The Tin Man Story

Life is an adventure… and Tin Man is leading from the front.

 Tin Man was created in 2001 as a one-off artwork crafted on wood with mixed media. He was happily picking daisies, with a bullet nonchalantly hurtling towards him. Tin Man was my representation of technology, where fellow art students at the time all loved drawing their designs and illustrations on computers, for which I was not a big fan. My thoughts at the time were for this new-fangled gadgetry to sod off. I preferred to make things by hand. This was my statement. The innocent, yet necessary world of technology (featuring the character Tin Man) was about to get hit by a bullet. The painting was called ‘F*** Off Tin Man’.

F#ck off Tin Man by Tony Cribb. The first Tin Man artwork and the inspiration for The Adventures of Tin Man

'F*** Off Tin Man' by Tony Cribb. The artwork that started it all.

  Years passed, and I stumbled into becoming an artist and showing works in galleries. In 2004 I was taking part in an exhibition at a local gallery, when a week before I noticed I still had a blank space of wall that I was unprepared for. I needed to magic up something quick, so looking back through my many sketch books I stumbled upon the original Tin Man painting on wood. I really liked the look of the character – so I quickly got to work creating him again in a series of three small canvases that were whimsical and silly. The exhibition came and went, and sadly none of my larger artworks sold... except for those three ‘last minute’ small Tin Man paintings! If it weren’t for that ‘empty wall incident’ a week before the exhibition opening, then this series of paintings would not have been born. The Adventures of Tin Man was a beautiful accident. Serendipity in action.

 The Adventures of Tin Man are simple, which in an ever-growing complicated world – must be a good thing. This series creates memories and emotions, and lots of silliness. There is laughter, smiles, sadness, and tears. From the silliest puns to the deepest emotions, Tin Man will always be there, right beside you. Tin Man’s purpose in life is just that - to live a life. One that parallels our human lives in our own serious world, but which has the freedom to break free from these confines and enjoy simple pleasures and crazy adventures… something that we all too easily forget. This cartoon character is not living in a world of eternal happiness – he is very much living in our real world of good and bad
and all the in-betweens.

 Things have gone well for Tin Man – to date he has starred in numerous adventures with themes from the serious to the completely ludicrous. He gives us hope that love will conquer all, has contemplated life in many of its complexities, and that the push of a big red button may ‘fix the world’. Most importantly - this orange robot invites us to laugh with him, and ourselves, because the world will always need more smiles.


Tin Man is proving to be much more than a rustic orange character, he has become a friend to many.