I make 100 pieces of art for Art-O-Mat about twice per year.
This blog post is dedicated to showing you my process of making Art-O-Mat Art, my second Set of 100 doodle characters for 2018.
As soon as the blocks arrive, I open the box, dump them out and line them up for paint on 5 sides. This initial step is the groundwork for the fun part of the project.
The fun process starts with paper and watercolor or gouache, I paint the bodies on heavy paper. Working intuitively and trusting that I will be able to fit “bodies” onto the limbs in the form of clothing that I collage over the stick figures. I always make about 20% more than I need so that I have room for error and do not have to come back to this step.
Collecting and ripping up tons of security envelopes that I have saved to be repurposed in this project is a job I can do while talking to my husband. These small pieces of patterned paper will become clothing.
Gluing the “outfits” onto the limbs is so much fun because at this stage the character that they will become begins to be obvious to me.
Once they all have clothes on, I cut the heavy paper in half and stack them up for the next step.
The faces! The mouths are the most fun, so I started with them. I forgot to take process pictures of the rest of the embellishments I do. I think this is mostly because I have to concentrate to add precisely the right details to keep the characters fun, but to also give them a story of depth beyond the stick figure they started out as.
Once I am happy with all of the further drawing and details, then each card is glued to a block with PVA adhesive (a type of archival adhesive used in book binding). I stacked them with additional paper between each one while they dried to make sure the front images stayed clean and unmarred.
After I cut around the edges and clean them up, each block gets a word on the bottom side of the block. Often the word matched the character, or at least in my mind and imagination the word makes sense!
Once they are dry and checked for quality, I ship them off, back to Art-O-Mat for distribution.
This little character stayed home with me, I simply could not part with the adorable expression.
From my previous batch of doodle characters, 10 were sold at The Smithsonian in Washington DC! The rest were sold in different places in batches of 10 or 20. I find it very exciting that my art gets to go all over the world!