Manchester based illustrator, card maker and master craft ‘bot Karen Roberts AKA k.robots designs takes time out to answer a rainycitytales BIG 5.
1) How and when did the robot drawing start?
The ‘bot drawing only started relatively recently. I’ve always been into creative stuff; I did art and school and 6th form and went back to college a couple of years ago to do a BTEC in jewellery. As well as jewellery and other crafty things, I make cards a lot. A couple of years ago made a Christmas card for my boyfriend featuring lots of Christmassy themed robots – from Santa and his sidekick Rudolph to a fat Christmas Pud bot . He’s pretty into robots – our flat is full of them. I then started thinking up ideas for other robot characters, with a view to making cards for other people – that’s how it all started.
2) What inspires your work?
Lots of things! I get inspired by the most mundane things – everyday objects, machinery, patterns…I actually found myself taking pictures of the wallpaper in a pub toilet the other day! I’ve starting seeing bots in everything everywhere. The people around me have inspired me a lot. My boyfriend Mark works full time, but still manages to write a blog, make music, DJ and design websites in his spare time. He made me want to do something more productive and creative with my time, than watching crap on TV and tidying my sock drawer. He’s given me loads of support and encouragement. Seeing friends turn their creative ideas into realities has also spurred me to make a go of it myself. Sheree’s Cutemaps business is doing so well she has been able to quit her day job. And Mardy Mabel‘s name precedes her. Even my massively creative and talented 99 year old Nan made me think ‘well if she can do it…’
3) Do you have a favourite out of your creations? And why?
How could I possibly pick?! Choosing a favourite would be like picking between children! Having said that I do love B-bot – I’m pretty chuffed at how she came together. I’ve also just finished a new bot called Twitcher-Trev, inspired by my bird-watching Dad – he’s pretty cool.
4) What’s the future for k.robots designs?
I’ve been working on a few new characters which will be added to the k.robots family very soon. I hope to continually add new designs – I don’t want people getting bored!
I’m already selling in Bury Art Museum, Salford Museum & Art Gallery and Gallery Oldham, but am looking for new outlets to sell my cards. More gallery/museum shops would be great, but independent card and gift shops, book shops, craft centres etc are also on the hit-list.
5) Who’s the greatest robot from film or fiction?
Easy – Johnny-5 from 80s classic Short Circuit.
I guess Terminator should get a mention, and R2-D2…actually maybe not so easy after all.