Layrn in the Style of Caryn

Before I became a board member for the nonprofit I'm a part of, I met one of the resident artists during that October tour of A Town Center: Laryn.

(That's not her real name, but that's what we call her.)

She was in the back parking lot, hanging out with some friends, taking a break from the crowd, when we realized our lives Venn Diagram'd. She was a student at the middle school where I teach. This might've been one of the few reasons I felt compelled to be a part of this artistic institution.

Wifefriend and I fell in love with her style the minute we saw it hanging on the walls, especially her robots. As one of the artists-in-residence, she has work hanging every First Friday. She has this unique way of making simple-looking robots so filled with expression, you want them all to be your friends -- some to chum with and others to take care of because they're having an existential crisis.

You may never make that robot feel utter joy, but dammit, you want to at least try!

Even if it's floating in space.

Like anyone, I have a litany of things I obsess over. For that guy over there, it's one of the teams playing in March Madness -- even his underwear is the color of the college. For others, it's Disney -- like, you vacation there every year even though it'll cost you $6,000. For me, in no particular order (and there are, in fact, more) it's: llamas, alpacas, monsters, dogs, singing in the car, and robots.

And boy can she do robots.

For Valentine's Day, I asked if she would do a custom piece for Wifefriend. Then, it occured to me that I could take it one step further. Instead of having Laryn work alone on the piece, I could actually work with her -- one of those fancy collaborations artists sometimes do. I had been playing around with hand lettering lyrics from a Gavin DeGraw song, and I thought combining her robots with those words would make a unique gift.

Laryn agreed, but unbeknownst to me, Wifefriend had also talked to Laryn.

We did not know that we were about to gift each other with robot illustrations from the same artist -- and each illustration followed a similar theme: the boy robot had either a flower or flowers for the girl robot.

It was a twist on the O. Henry short story "The Gift of the Magi." While we didn't give up hair or a pocket watch, we both spoke to the same artist to give the other art with a very similar theme.

Although Wifefriend paid Laryn for her work, I didn't put any money forward -- I guess because it was more of a collaboration? So, as a thank you for working with me, I illustrated a robot of Laryn, mimicking her style.

Here she is in her iconic red hat:

And below is one of the robot forms that's found in some of her works, which I used as inspiration:

Without further ado, here is the time lapse of the illustration I created in honor of Laryn: