Art in a Vending Machine? Yes, please!
Capture creativity on-demand from funky vintage machines.
Did you know that there are vending machines that sell original indie art?! It’s true!
Art-o-mats are visually striking refurbished mid-century cigarette vending machines, but instead of selling packs of Marlboros, they sell totally cancer-free art that is cheaper than cigarettes!
I did not know that these existed until recently, and I was totally delighted to find out that there is not one vending machine that sells art, but more than 200 vending machines that sell art created by more than 400 contributing artists worldwide! If you didn’t already know about Art-o-mats, I hope that this comes to you as delightful news as well!
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I recently visited all four machines located in The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Here I am being a giddy dork because I just got art out of a vending machine and it blew my mind!
To purchase a piece of art, you feed a $5 bill into the black box on the right, the machine clicks, and then you pull a nob below the art of your choice. A cigarette-sized box drops to the bottom and you pull it out like a prize. The mechanical process is such a delight. It feels like a time machine that gives you fun little presents to take with you into the future.
I think this yellow machine was my favorite one. I love the font treatment on Art-o-mat, and the color and design radiate joy!
Now, here are a few of the cool items I purchased!
You know I’m a sucker for tiny books. The Spiral Vertigo Book by Scott Black contains a series of hand-cut pages in a spiral design. The photo below doesn’t do justice to the depth of the piece! It’s pretty darn cool, and you can check out more of his work at barcodeart.com.
Pam Brekas usually paints larger canvases, but she made small abstract paintings on dominos for the Art-o-mat machines! What a cool idea. I really like the colors on the one I got. You can check out more of her work at pambrekas.com.
This tiny matchbook-style sketchbook is bringing me so much joy! Something about the paper and the tiny size make it really fun to draw in. At this miniature size, I can spend as little as 10 minutes to make a finished drawing, which gives me an unreasonably satisfying sense of accomplishment! Tallulah Hill makes all kinds of paper crafts (as well as larger sketchbooks and journals!), which you can check out on TallHillUpcycled.com.
Now I’m on a mission to fill every page with a tiny landscape. Next week I’ll share a full tour!
In the meantime, I scanned my drawing on the first page and turned it into an art print for paid subscribers. Keep scrolling to the bottom to add this uplifting little print to your wall!
Art-o-mat is open to submissions from new artists who want to participate! You can see nice pictures of all the vintage machines and learn more about how to join the fun on Art-o-mat’s website.
Apparently, there is a machine located in the Saint Kate Arts Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee. I had no idea there was one in my hometown! This one is definitely next on my list to visit.
Have you visited an Art-o-mat? Let me know in the comments or reply to this email!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for being here! It truly means the world to me. In case you missed it, last week I talked about Muscle Memory and using the idea of “going through the motions” to your benefit. Check it out here.
Paid subscribers, please keep scrolling to download your mini art print!
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