Regulars / Here 2017

Four illustrators have their works drawn by Joto at Here 2017

While at our annual symposium Here (9 June 2017), you may have spotted a drawing machine, Joto, illustrating the works of Peter Judson, Martina Paukova, Jonathan Calugi and Fran Caballero.

Each of their designs was chosen by It’s Nice That to demonstrate the capabilities of the Joto machine, which draws whatever you like with an incredibly satisfying ease, “connecting the digital world and the real world, not through a screen but through pen and ink”. The illustrations were created using Joto Pro, a version of Joto that draws onto paper, rather than a whiteboard. The addictive sensibility of watching the drawing machine means it’s no surprise that Joto raised £362,307 of its £100,000 Kickstarter goal and will begin retailing this year, so you can have your very own designs or notes drawn onto a whiteboard.

We spoke to two of the Joto illustrators whose works were made for Here attendees, on the process of their prints and the feeling of having your hand made works come to life via machine.


Joto: Fran Caballero

We were first introduced to the work of Glasgow-based illustrator Fran Caballero when he entered our Argowiggins My First Arjo competition. His fluid works of multiple figures using a limited colour palette is an ideal style for the Joto to illustrate.

How did you create your piece to be drawn by Joto?

A lot of my work is quite figurative and linear so it was an easy transition into making a piece for the Joto machine. It started off as loads of different drawings from my sketchbook. Initially it was a trio of people picking flowers from a field but I couldn’t finish it, it was pretty tedious. I left it on the back burner for a bit, but when I had this opportunity I thought why not make it super linear.

Do you usually draw using simplistic lines like the Joto machine?

My work tends to be a figurative line weaved all together, it’s less intuitive than it looks. The sort of finalising, the last hour or so of a piece when you’re neatening everything off, that part makes the piece look really fluid. The actual process itself is a bit more bitty, you concentrate on the smaller aspects.

How does it feel having your drawings translated via a machine?

It’s weird seeing it drawn in a different manner in terms of the fact I always end up starting in the same places, the arch of the back or something. It’s like when you draw a face, you always start with the nose, I’m in that routine. As soon as I saw it starting my drawing at the foot – it creeped me out a bit. It’s like watching a video in reverse.


Martina Paukova: Joto

Illustrator Martina Paukova has a knack for using lines in multiple layers to create scenes and characters in her signature style. Below she tells us how the open brief working with Joto, has helped her to develop her reoccurring characters.

Can you describe the piece your created for Here?

I have this character cat man who is just slowly coming to life. I don’t have much time to sit down and actually create a story of who he is, so when it comes to work where there is no brief, it is really fun because it gives you a chance to try and expand characters you haven’t had the time to before. I usually insert cat man into these situations.

When It’s Nice That reached out I thought which one is going to look good in just black and white. I definitely also wanted to do something that was more intricate to when I’ve worked with Joto before. This time there is a whole scene which was really fun.

Have you been working with Joto for a while?

I was one of the first batch of illustrators they contacted when they were launching. I had no idea about the product but thought it sounded really cool on paper, I hadn’t seen the magical arm in motion! Initially I just did a very simple drawing for them, this cat man character I have. Since then I’ve met with them and I saw the way the machine works and it is a genius idea.

Why do you think it is so satisfying to watch?

Is it the act of a mechanical hand coming to life and drawing? If you saw that animation on the computer it would be boring, but the tactility, the physicality, and there are slight imperfections. When you look closely at the illustrations it doesn’t look like the vector, there are slight trembles in the piece, which is great.

How does it feel having your drawings translated via a machine?

Dependent on the settings, the way it chooses where to draw first and how to carry on is kind of mental, because it doesn’t work the same way as a human brain would work, it’s weird, the machine is drawing my work. But I still just follow the path, I am glad I work in vectors in illustrator so I can just give them pieces I’m working on, it doesn’t need to be customised or vectorised.

Joto has just launched their 365 Days of Art platform and beta invites are going out to top illustrators. If you are a creative, register your interest at, or if you’re interested in subscribing for a new piece of art every day, find out more here.


Jonathan Calugi: Joto


Jonathan Calugi: Joto


Peter Judson: Joto


Jonathan Calugi: Joto


Joto at Here


Joto at Here


Joto at Here


Joto at Here