This week I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Flynn, the amazing artist behind Fobots. You are probably wondering what a “Fobot” is. Well, I’m here to tell you “Fobots” is short for Found Object Robots. Once you lay your eyes on these unique pieces of art, you will be just as amazed as I was!
Amy wasn’t always making Fobots – She used to be a professional illustrator for giftware and greeting card companies, until the economic downfall when her clients began canceling contracts, going bankrupt and failing to pay her. Amy was going through a difficult time in her life when finally her husband told her, “Why don’t you take some time off and make some of your robots? You’re so much happier when you’re making robots.” At that moment the Fobots were born and Amy combined two of her favorite passions: shopping and creating stuff.
Most of Amy’s Fobots are made from vintage junk found at flea markets, junkyards, in basements and auctions. Amy’s little metal friends are admired by many – Bringing joy & smiles to her and her clients everyday.
My Interview with Amy
Q: How long have you been exhibiting at The American Craft Exposition?
A: This will be my first year, and my first INDOOR art show. You won’t believe how grateful I’ve become for the miracle of air-conditioning after three years of outdoor shows.
Q: What is your medium and what techniques do you use?
A: I search for really cool vintage stuff, and then solder and bolt the pieces together to create one-of-a-kind found object robots I call “Fobots”. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that, but a more thorough explanation would take hours and bore you silly.
Q: Do you have a back-story for your artwork, and what is your inspiration?
A: I was a professional illustrator for 27 years, working primarily for greeting card and giftware companies and children’s book publishers. But when the economy started to nose-dive in 2008, much of my freelance work started drying up. My biggest client, American Greetings, put a one-year moratorium on buying freelance work, and other companies were going bankrupt or failing to pay me for completed jobs. I was at my wit’s end. But I had already started making some quirky little robots out of junk from out basement and the flea market. My wonderful husband suggested that I take a few weeks off from illustration until things improved (HAH!) and to make some more robots. “You’re so much happier when you’re making your robots” were his exact words. So I did, and I’ve never looked back. As for inspiration, I’ve always had a fascination with robots. And I love shopping at flea markets. Eventually, the two passions came together like chocolate and peanut butter.
Q: How does your art connect to your life?
A: I like to tell my customers that it combines my two favorite things–making art and shopping. I love going to flea markets and antique malls and hunting for treasure–and I’m very picky about what treasure I use, so it’s a fun challenge.
Q: How would you describe your own artwork?
A: I wouldn’t, but the adjectives my customers use most are “clever”, “imaginative”, “awesome”, “funny”, and “cool”.
Q: What type of success has your artwork brought you?
A: I’ve gotten into many of the most prestigious art shows in the country, but I’d have to say that the greatest success the bots have brought me is this; I’m so much happier now. I love making them, I love looking for parts, I love not worrying about where my next freelance job is coming from, I love traveling the country with my husband, doing art shows, I love the smiles on people’s faces when they enter my booth, I love my life.