Artist Eric Joyner enjoyed a rather uneventful childhood in the rather unremarkable town of San Mateo, California, in the 1970s. Like many kids of that time, he enjoyed reading comics, playing sports, and making gunpowder… yes, gunpowder. Remember, this was the 1970s and kids were doing all sorts of dangerous things back then, and nobody ever blinked an eye.
And, as if guided by the unseen hand of an all-knowing consciousness (but probably not Jesus), during his very young life, Joyner was taken to a Van Gogh exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. This experience greatly impressed the child, and he soon began taking painting lessons with his older sister.After high school, Joyner attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Later, under the influential teaching of Francis Livingston, Kazuhiko Sano, Bill Sanchez, and Robert Hunt, his work greatly improved and he began to work professionally as an artist.
For the next decade, Joyner was a hired gun for various publishers, high-tech companies, and advertising agencies; he also was a digital animator, and provided other artistic services for a variety of companies, before rediscovering his original love of drawing and painting, and returning to that medium.
In 1999, Joyner began entering his paintings into various juried shows in the Bay Area. With his efforts well received, Joyner was inspired to focus his paintings only on subjects he truly enjoyed, eventually shifting the majority of his focus to Japanese robots in settings appropriate to their nature, namely outer space.
It was in 2002 that Joyner realized that his lusciously rendered protagonists might need something to contend with… perhaps, a nemesis. Shortly thereafter, while watching the movie Pleasantville, in which Jeff Daniels’ character paints a still-life of donuts, Joyner’s ultimate vision took shape. With thoughts of donut inventor Wayne Thiebald’s miraculous pastries always close at hand, it wasn’t difficult for Joyner to envision a battle scene of robots retreating from 300-foot-tall donuts. The rest is history.