Melvin the Sad…(ish) Robot is a story about one robot’s longing for love and happiness. Melvin wakes up each morning with a familiar sense of sadness and loneliness. He goes to school each day to learn how to be a fixer bot, but as much as he loves what he is learning, he is failing all his classes. He has friends that ask him to join in on fun activities, but he has trouble accepting their offers for fear of new experiences. What happens one day when he gathers the courage to confront those obstacles? Will he succeed? Will he fail? Fall in love with Melvin and find out.

For the past 6 years, I have been showing my unique sculptures to the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area Community every First Friday at my studio, FM, located in Uptown Oakland. And every month I would be flattered when visitors asked me if I worked for a little local animation company (some of you might have heard of them). As honored as this question made me feel, I have little in the ways of computer skills that could be transferred to such a groundbreaking company. Still, I felt that my characters had a story to tell, I just needed to figure out a way to tell it. So I created Melvin! After I drafted Melvin’s story, added supporting characters, re-wrote, cut supporting characters…and on and on, I got it to the point where I thought I had a decent story.

With the help of my friend Han Lee, we took Melvin out into the incredibly beautiful, yet overlooked Lake Merritt area in Oakland, and started taking photos of Melvin interacting with his environment. After learning the ropes from Han I took over principle photography for the remainder of the project (although his photos are featured throughout the book).

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