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Todd Bot creates technological robotic arts through analog and digital workflow

Todd Bot creates technological robotic arts through precise analog and digital workflow, sharing through a variety of focuses as he develops simplistic yet constructive techniques.  Led through an intuitive feels, his tools are expansive and range in styles and format, which further an interesting process of blending and creation that allows messages to unfold in interesting patterns.  Initiating his journey through illustrative arts at a very young age, we can feel a narrative, galactic presence unfolding as he walks the line of the ethereal and the technological, robotic worlds.  Asides being an avid illustrator, he picked up more expressive fields focusing on painting and murals, which led into digital focus as well.  An overall creative, he’s mixing elements and advancing an understanding of his art which reveals itself in symbolic mannerism and have given him the artistic freedom to translate ideas.  Todd shares with us effective analog and digital techniques and workflow in visual arts as he reveals his story of tapping in, intuitive feels, editing to enhance an overall creative strategy!

A chat and technique share with Todd Bot

Happy to connect my friend.  What are you up to nowadays? What’s new?

Just moved to Austin, TX a few months ago so I’ve been trying to get involved locally with all the goings on in the art world.

Share with us your history as an artist.

Ok let’s see.. I guess just about every kid draws. I just never really stopped. My first “real” art class wasn’t until high school.  It was a small school sort of out in the country and there was only one class available-Commercial Art. I learned a lot of techniques that I’ve never used but the teacher, Mrs. Fisher, turned out to be my favorite in all the time I was there. I briefly attended the Art Institute in Dallas but quickly felt like it was a huge scam and I bailed out. I took a break from art from a few years and just worked at computer jobs but then got back into it about 10 years ago and never stopped.  Up until most recently I worked as a full time artist for about 5 years.

Your paintings and expression are very ethereal and robotic-technological influenced with a vibrancy of colour focus. Out of this world.  What initially inspired painting?

Initially I started painting as a live painter. You and I assume most of your readers will be at least somewhat familiar with that role. I spent most of my life as an illustrator. So painting was a great adventure to undertake. I always liked the thought that everything in nature is essentially machine-like, humans not least of which.  So, for me it wasn’t much of a stretch to have robotic figures and elements make their way into my work.

Any messages in particular that you’re focusing on projecting through your art?

Typically I don’t get the message until the painting is finished. It’s not as if I’m specifically thinking of a message to convey. It’s more like the painting tells me it’s meaning after I am finished. In most cases it tells me something I need to know or think about. Or it reveals something from the inside that I may be subconsciously focusing on and perhaps need to address or share with others.

Do you sustain yourself through your arts?

Yes. But it’s not as simple as just make a painting-sell a painting. I do many things art-related to supplement my income. I paint, of course, but I also do a lot of graphic design as well as murals. I had done some freelance work for a friend of mine for a while and recently I joined his team as the lead artist at his company. It’s pretty great. They already dig what I do so they give me all the artistic freedom I could want.

In what ways would you like to see your art flourish.

I think I would really just like to be able to do larger works and have shows in many other cities. There are a ton of people in the world and I’d love to share art with as many of them as I can. Also more murals and bigger murals.  I’d really like to start branching into other schools of art and getting a little bit bigger might allow more doors to open for that to happen.

Have you ever won any awards for your art? If so, elaborate.

I’ve only won 2 awards for my art. One was for a copper pressing I did in high school. I won 1st place at the local town celebration. And a few years back I won People’s Choice award for best mural in the Tunnel Visions exhibition.

Asides being a painter, digital/graphic designer, and illustrator, you’re also a muralist.   How would you say all these artistic channeling’s blend in a way that allow your creativity to connect and therefore experience progression faster and develop new ideas?

I used to draw a lot of designs for a t-shirt company way back in the day. I did literally hundreds of drawings while I was there.  This really steered my approach to drawing in a way that would translate well to vector or printing. And as such this is also my approach when doing murals. Most of the time I don’t plan on what I paint it just comes out.

What is your next step?   What kinds of ideas are flourishing out of you at the current moment?

I don’t want to give too many details about what I’m going to be doing but I will say that you’re going to see something new that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. And I think no one else is doing it (at least I hope not!) It will involve more than the 2 dimensions that you are used to.

How do you stay so motivated and focused as you’re consistently releasing art?

It’s not easy to stay focused. We have so many distractions. Just recently we converted our garage into an art studio so that we can go there and not be interrupted while we create. Most of the time I have shows coming up or have new ideas I want to try out and I know what a good feeling it is to actually make stuff. So I guess you could say simply I just find the joy in it.

What is your favourite style of music to create to?


Expressive patterns are reflective in your art.   What is usually the next step after picking up a paint brush?

I’ll usually do a rough sketch of the idea in a light color that I know will get painted over. It’s then a process of  going over and fixing mistakes and turning them into something that works. It’s a lot of trial and error and it’s definitely a journey.

Any book recommendations?

I used to read a lot more in my youth. I’d say anything by Vonnegut. I have been meaning to read more so I just got a new book-Notes from the Underground. Will report back on findings.

What are your goals for 2018?

Paint. Read more. Play outside more. Make some 3D art. Do a solo show. Lose weight.

What are some of your other hobbies?

I like to tinker with computers and play video games.  

If you could travel to any destination in the world and take your family with you, where would you go and why?

Probably Japan. From everything I’ve seen or read about it it’s just vastly different from the culture in the US and many of the places there are quite beautiful.

Todd Bot’s Workflow / Technique Share

For analog art, I usually start out picking colors I would like for a particular piece. Once I have that choice made then the rest is pretty free flowing. Sometimes I will paint a solid or patterned background (usually with spray paint). Then, sometimes I will sketch out a rough idea in chalk. Chalk is great because I can wipe it away if I don’t like something or make changes along the way.  Once I finish the painting I can just wipe away any excess chalk. After I’m happy with the sketch then I like to fill in the shape of whatever I’m painting with the lightest color I plan on using.  It’s kind of backwards from most artists that I talk to. But I like to start with the lightest then work my way toward the darker shades and colors, gradually adding color and more and more shadows. In the end I like to finish most things off with the black line work.

Digital art is a little bit different. I still sketch things out but with the ‘undo’ command it makes it really easy to hide or fix your mistakes. Digital is super accommodating to artists and I highly recommend trying it out if you have an interest.  I’ve been using Procreate on the iPad and so far I love it. Working in layers is always preferred so you can have a lot more control over various parts of your work. I would recommend locking any layers you’re not working on. I made the mistake of drawing on the wrong layer and it made later editing a huge pain. other than that I would say just to go ham. With digital you basically have unlimited art supplies (ink, paper, paint, brushes) plus a bunch of editing tools to help along the way. Take advantage of that and see what you can come up with.

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