A MUSSELBURGH dad has been cheering up business owners and residents with his cute mini-robot artworks which have been mysteriously appearing all over the town.
Toby Larner, 40, has now gone public about his work after receiving a commission from Emma Carnegie, the owner of local cafe Cakes & Shakes.
She was so delighted with the robot he had painted, unannounced, on the outside of the cafe on Dalyrmple Loan that she tracked Toby down via Facebook and asked him to paint two more at the premises.
Toby, who originally created the super-cute robot character for his son Sean, now aged eight, decided to share it anonymously with the community, painting it on everything from lampposts to a local skateboard park and the harbour wall at Fisherrow.
He was invited to paint another holding a knife and fork on the wall at the Sandwich Stop takeaway, which opened to serve the homeless with turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas Day.
Toby, who moved to the Honest Toun in July, told the Courier: “Musselburgh keeps its culture going and is a colourful town.
“I have always been a bit of an artist and created the character for my son. It has become a bit of a trademark. The robot doesn’t have a name but has a lot of personality. I find both children and adults like it.
“I like Cakes & Shakes so decided to paint a nice character with a milk shake,” he said.
Toby added: “Everyone has really rallied behind it – it is a bit overwhelming. The children like seeing them and how they have magically appeared.”
He stressed he was not a graffiti or street artist but wanted it to be a “surprise” for people in the community.
He explained that he was not “vandalising” anything as the robots were painted on wallpaper and pasted on so they could come off if need be.
Toby said: “I would like to say thanks to the people of Musselburgh who have taken it so well and for their support, and appreciation. Rather than being negative, it has turned out to be a really good thing. If anyone wants a job done, whether it be their child’s room or shop, I’ll do it for nothing.”
Emma, a big fan of the secretive British street artist Banksy, said: “This wee robot appeared anonymously overnight. We were all excited when we saw it.”