Artist Crafts Incredibly Detailed Cardboard Robots That Look Like They Could Come to Life

Cardboard Robots by Greg Olijnyk

Inspired by his love of sci-fi and his fascination with all-things mechanical, Greg Olijnyk crafts cardboard robots that look like they’re straight out of a stop-motion animation. “My work is the result of a lifetime reading sci-fi, collecting books of sci-fi illustrators, and building dozens of plastic Airfix models as a kid,” he tells My Modern Met. “And endless hours pouring over images of interesting mechanical devices, antique scientific instruments, and building structures.”

Olijnyk runs his graphic design studio in Melbourne during the day, and spends his spare time crafting his cardboard robots as a labor of love. The talented artist doesn’t plan out how his characters will look in advance; instead, he uses his intuition and works within the limitations of his chosen material. “Working things out as you go ends up being faster,” he explains. “Solving the shape of a robot's head and holding the 3D piece in your hands will inform the shape of the torso and so on and suggests detail and extra elements I hadn’t thought of until that moment.”

By working with cardboard, Olijnyk is able to build geometric, angular shapes that make the perfect parts for his droid subjects. “Cardboard is a flexible, strong, and a forgiving material to work with,” he says. “It’s easy to bend, cut, and wrap around things to create tubes, quick to glue with PVA glue, and cheap!” The artist uses card in a variety of thicknesses, from 0.25 to 1 mm, but he also occasionally repurposes packaging that he finds around the house. He reveals, “UberEats bags are also a great resource when I want an even thinner card to create small details or small tubing, and it’s the same color.”

Olijnyk uses a range of tools—including a scalpel, a steel ruler, tweezers, a circle cutter, a hole punch, and a small squeeze bottle for the glue—to meticulously cut and join each cardboard component together. Often featuring bendable limbs and integrated LED lighting, his more elaborate pieces can take several months to complete. One bot even has its own “Vesbot” vehicle with spinning wheels, and another features a clock encased within its torso. The humble artist says, “The sculptures can look amazingly detailed but they are all made up of just one simple piece of cardboard glued to another piece of cardboard, glued to another.”

Check out some of Olijnyk’s cardboard robots below and find more from his ever-growing portfolio on Instagram.

Artist Greg Olijnyk crafts incredibly detailed cardboard robots by hand.

Cardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg Olijnyk

They look just like characters from a stop-motion film.

Cardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg Olijnyk

Some even feature LED lighting!

Cardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykCardboard Robots by Greg OlijnykGreg Olijnyk: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature images by Greg Olijnyk.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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