June 1, 2004

Wanted: Robot Painting Ideas


UPDATE: The comment board for suggestions is now closed. Stay tuned for the next posting about this project. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Some of you may remember when I had contacted toy robot painting genius Eric Joyner with an idea for a painting, and a short time later the masterpiece (now known as "The Final Blow") was born. We followed it, step-by-step, right here.

I'm happy to announce that Eric has agreed to create another robot painting in conjunction with The Sneeze. And this time Eric and I will be taking suggestions from you guys on what it should be!

Snow!You can click over to www.ericjoyner.com and check out his gallery for some inspiration. You can also click on the thumbnail to the right for a better view of one of his latest creations.

For a fun added incentive, Eric has agreed to give a free signed limited edition print of the painting to the person who had the most creative impact on it.

A few things to keep in mind:
a) The ideas can tell a story that is serious and emotional, or funny, or have no story at all and just be an interesting still-life.
b) Don't feel pressure to provide every minor detail. In fact, it's better to leave Eric some creative wiggle room.
c) If you do feel the need to suggest a specific robot, it must be pre-1974.

Once Eric has made the final decision on the idea, you'll get to watch another amazing Joyner painting come to life, every step of the way. We can't wait to hear your ideas!

Click here for The Sneeze Home Page!
Posted by Steven | Archive

An army of soldier-robots taking over a retail warehouse store a la Costco (or maybe more like a WalMart). There could be bottle rockets being launched in the store, and maybe some robots consuming the store's goods.

Posted by: Marissa at June 1, 2004 8:24 AM

I love the way that Eric is able to show some kind of human emotion through the tin robots. I'm also a big fan of art that is very busy and by that I mean you can look at several different places in a painting and pick up something different. So my idea is a painting in which tin robots and/or toys are participating in each of the seven deadly sins: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth. Could be a bit of a challenge, but could also generate lots of dialogoue on how the sins are represented. Plus, it should be easy to work in a doughnut...

Posted by: Scott at June 1, 2004 8:34 AM

How about a take on "the evolution of man". Where instead of an ape to a man you could have various robots in several states of change from left to right.

Posted by: GenSpecific at June 1, 2004 8:42 AM

how 'bout... hmmn... a factory production line where the robots are putting people together instead of the other way round.

Posted by: ToeKnee at June 1, 2004 8:48 AM

I think the robots should take part in a musical -I vote for either Cats, Grease or West Side Story - lots of fights in that one.

A parable about life not being a rehearsal, taking on other people's roles, hiding behind other characters etc?

Posted by: kate at June 1, 2004 9:08 AM

How about a romantic robot scene? Similiar to the comercial artwork done (1800's?) where instead of some buxom woman being pushed on a swing by a hansome man, it's a "woman" robot being pushed by a "man" robot. Or some other scene, picnic, whatever. It just seems ironic in a cool way, fakey romance with humans is just the same as romance between robots.

Posted by: Ginny at June 1, 2004 9:41 AM

How about a Vargas style pinup robot?

Posted by: Kevin at June 1, 2004 9:47 AM

How about Tin robots falling from the sky with Parachuts in WWII ?

Posted by: Fraser at June 1, 2004 9:49 AM

Here you go:

Michelangelo's "THe Creation of Adam" from the Sistine Chapel. Replace God witha robot!

Posted by: EB at June 1, 2004 9:54 AM

How about a mother robot breast-feeding her baby?

Posted by: Christian at June 1, 2004 10:45 AM

There's only one painting that Mr. Joyner need consider for his next work -- a robotic update of the classic, "Dogs Playing Poker." There you go. You're welcome.

Posted by: chocky at June 1, 2004 11:20 AM

I don't know if Eric would want to go political, but a wind-up robot president shown from behind as he's giving a speech at a large convention or news conference to a bunch of robot reporters with huge flashbulbs would be cool.

Posted by: peter at June 1, 2004 11:25 AM

Optimus Prime as crying Native American pollution sadness guy.

Posted by: Nick Postagulous at June 1, 2004 11:40 AM

I vote for a robot in a natural robot setting...like a production line type deal...who cares about the time period.. but one of the robots is actually a REAL PERSON dressed up like a robot (noticible only by small details like a something askew or something small replaced by something a human would have on.. a watch or something. SO a REAL GUY is pretending to be a ROBOT. whaddya think?

Posted by: Nicole at June 1, 2004 12:26 PM

I would like to see school photos. Like a class photo of little Robots on the first day of school. Or ever those horrible year book photos from junior high.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 1, 2004 1:29 PM

What about robot(s) going about survival business in a landscape type picture - like jungly overgrowth and they are working a little garden plot, carrying vegetables on their heads. Or robots fleeing a mountain lion or bear in the mountains....clearly looking shaken.

Posted by: Becky at June 1, 2004 1:54 PM

Robots dancing "the robot" or if you're into irony "the human", it would be kind of hard to paint that I guess

Posted by: Kyle at June 1, 2004 2:06 PM

I would like to see a robot being burned at the stake, dunked in water, or some other sort of witch execution/torture. Angry peasants, either humans or robots, would be necessary.

Posted by: EE CUMMINGS DOPPELGANGER at June 1, 2004 2:07 PM

I think a robot painting based on some familiar Beatles image would be a very cool piece of art.

For example, four Robots (different kinds) very LOOSELY based on Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr... with instruments, perhaps playing in a smokey Liverpool or Hamburg club... or even something like on the rooftop in London (Let It Be)... or Sgt. Pepper would be an awesome creative idea.

Ha... or the four Beatles walking like the Abbey Road album cover... or ANY album cover...

OR... there is a very famous BUTCHER SHOP album cover that was RECALLED... but many people know it... you could base it on THAT and it would be an esoteric Beatles thing.

But of course, I guess it's limited to people who like the Beatles. (All one billion of them.)

Posted by: The Egg Man at June 1, 2004 2:40 PM

Robots fighting for a place in line at the last remaining Krispy Kreme Donut shop in a post-apocalyptic USA.

Posted by: karen at June 1, 2004 2:56 PM

I think a great idea would be an outdoor setting. I remember how when I was younger my brother and I would take our GI Joes and other toys outside and stage the biggest toy battle ever. We would use the hose to make it all muddy. In the movies, wars was always fought in the mud it seems. At the end of the day there would be water, toys and mudd all over the yard. Those were some of the best times I ever had. So instead of GI Joes it would be robots. I guess the theme could be complex like childish innocence vs the reality of war or a just a cool ass toy battle.

Posted by: Crystal at June 1, 2004 3:13 PM

I'm imagining something loosely inspired by the cold war. Two 1950's era sci fi robots are playing a game of chess. Each robot is strapped to some sort of doomsday device. The basic gist is the loser's bomb goes off. Unfortunately, they're both sitting about two feet apart, so the only spoils for victory are some very short lived bragging rights.

Posted by: Dan at June 1, 2004 3:21 PM

What about a inspirational poster like they have at depressing offices. One that has a bunch of Robots rowing or playing polo or something and it says, "Teamwork"

Posted by: Christian at June 1, 2004 4:15 PM

I think it might be funny to see a painting reminiscent of the famous World War II photograph of a young soldier returning home from battle, dipping his girlfriend over to give her a dramatic kiss. It would be amusing to see that with robots instead of humans. He could also have a bunch of robot soldiers in the background as if they were having a ticker tape parade.

Posted by: Anthony at June 1, 2004 5:03 PM

1) Robots tearing down the Berlin Wall along with the hoopla that surrounded it
2) A robot painting "The Final Blow"
3) Robots building the Sphinx
4) The Trojan Robot
5) A baby robot playing with a little toy person
6) A robotic recreation of the JFK assassination

ok...ok...I'll stop

Posted by: Chuck Welch at June 1, 2004 6:11 PM

Robots, sitting around a table, playing poker. A-la dogs playing poker.

Posted by: Pat at June 1, 2004 6:35 PM

I think it'd be cool to see a big robot race, with finish line and all. Seeing as most of the classic tin robots don't seem to be able to bend at the knees, it could make for something really funny.

Posted by: Taz at June 1, 2004 6:59 PM

How about a Robot doing the most basic of all human functions... Bodily functions. I would love to see a robot on the toilet, maybe looking at a copy of "Playbot". The thought of a robot with human needs such as waste expulsion...strange.

Posted by: El Crapitan at June 1, 2004 10:01 PM

How about the robot Maria, from "Metropolis" and Robby the Robot from "This Island Earth" engaged in a bout of domestic violence? I'd love to see Maria bouncing a frying pan, or rolling pin, or some other kitchen implement off Robby's dome...oh, the humanity!

Or if you're looking for something a little more tragic, why not a family of robots gathered around an "old" robot just as the doctor "pulls the plug"? Literally.

Why aren't other audience participation blogs this much fun?

Posted by: El Impulso! at June 1, 2004 11:46 PM

A few have touched on my idea above...but I want to put it down, cause it it much more specific. I would like to see the opposite of Bjork's "all is full of love" video. Showing that if robots can take pleasure in sex, there would be the underbelly of the robot society which would take pleasure in pain.
I would like to see a robot murder, hovering over a 'victim'...maybe a vaccum, or obsolete old tandy computer or one of those old teddy ruxpin (sp?) dolls and torturing it...all taking place under a desk, or maybe an old storage center or Pawn shop.

Posted by: patrick at June 2, 2004 3:52 AM

Since the first painting in The Sneeze Robot Art Collection was a re-imagining of one of the classic images of photography, I think you should continue on the same track. One of the greatest robots in history is Maria from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, and I think your next painting should be a tribute to her. To continue the feminine theme, perhaps you should re-imagine a photo by a prominent female photographer. You could go with Diane Arbus, Annie Leibowitz, or any other woman photographer, but my pick would be Untitled Film Still 6 by Cindy Sherman (http://www.temple.edu/photo/photographers/cindy/film/film4.htm). Really, any of the Untitled Film Stills would work well, but that one has always been my favorite.

That or something with Voltron.

Posted by: Rocksteady at June 2, 2004 5:52 AM

How about a robots trying to eat Ralph's Potted Meat or Pickled Pork Rinds..

Posted by: Caroline at June 2, 2004 6:37 AM

How about some classic WWII scenes: robots storming the beach of Normandy; or maybe a robot pinned down by a sniper in the rubble of some old buildings; or robots in a fox hole in the early morning, peering through the mist for a sign of the enemy.

Posted by: Alex at June 2, 2004 8:34 AM

a robot giving a state of the union (or any "presendential") address. Blue curtain, podium, official seal, etc.

Maybe some famous presendential hand gestures, like Nixon with the "v" fingers...

Posted by: andrew troutt at June 2, 2004 9:26 AM

To follow up the boxing ring scene, I'd like to see other sports moments. For example, a robot quarterback standing in the pocket ready to pass, with his linemen trying to hold off the rushing defenders, or the view from behind home plate of the pitch having just been released by the pitcher and the ball heading towards the batter, or the slap shot heading towards the hockey goalie, etc. (But if Eric's not into sports, then I'd vote for the idea suggested a few times above, of a "role-reversal," i.e. the robot(s) playing with or making humans.)

Posted by: Jeff at June 2, 2004 9:58 AM

BALLS TO THE WALL with this one. Don't hold back.

Recreate SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album cover with all famous robots!

Posted by: robert berry at June 2, 2004 11:57 AM

I think the most simple ideas are often the best ideas. Pick a human moment that all of us have been through or have a good understanding of. Choose one of these if you will:

1. A new robot father peering through the window at his new baby robot, in the room with other baby robots in their cribs.

2. A breakup scene, park bench somewhere, the girl robot is the dumper, and the guy robot is feeling all the pain. We've all been there.

3. What about a city street scene. New York comes to mind. Evening rush hour, bussling sidewalks, and in the middle is one obviously sad robot, walking along mindlessly, head down in obvious emotional pain.

There's my ideas for the moment, hope you like one of them best.

Posted by: Mike at June 2, 2004 2:33 PM

What about 2 *very* british robots having tea?

Martha Stewart


Hobo-robots of the future :-(

a sailor/biker/etc robot getting a tattoo

Posted by: Susan at June 2, 2004 4:02 PM

Oh oh I just had a good one (bear with me please lol)

What about a mom putting an "anti-rusting" product on her child, like sunblock. A warning poster like you see for skin cancer--with all the horrifying effects of rust on it. That way they could go out into the elements. ^_^

Posted by: Susan at June 2, 2004 4:05 PM

A robot D-day? Tis the season!!! Or maybe that old picture of the woman with her sleave rolled up talking about women working or whatever for WW2. That would be neat. Or maybe, A robot dreaming of electric sheep?

Posted by: Micah at June 3, 2004 5:11 AM

What about a take of the Philip K. Dick book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" with a sleeping robot dreaming of robot sheep?

Posted by: steve at June 3, 2004 8:43 AM

It's a high school robot dance. The shy, sensitive robot is in the background, looking longingly at the robot belle who he adores but can't bring himnself to approach and talk to.

Posted by: Roberto at June 3, 2004 12:27 PM

how about a robot scubadiving?

Posted by: joediver at June 3, 2004 2:30 PM

How about doing a picture of the Thinker ala robot style or a robot as Atlas with the world on his shoulders?

Posted by: t at June 3, 2004 2:39 PM

Try a super hero themed painting, or 1950's war of the worlds were humans attack robots. Something along those lines. Maybe even Futurama

Posted by: Blake at June 3, 2004 5:35 PM

I'd like to see a robot staring into his bathroom mirror and seeing a human face looking back, a tear rolling down his cheek.
Through the bathroom window and across the street, a guy on the street walking past a storefront window catches his reflection in the glass. The image looking back is the bathroom robot.

Posted by: Lori at June 3, 2004 9:29 PM

robot and ukulele.

(from: a robot string band)

robot in the desert.

polar expedition.

Posted by: boynton at June 3, 2004 11:35 PM

Two robots meet on a street corner. They are chatting; a rear hatch opens on one, and either sneaky robot arms or a smaller robot comes out to pick the pocket of the other.

Posted by: Murf at June 4, 2004 10:49 AM

some awesome ideas so far.

I like the JFK idea, but with a gunmen behind the fence on the grassy knoll perhaps?

a officeful of robotic "cubefarmers"
(no wait, too realistic)

a robotic version of the "Last Supper"

Johnny Sokkos Flying Robot as the "Terminator," with half the shield torn revealing a human face.
UltraMan as "The Thinker"

Posted by: jmig at June 4, 2004 11:47 AM

How about a robot sitting in front of a computer monitor while reading The Sneeze?

Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2004 12:23 PM

Hows about an inspirational scene of a heroic toy robot freeing a bunch of auto assembly line type robots from a factory? Think of the majesty!

Posted by: Glen at June 4, 2004 9:04 PM

A robot falls in love with an inanimate object (blender, bicycle, cordless screwdriver), and is heart broken because his offering (flowers, lugnuts in a candy box, can of WD40), goes unnoticed.

Posted by: murf at June 5, 2004 9:38 AM

How about re-creating that old "American Gothic" painting with two robots posing as the old farmer couple? Only, instead of the male holding up a pitchfork, maybe the male robot could be holding up something more appropriate for a robot like a hockey stick or a vacuum for sucking human brains. That's what robots, do, right?

Posted by: Anthony at June 5, 2004 5:49 PM

That robot from lost in space you know: DANGER WILL ROBINSIN!!! DANGER!! but he is superman and flying over some city

Posted by: David 4C at June 5, 2004 6:13 PM

Maybe a robot child playing with a set of Barbie and Ken dolls?

Posted by: Jon at June 6, 2004 12:23 PM

Robot's at Hirojima (sp?) where are all putting up the Flag.


A robot dancing saturday night fever style with the disco floor and disco ball with a crowd around it.


highschool dance with all the girl robots on side and all the boy robots on the other

Posted by: Paden at June 6, 2004 1:11 PM

A robot in a dinosaur setting being like a t-rex and roaring at all the smaller dinosaurs and robots!

Posted by: Gregg at June 6, 2004 3:36 PM

An addition to the last supper idea...the entree on the table would be a donut of oversized proportion

Posted by: momosan at June 6, 2004 4:51 PM

I support the previously submitted ideas:
* Robot musical number
* Robot WWII Normandy landing (D-day timely)
* Robot scene from classic movie
* Mike's "human moment" robot scenes
* Robot last supper

Posted by: N at June 6, 2004 5:40 PM

Robots playing poker! ROBOTS PLAYING POKER!

Posted by: Aaron J at June 6, 2004 9:36 PM