We first knew about Chris from the Facebook page of MUNI Diary, who posted a story about a guy, who sketched another passenger on M. The passenger knew he was being sketched and asked for his own portrait before he took off. On the post, there was a photo of that passenger holding the sketch, with a smile on his face.
This was such a good commute story that I didn’t hesitate for a second before I looked for the artist’s information. Thanks to the almighty social media. I found his Instagram, where he posted many other portraits of his fellow commuters. I texted him, telling him about Commune Project and the idea about building a community between urban commuters.
He wrote me back:“Yeah, there’s no doubt it’s great to interact with random people on the bus or train.
I sketch on public transportation anywhere I go. And every time they ask to see my drawings, they would have a huge smile on their faces and change the mood all around.” Immediately, I scheduled an interview with him.
I observed him sketching random people. He said drawing make himself feel good, it was a way of unwinding to him. He doesn’t get to talk to people every time, but when that happened, it was always a pleasure. Interesting story occurred. He told me that once he was drawing some one, and another guy came up to him and asked if Chris would also draw him a portrait. Chris had to get off soon so he took a photo of that guy and drew him a portrait at home and sent a photo of the portrait to that guy.
The everyday commute landscapes reveal themselves on Chris’ sketches. They seems familiar to us, and odd at the same time. “Most of the time people had their heads down and they didn’t even realize I was drawing them”, said Chris.