Candy, Puzzles and Happiness with by robynblair

Puzzle from by robynblair, Photo: Courtesy by robynblair

In 2018 Robyn Blair Davidson decided to turn her candy obsession into works of art, and by “happy accident” created by robynblair. The goal was to make people smile. Each piece of art displays candy that is a “cheeky nod to self control.”

Locally, you can find her work at TENET and she’s recently launched a line of puzzles that you’ll find in the hotel rooms at The Surf Lodge in Montauk.

Lately she’s been working on a limited edition collection in collaboration with graffiti artist Jimmy Paintz, titled “Happiness on Happiness.”

We caught up with Davidson, who is living in the Hamptons this summer, to learn more.

Robyn Davidson, Photo: by robynblair

When did you start using candy in your art? How did the idea begin?
by robynblair started by happy accident! In 2018, I started to care more about home decor and wanting the things around my apartment to be a reflection of me. I was looking at candy in a bowl on my coffee table when it hit me – I wanted candy on my walls, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like.

My first piece was the “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass,” which has since become my most popular style. I strategically placed Dubble Bubble in a custom-designed acrylic shell and printed the title of the work in hot pink block lettering. Once I hung it in my apartment, friends and family were constantly asking if I’d create one for them out of their favorite candies, which is how by robynblair was born!

Tell us a little about your creative process:
I want my pieces to make someone smile. I’m inspired by candy packaging, which is an art form within itself. I then mix different colors and shapes and sizes to create my masterpiece.

Working with each client is always different. Sometimes they see an exact piece they want for themselves or want to change one thing about a piece they’ve seen. Other times they will simply share why they love a specific candy they haven’t seen me work with, and I’m able to make something completely custom for them.

I also really love pushing myself and trying new colors and shapes, so I am constantly working to find new and vintage candy brands.

Do you find the East End to be a place that inspires creativity?
Yes! I find that anywhere I spend time outside of my regular routine in Manhattan to be inspiring. I drive to the beach almost every morning, which helps me think differently and opens my mind in a special way.

Tell us a little about your recently launched puzzles that are available at Surf Lodge?
After completing so many puzzles with my family during quarantine, I knew I wanted to create some of my own out of my artwork. I also wanted them to be aesthetically pleasing, even in the box, so that they could double as décor.

I’m so excited to have them included in the hotel rooms at Surf Lodge this summer, so guests have the opportunity to use them as well!

Photo: by robynblair

How did the collaboration with Jimmy Paintz come about? Tell us a little about the collaboration.
Jimmy is a great friend of mine, and while our artistic mediums differ, our artwork evokes similar feelings of positivity and joy.

We always wanted to find a way to combine our distinct styles into one piece, which is how our collection “Happiness on Happiness” came to be. Each piece is printed with my signature candy designs and sayings then spray-painted with Jimmy’s trademark smiley faces. Every piece is one of a kind and is meant to inspire optimism about the future, which is something we could all use today.

Puzzle from by robynblair, Photo: Courtesy by robynblair

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