GRAPHIC: The Amazing Fauxtobooth 

Mike Watt and Chris Yee combined forces at the recent event, GRAPHIC, a festival of graphic storytelling, animation and music at Sydney Opera House. Chris and Mike were the artists behind a faux photo booth. Festival goers could sit in front of the booth and have their portrait taken, and received a superhero portrait of themselves.

We caught up with Mike and Chris after the event. 

Chris Yee working the booth. Photo credit: Dan Boud

Chris Yee working the booth. Photo credit: Dan Boud

 

MIKE WATT

What was it like being in the booth and looking through a porthole at your subject? 

It was a bit of a trip, but a really fun one. It kind of changed per person, some people were nervous, others were having quite a bit of fun. It was a really good day, it was definitely a new experience for me drawing that many people in that span of time. 

 

What do you look for in a person's face to draw their portrait? Where do you start? 

I guess I like drawing the thing that makes that person look unique. I like figuring out why they look different from other people. Even if they look similar to someone else the life they've had makes them look different from each other, if that makes sense. I'm not sure where I start, it's probably from the feature that stands out, if they have an interesting nose say, I might start there. 

 

Mike Watt's first hero of the day

Mike Watt's first hero of the day

Did you have any weird requests? 

Most people were surprisingly non descriptive, I had a couple of funny ones though, I had a couple of zombies, both from girls. One wanted to be a good looking zombie, the other one wanted to be all messed up, it was kind of weird drawing her without a nose and missing big chunks of skin while she was sitting in front of me.

 

What was it like handing someone their portrait once you'd finished?

I was always slightly nervous. I've offended people before by drawing them in a way they thought was unflattering, so I thought there might be at least one or two of them that would get upset, but everyone was super nice and seemed to be really happy with the drawing. 

 

Mike Watt Fauxtobooth

 

 

CHRIS YEE

What do you look for in a person's face to draw their portrait? Where do you start? 
I usually start with either the hair style or face shape - especially when drawing a comic/superhero version where the eyes can be covered, I find this is the next best thing to capturing likeliness.

Did you have any interesting or strange requests? 
This year tech and robotics was a huge request, unfortunately not one person asked for anything mad max related

 

Chris Yee in front of the Bootleg Exhibition. Photo credit: Dan Boud

Chris Yee in front of the Bootleg Exhibition. Photo credit: Dan Boud

What was it like handing someone their portrait once you'd finished? 
Pretty fun especially with the booth covering the whole process from the attendee. There's something really refreshing about seeing the immediate physical response from someone 

 

Photo credit: Dan Boud

Photo credit: Dan Boud

Any highlights from GRAPHIC 2015? 
Anything Mad Max - from the talks to the concept art/models. The Goodspace/Opening Hourse gallery I was luckily involved in was a great experience aswell. Nicola Scott also crushed it!

 

Inspiration for the Fauxtobooth came from Face-o-mat, the social portrait machine by Tobias Gutmann

 

 

See more of Mike Watt's work here

Chris Yee's website here