San Francisco-based design professor and illustrator Miguel Cardona transforms ordinary paper coffee cups into bold works of art. Because of the curved surface of his canvas of choice, each piece is rendered freehand and he thoroughly enjoys the challenges that this presents:
“You have this three-dimensional object that is in your hands, you can pull the cup in a different direction and hold the pen still. You can also hide a lot of flawed perspective. You don’t need a desk, it can be done anywhere, and to protect it, you can stack it in another blank cup. The cup itself can hold your art supplies and is itself, a display stand, it’s quite the perfect design.”
Cardona’s subjects vary from pop culture character and icons to robots, monsters, and even bodily organs. But these beautiful illustrations aren’t quite as awesome as what he does with them. Miguel sells each finished piece for $20 and donates 100% of the proceeds to Project Night Night, which donates baby blankets, children’s books, and toys to children in homeless shelters.
And you thought the stamp your favorite coffee shop uses to decorate its cups was cool.
Adrian Hogan, an illustrator living in Tokyo, has been crafting stunning panoramas of local scenes as part of his daily sketching practice. Hogan got the idea to draw on the cups from another local artist, Mariya Suzuki, and captures everything from a bookstore to the Imperial Palace.
A creative company in California called Reduce. Reuse. Grow has designed a coffee cup that is not only
biodegradable, but even has seeds in its walls so that it can be planted
The cups, which are currently part of a
Kickstarter campaign, will have seeds embedded in their walls based on
their locations. Participating stores will encourage people to plant the
cups themselves or to return them to be planted by the company.
I’ve seen a variety of tutorials for “teacup birdfeeders” online involving only glue, but the version we made here using a drill is much more solid.
We had everything we needed to build it on hand, minus the cup, which I picked up for a few kroner at a flea market, so building it was basically free: costs may vary depending on what kinds of tools you have laying around, but the idea is to use free and recycled materials if possible.
It’s a simple project that provides a new purpose for something (ceramic ware) that is widely available second-hand.
Jess first began decorating the sleeves as surprises for customers at work. They were so delighted by the complimentary artwork that came with their beverages that she’s now offering pop culture-inspired sleeves via her Kahahuna Etsy shop.
Gabriel Lafitte Nkweti is a French artist who happens to work as a barista at a Starbucks located across from the British Museum in central London. He’s found a wonderful way to combine his passion for drawing with his work preparing coffee by beautifully illustrating paper coffee cups for ‘special individuals who exhibit some small kindness’ when they visit the shop. Instead of simply labeling the cups with his customers’ names, he decorates them with intricate designs and illustrations.
‘I love seeing people’s reaction to my drawings,’ he explained. ‘I enjoy the joy and surprise on their faces.’
All of Nkweti’s illustrating is done at home in his spare time. Some of his more elaborate designs have taken up to 40 hours to complete. The response to his artwork has been so positive that he now receives daily requests from fans who visit the coffee shop with their names written on a piece of paper in hopes that Nkweti will create a cup especially for them.