I Wanted To Step Out Of My Comfort Zone, So I Took The ‘March Of Robots’ Challenge (31 Drawings)
I love taking up monthly art challenges from time to time. I wanted to take up something completely out of my comfort zone in 2020. I am not great with drawing machines and this seemed like a fun way to start. My approach for the series was to make the robots cute and friendly.
The most exciting part is that the series was named one of the winners of 2020 by the founder himself, Dacosta Bayley.
(Made on Procreate)
I have usually been a part of challenges that I know I can thematically explore with ease, like Inktober and even 36 days of type. I always lean towards softer lines and styles, hence predominantly nature is always my safe zone. I barely draw machines or let manmade objects into my work. I came across the MOR challenge in 2019 and loved the various approaches people had toward the execution. In 2020 I just dived into it, making sure I kept my style intact in the process. I actually had plans of pushing it for 2021 because I wasn't confident.
I couldn't figure out what my first stroke should be while sketching. I had to change my ways of approaching an illustration with this challenge. I looked up references to other robots, humanoids, gears, wires and existing drawings of robots by other great artists. I tried finding ways to simplify these complex references in my work. I did no warmups before the challenge and just started. There are so many of these illustrations I struggled with that feel incomplete to me but within the series, everything fits perfectly.
I sneakily managed to use elements of animals in my robot drawings. You will notice hints of a ladybug, sea horse, crabs, frog, dragonfly, etc. I had to make sure that the nature aspect had a softness to it while keeping in mind the harder lines of metal or an object. Though I drew one every day, I went through 3 sketches at least to make the final one. It took me several tries to bring the right balance to each robot.
If you're wondering about my future projects, I hope that 2023 is a year for taking up more challenges and also to finish them. When it comes to commissioned projects, I have a few lined up that I can't share. But updates of these will be made public on Behance and Instagram. I never plan my personal projects. They just happen simultaneously.