chicago artists, interviews, openings/shows

sketches and robots.


so tomorrow night (july 30th) is the 1 year anniversary of atomic sketch. the line up is killer and the featured artist is John Ario. Along with lots of rad sketches, john makes sculptures out of found materiel. robots, lost of cool robots. so to help promote the event and John’s work. i thought id ask him a few questions. and show some of his work. 

what is your first memory of making art?

My sister Janine is 10 years older than me, I remember being in our back yard next to her trying to paint. She had an easle set up and was making a watercolor of our yard, I was doing the same, but mine looked like shit. I was probobly 7 or 8 years old, but she was my first art teacher, and has been supportive and cool ever since.


what got you started making work more seriously, and on a regular basis?

I became more serious about art when I realised that it was the only thing 
I could do, the only thing I knew how to do. Not that I can’t literally do anything else, but nothing else feels like what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel like I don’t really have a choice, making art is something I have to do. So I have committed to doing it as often as possible, and to get better all the time, and if it never leads to some level of success for me, at least I will fail donig what I believe in.


do you wish you were a robot? or, oh, ummm are you a robot?

It seems that there is a process and standard we are all suppose to follow. Technology and communication have worked into our world and our lives to a level in which we need them. Slowly turning us all into robots. But I have felt lost since the internet first arrived, doing everything by computer, uploading and emailing and autmatic payments/deposits, I am overwhelmed. If I get turned into a robot, I will be an awkward confused non-working robot. So I make my own toothie bug-eyed robots that do nothing but stare at me with the same confusion I stare at the world with. So no, I am not a robot, not yet anyway.


on that note, what’s you creative process like when making one of your robot sculptures?

The process of making my robots usually starts with me walking through alleys. It is incredible what you’ll find. I’ll come accross a piece and sometimes I see what it is going to be right away, other times I know I’ll be glad to have it later. Backs of dressers, pieces of fans, anything with circuitry in it. My robot shop is full of junk waiting for me to give life to. So I put in drum n bass music and start going through shit and things start coming together. Recently I have been doing all metal sculptures, all found, and bent by hand, screwed or wired together. And each piece hand rusted with salt water and Chicago weather. It’s a slower process, but one I am truely enjoying, no chemicals or paints or electricity is used, so I suppose they are technically green scultures. I am throughout all of this filling up sketch book after sketchbook.


what has your experience been like working with atomic sketch?

Atomic Sketch is the coolest and most artist supporting event I have ever been a part of. I could not be more thankful for the opportunities I have been given by the guys that run it. It truely is an event put together by people who dig art, I have met some really cool artist, got to work next to artist I have known and liked for years, like Blutt, and I have actually been able to sell almost every single piece I made at the events. Huge thanks to all you guys!


the info on atomic sketch.

thursday july 30th, 6-10pm. at Evil Olive at 1551 W. Division Avenue, Chicago.

the lineup.

  • John Ario
  • emmy star brown
  • Carlos Arteaga
  • Joey Potts 
  • paranoidgirl
  • Torreyanna Barley
  • Brooks Golden
  • Joyce Vallejo
  • Blutt
  • Michelle Mashon
  • Ethan Hutchinson
  • Ryan P Young


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