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Design Hunter Q+A: Tobias Gutmann

Design Hunter Q+A: Tobias Gutmann

Swiss artist Tobias Gutmann (aka Face-o-mat), uses illustration as a tool for interaction. Making a guest appearance at Supergraph festival in Melbourne shortly, we have a chat.


Name: Tobias Gutmann (www.tobiasgutmann.ch)

Where you are from/live: I’m from the world and live in Zürich

What you do: I research and create visual experiences

When did you first know you wanted to be a…

I’m still not sure how to call what I do, but it keeps me curious about the future.

Your latest project: Face-o-mat. I travel around the world and draw portraits of people I meet.

Please tell a bit about this, what were the highs and what were the challenges? How did you overcome these?

Face-o-mat is an analog portrait-machine. I sit behind a box with pen, paper and ink. There is a small window, where I can communicate with the person sitting on the other side, while drawing an abstract portrait with optional facelift. The project is a great way for me to explore different places and meet new people. I started in Stockholm and had the chance to draw people all over Europe, Tokyo, Dar es Salaam, San Francisco and soon also in Melbourne. My challenge is always to find new interesting places that allow me to develop the project without loosing my inital motivation of making people a little bit happier.





Where you find inspiration: In nature

Three people that inspire/excite you:

It’s impossible to limit myself to three people. Almost everyone I see inspires me.

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: My second hand bicycle, I don’t even know the name of the brand.
Chair model: The one I’m just sitting on
Residential space: The rainforest
Commercial space: The world wide web

Decorative product: seahorses
Functional product: cardboard
Handmade good: a hug
Mass-produced good: bananas
Item in your studio: calligraphy nibs

Time of day to work/play: 13:35
Meal: Birchermüesli
Restaurant: homemade everything
Drink: Fresh coconut water
Bar: barbecue

Piece of technology: My right hand
Historical figure: Jesus
Fictional character: Aslan

Vice: Collecting sweaters with patterns
Virtue: Spreading peace

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you?

A person whose eyes are hungry.

Who are two people you’d call Design Hunters?

Stina Löfgren
Beni Bischof ( art hunter)


Tobias Gutmann