Featured Artist Amy Flynn

Combining two of her favorite things – art and shopping – artist Amy Flynn scours flea markets and antique stores to find parts for her whimsical sculptures. View her website to see more.

 

"Acrobot" Mixed Media, 20" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Acrobot” Mixed Media, 20″

 

Since I started making my Fobots® (Found Object Robots) in 2008, I consider myself the luckiest person ever. I get to make a living doing my two favorite things—creating art and hunting for treasure at flea markets. How cool is that?

 

"Cogito" Mixed Media, 20" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Cogito” Mixed Media, 20″

 

I started out as an illustrator, and worked for twenty-seven years designing greeting cards, children’s books and giftware. But in 2008, the economy tanked, and most of my freelance work evaporated. Faced with a lot of free time on my hands, some decent tool skills, a lifelong fascination with robots, and a basement full of junk, I started tinkering, and the first Fobot was born. It was embarrassingly crude, but I had an absolute blast making it.

 

"Daredevil" Mixed Media, 26" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Daredevil” Mixed Media, 26″

 

More bots followed, and I was encouraged to sell them at a wholesale market. Many of the other artists at the market tried to convince me that big outdoor art festivals were a better fit for my work. One basically dared me to apply to the St. Louis Art Festival, and I did. I got in.

 

"Deluxe V8" Mixed Media, 18" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Deluxe V8″ Mixed Media, 18”

 

This is kind of the craft world equivalent of saying “Gee, I think I’d like to be in a play!” and getting cast in a Broadway show on your first audition.

 

"Evelyn Nesbot" Mixed Media, 21" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Evelyn Nesbot” Mixed Media, 21″

 

My husband Phil and I now travel all over the country to top arts festivals from Miami to Seattle. Thank goodness he likes to drive. The travel also helps us find parts for the bots; we stop at every flea market and antique mall we see on the road. We also go to big antique festivals, and I find cool stuff on eBay and at auctions as well.

 

"Freak" Mixed Media, 18" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Freak” Mixed Media, 18″

 

Here’s how I work. I take my finds and lay them out on a big table in my workshop. I usually start with a body, then mix and match pieces around it to get an idea of design and proportion. This part can go quickly, or it can take months waiting for the right parts to get just the right look.

 

"Globots" Mixed Media, 14” to 18" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Globots” Mixed Media, 14” to 18″

 

Once I’m satisfied, I solder and bolt my finds together. When I’m done, they get a copper tag on the back with their number, and a metal heart inside.

 

"Hoarder" Mixed Media, 18” by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hoarder” Mixed Media, 18”

 

They get a name, too—and I love bad puns. Every week on the Fobot Facebook page, I have “Monday Punday,” where I post some of the worst offenders. Some recent favorites: “Thelonius Junk,” “The Wizard of Odds and Ends,” “The HindenBorg” and “Alien Nate.”

 

"Optimist Prime," "Julie Newmark" and "Dumbledork" Mixed Media, 12” to 13" by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Optimist Prime,” “Julie Newmark” and “Dumbledork” Mixed Media, 12” to 13″

 

I love finding discarded things that you just know were once someone’s treasure—a toy, a piece of jewelry, a camera—and making them “special” again. And there’s something fun about taking vintage objects and creating something as futuristic as robots out of them.

 

"Trojan Horse Joyride" Mixed Media, 21” by artist Amy Flynn. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Trojan Horse Joyride” Mixed Media, 21”

 

I also like to make them asymmetrical, with mismatched legs, or one eye bigger than the other. There’s a saying, “We like our friends for their virtues, but we love them for their flaws.” That’s why I make them flawed. It makes them more “human.”

 

Artist Amy Flynn invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. Kathleen Elam says:

    Just fantastic….love your art.

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