I like to dabble in collage, building my own imaginary machines. I collect a lot of old technical catalogues and manuals, and see anthropomorphic images in the diagrams and objects. I don't keep a sketchbook, but I have a lot of open illustrator files, where I create new combinations and characters.
There is something fascinating about the click and whirr of analog technology. Springs, flywheels, gears and levers. A ticking clockwork or adding machine. There is also a romance built into fiction along the lines of H. G. Wells. I don't have the attention span to assemble and repurpose old machines, but I do like the aesthetic, and have dabbled with it in my Mecanismos series. These images are always evolving and have taken on a life of their own.
It's fun to take a technical story and incorporate these robots into the illustration. Here's a recent assignment for the Christian Science Monitor, about human error and mistakes made by officials in sports. Should we replace humans with machines in order to get the call right? Is it foolproof? Will it improve the game? It's your call.
Recent assignment for Hemispheres magazine above, about designers repurposing our modern technology with a steampunk aesthetic. Juicy topic! Thanks to art director Claire Eckstrom, she was great to work with.
'Your worship is your furnaces
Which, like old idols, lost obscenes,
Have molten bowels, your visions is
Machines for making more machines.'
- Gordon Bottomley (1912)