It was late 1999 as I huddled in my secluded mountain compound, awaiting Y2K and drawing this sketch. It was intended as a Magic: The Gathering card, if you can believe that. I was only meant to draw an automaton, but I had this urge to put him in a tree. The Art Director rejected the concept, and I was sort of relieved. I liked this guy so much I wanted to do something with him myself.
I've tried to insert the poor little robot into a number of projects over the years without success. One such project was a poem. After a number of false starts I realized that the only thing in the poem that really wasn't working was the robot, so I took him out. The poem became my first book as both author and illustrator, Tree Ring Circus. Here's a detail from one of the paintings. Someday, little robot.