drawingmachine.com was created after the successful Drawing Machine campaign launched by Damien Borowik on the crowdfunding website indiegogo.
Over the past two years, Damien has been creating sophisticated machines by hand, which he uses to draw using traditional pens.
Coming from an Art & Design background, Damien Borowik has been involved in digital crafts for the past 15 years, teaching interactive design at Central Saint Martins at BA and MA levels. This is where we started to get involved with physical computing and computer processes. Having no academic background in the field and wanting to use the skills he developed for teaching, he decided to study on the MA Computational Studio Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London, from which he graduated in 2013 with an array of skills in digital craftsmanship ranging from real-time generative works using (Processing), digital-analog audio processes (Max-Msp), to immersive experiences in virtual reality (Unity/Oculus Rift).
The drawing machines are hand-crafted using either Makerbeam or Openbeam T-slot kits which provide a variety of brackets, M3 bolts and screws. Two stepper motors are driving a timing belt using CoreXY motion principles, themselves driven by a Ladyada motor shield mounted on an arduino. Finally, a multitude of bearings are used as pulleys and for the motion of the various parts.
The first iteration of the machine had the pen down all the time and was only able to draw on a small horizontal surface. In its 4th iteration, the machine can now draw on A1 paper vertically, as seen at the Southbank Centre this summer during the Vespers installation.
Damien has been creating his drawing machines in an iterative process. Being very interested in the mark-making qualities of the machines, he investigates the procedural aesthetics coming from the physical and kinetic properties of the machine, the way it can be actuated through code, and the mark-making tools and paper surfaces to draw on.
Through research and development, we have also acquired industrial-grade flatbed plotters which we use for faster processes, using the same quality pens and papers as in Damien’s drawing machines.
Because of the physicality of the drawing machines, we are able to use conventional pens and papers which make the artwork drawings and not mere prints. Not one drawing is the same and each one is unique in its own right. Each stroke can vary in size and intensity, depending on the speed at which the lines are created, with accents depending on the amount of pressure applied to the pens to make marks on the paper, giving a very unique aesthetic to each drawing.
The artworks are made with ball pens, gel, felt tip, pencils, with pigment or alcohol-based ink. Regardless of the materials used, we make sure that each drawing is of archival quality, using acid free paper and either pigment-based ink or professional anti-UV protective spray.
Being only few months old, the drawing machines and their artworks have been involved in a variety of Art & Design projects for well know clients such as Samsung Electronics (Seoul, Korea), Christian Dior Couture (Paris, France) and the Southbank Centre (London, United Kingdom). As well as being invited to participate to the MOoD Brussels fair, his drawing machines have been also been exhibited in London at the Kinetica Art Fair, the Creative Machine exhibition, and has just finished being exhibited at the Southbank Centre to commemorate the birth of the Internet in the Web We Want Festival, as part of the Vespers installation by Bulley/Jones.