Hawkins said about aliens is true, at least Dallas, Texas is safe. The 38 ft. sculpture weighs 35,000 lbs. and was designed by Brandon Oldernberg and Brad Oldham of Reel FX at a cost of 1.35 million.
Oldernberg claims, "It was important to us that our design not only celebrate Deep Ellum's heritage, but also represent what we hope for the future: a resurgence of traffic to our streets and businesses and a thriving artistic community for decades to come."
The Nomadic Plant was designed by Gilberto Esparza to seek out polluted water, clean it up and feed it needed nutrients. Powered by microbial energy, the art project also feeds itself, proving that robots will save the planet by symbiosis. The roboplant is on display at Plantas Nomadas Gijón, Spain through June 7. Seeing it makes us want to rescreen "Silent Running", a nifty 90's flick with Bruce Dern, a huge garden and some of the cutest robot tenders that ever hit filmdom.