CS Coates & Scarry

The Domestication of Eric Joyner’s Robots

Eric Joyner


Q: Why Robots and Donuts? After years of working as a commercial illustrator, and getting nowhere just painting other people’s ideas, I made the decision to become a gallery artist. My first rule was to only paint things I like. I started with robots in 1999 & added the donuts in 2002.

'Little Genius'


Q: Where do you live and work? I live in a condo, in San Francisco, CA. my studio is in an old warehouse that’s about 5 minutes away.

Q: Tell us a little about your working method? I draw with 4B pencils on wood panels that have been painted with gesso. The pencil is fixed & I then use oil paint for color. When the painting is done, I spray retouch varnish on top. Though I have traditional training in painting & drawing, I do use Photoshop to compose my ideas.

Q: Who or what inspires you? I am inspired by mostly by deceased illustrators, like N.C. Wyeth, the impressionists, nature, the universe, great comedians & thinkers, history, space travel & certain baked goods.

'Line Up'

Q: Do you have a robot collection? Oh yeah, maybe 50 or 60 robots & a few tin spaceships…some of them are old & some of them are new…

Q: Best film starring a robot? That would have to be Blade Runner or The Empire Strikes back:). Forbidden Planet is third.

Q: Favorite living artist? Jeffrey Catherine Jones, or Wayne Thiebaud

Q: Do you eat many donuts? No, not really…though I do like them quite a lot. Glazed & old fashioned chocolate are my favorites…there is a great place here in SF called Dynamo donuts, in the Mission. These are the best.

'Life Goes On'

Q: Tell us about your new body of work? I will be exploring the idea of more domesticated robots, female robots, robots with tattoos, children, spirituality and other things, like a cupcake purgatory.

Q: Something we don’t know about you? I make great blueberry pancakes.

Work in progress

Q: Tell us about your childhood? I came from a blue collar family…the neighborhood was a mix of all types of people in San Mateo, CA. It was fun for the most part; got into some trouble, played sports for awhile but always painted & drew. I knew by the 4th grade I’d be a painter one day. My dad was really old & broke down, so I ran wild.

Q: We love the piece you did for the Bristol Museum show, are you a Dr Who fan? I’m sure I would be, if I had the time to watch. However I do know this much - the Dalek is pure evil, so I thought it would be fun to show one as submissive - a pet on a leash.


Q: Three loves? Pizza, the ocean & friends.

Q: Three loathes? Gridlock, politics, gum on my pants (from under a table).

Q: Do you do commercial work as well as paintings? Rarely, But, everyone has their price…

Q: Hopes and dreams? I want to paint large paintings, take my career to the next level and meet someone to settle down with.


Q: What would you do if you weren’t an artist? An entrepreneur & world traveler or spaceship designer/engineer.

Richard and Chippy in Bodrum Bay
Thanks to Eric and Photographer Kevin Knight for portrait shots. Anyone intersted in purchasing any works please contact

Share this