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I Built A Drawing Vending Machine On My Trip To Japan

The Human Printer project came about from and idea I had while riding the subway train one summer in New York. I often sketch people in public and sometimes they might notice and it’s a little awkward. I thought to myself –  how great it would be if I was hidden and could just draw people without them knowing. Then I thought, what if I was hidden but they could sit in front of me and be aware they would be drawn. In that moment I thought well it could be like a Vending Machine.

I thought about this idea on and off for years and built two previous “printers” before unexpectedly building this version while visiting Japan this summer. This version, 3.0T, had sound, 2 modes (portrait or random), 4 filters (zombie, animal, rapper or normal). You first select mode, filter, then pay. The drawings take 1-3 minutes before dispensing out of the front. For me, this was part performance art and part science project. The most fun was just building it. I really found that rewarding as much as the impressions it made on the public. To me, drawing and painting are never enough. I daydream about things I’d like to do and if something pops in my head enough I’ll go for it. This was exactly that. P.S. no affiliation with Hewlett-Packard.

More info:

Human Printer 3.0T in Shibuya

Crowd gathering

People watching the printer create

Drawing in progress

Cash only

Curios kid

Two kids portraits with animal filter

Bunny and pup

Caution: HOT

Hello there

Rapper filter portrait

Corndog customer with security lurking


Random zombie portrait

Drawing in progress


Happy customers

A look inside

The worlds first drawing machine!

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