Coffee Lovers

Coffee Lovers

Recently I’ve been working more on my personal projects. I’m still really busy with paid work but I was thinking about what I’ve produced in the last 12 months and I’ve barely created anything for myself and while it’s great I’m getting paid work I really want to keep creating work for myself and my portfolio. So I decided to create a series of illustrations called ‘Coffee Lovers”.

I love drinking coffee and I absolutely must have a cup of coffee in the morning or my day just won’t go anywhere. Drinking coffee is like a very important ritual in my daily life and with this in mind I started work on a series of illustrations that will celebrate “Coffee”. I’ve also decided to use this series of illustrations to create a calendar for next year, which means I will have finish 12 illustrations plus a front cover for this calendar before October.

So far I have completed 4 illustrations and I’ve already got ideas for the next three illustrations. I will use the same colour palette to colour this series series of illustrations to make them look like a “collection”. I also started working on a “hand lettering” series of illustrations which you’ll see more and more of appearing in my illustrations.

The first illustration for this series is “Barista Magic”. The idea for this illustration came from a tiny sketch I was drawing in my sketchbook. I sketch every day and can quite often just doodle away and this is one of those illustrations I started sketching without much thought but I really liked it and I was drinking coffee (surprise surprise!) at the time and I thought my illustration was quite nice.

I also do quite a lot of research on websites like Pinterest. I’m always looking for things that will inspire me and I saw this very vintage, retro looking electronic coffee pot on Pinterest which I just loved. I illustrated this electronic coffee pot with a barista on the front making coffee. It’s almost like saying this coffee pot can make coffee just like a professional barista can make coffee for you.

I love coffee but most of the time I only drink instant coffee. I don’t have the time of patience to grind my own beans and I have one of those fancy coffee machines with the small different flavour pots which to be fair does make nice coffee but if you drink 3-4 cups of coffee like me a day they can be really expensive. It’s especially annoying when you get too focused on your work, forget you have a hot drink and you end up drinking a coffee that cost a couple pounds (or whatever the pods cost) and it’s cold.

This why I only drink instant coffee at home now but occasionally I will have a nice coffee outside in a cafe at the weekend.

So when I drew this “Barista Magic” illustration, I was thinking what if there is a coffee pot that looks cute, pretty but in a classic vintage style that can make me affordable coffee at home. This would be magic! This is where my idea for these illustrations came from.

I illustrated some spilt coffee and also the steam that comes out from the pot into heart shapes because this is an illustration about love. My love affair with coffee! I also illustrated things like biscotti, sugar cubes, spices, teaspoons, cups etc, those things you will need for making a cup of coffee or you will eat with your coffee.

The rest of the illustrations are ” Love is Brewing”, ” Travelling Cafe”, ” A Cup of Joy” and I’ve written about each of these under their respective illustrations.


cafe barista magic illustration

Love is Brewing

The idea behind “Love is Brewing” is about a coffee date. Couples that have their date with a cup of coffee and coffee makes everything better (coffee lovers like me can understand this) and romance, love and relationship grow when the coffee is brewing.

love is brewing illustration

Travelling Cafe

“Travelling Cafe” is just one of my silly day dreaming ideas. One day I was working in my studio and the weather was cold and miserable. Typical Scottish winter! I was imagining what if there was a magic travelling cafe truck or van stopped outside of my home, that would be fantastic!

Because this travelling cafe has to be quite “magical” I didn’t go looking for a normal food van or truck for this illustration. Instead I illustrate a cafe truck/van in the shape of a coffee pot.

travelling cafe illustration
a cup of joy illustration

A Cup of Joy

When I illustrated this illustration it was also a cold, dark and miserable day in Edinburgh. In fact this winter has been downright miserable, it’s been particularly cold and wet. So I was drinking my freshly made coffee and I used a coffee mug to warm my hands and I was drinking the hot coffee to warm my body and then I thought about how nice a warm bubble bath would. I didn’t make a bath, it would just send me back to bed but I thought about how the bubbles look so similar to the foam on a coffee mug.

It will be super awesome if I can have a “coffee cup” in the shape of a bath tub. This is how I got inspiration for this illustration. I drew a pink pet pig because I really want to have a pet pig and little piglets looks so cute.


coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches

I hope you like my “Coffee Lover” illustrations so far. I have put these four illustrations on my Etsy shop. If you like them you can purchase different sized prints on my Etsy shop.

Stay tuned! There will be more “Coffee Lovers” illustrations coming out soon!

Make Art That Sells Home Decor Class

Make Art That Sells Home Decor Class

Make Art That Sells Bolt Home Decor Class

Make Art That Sells Home Decor Class. Home decor is the second part of Make The Art Sells Class from Lilla Rogers studio. In this home decor class we have been given a range of very broad information, what the current trends are and what clients want to see. In the mini exercises we have been asked to have a look at different Staffordshire pottery and we will use a little bit of time to draw these Staffordshire pottery and to study them.

My favourite Staffodshire pottery are leopards and mermaid statues. In the end I decided to go a bit further and to study and draw the mermaid statue. The reason to do that is because I always want to draw a “mermaid” and my daughter loves mermaid. She must have asked me a thousand times to draw her a mermaid but before I was really busy with all the project I have to do so I haven’t had a chance to do so until now. So I decided to use this opportunity to illustrate a mermaid for her.

Also I never got a chance to illustrate and design anything related to “Valentine’s Day” so I decided to design and illustrate some home decor products to target the Valentine’s day market. That’s why I used the details from the Staffordshire pottery mermaid to illustrate my mermaid and merman illustration.

In the final project for this home decor class, we had to create at least 2 plates that are inspired by Staffordshire pottery and they have to look like they are from a collection. So I created two plates and two enamel mugs for my final work. For the two external mugs I used the same style I used to illustrate the seaweed and sea shells to write “his” and “hers” for the two mugs. So a customer can buy these plates and mugs as a set for their loved one.

The “his” mug and “merman” plate use different shades of blue as the main colour. The “hers” and “mermaid” plate use different shades of pink as the main colour. I was going to illustrate the hair of the mermaid blonde but then my little “art directed” suggested pink will be more suitable for this illustration and collection. So that’s why the mermaid has pretty pink hair.

If not for joining this class, I will never draw anything related to Staffordshire pottery or mermaids but because of this class I got a chance to draw something new, which is great. It will push me to think, illustrate and design differently. The most important thing is when I’m working on these artworks I’m able to be myself and illustrate in my style and illustrate things that make me happy.

Here is some of the work I’ve done for this Make Art That Sells Home Decor Class and if you like my mermaid and merman illustrations you can have a look of my work on Artrookie and Redbubble.

Make Art That Sells Bolt Home Decor Class
Make Art That Sells Bolt Home Decor Class
Make Art That Sells Bolt Home Decor Class
Make Art That Sells Bolt Home Decor Class

At the top of this article you will have seen the two plates I created along with the two mugs. Here are some closer up shots of the mermaid and merman illustrations.

mermaid illustration
merman illustration
Bread Meats Bread Childrens Menu Illustration

Bread Meats Bread Childrens Menu Illustration

Bread Meats Bread Chilldrens Menu Illustration. One of my person projects in 2016 was to create an illustrated restaurant guide for Edinburgh and one of the restaurants I chose to illustrate is “Bread Meats Bread”, which is a very popular and even more delicious burger restaurant in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

One thing that cities in the UK especially don’t lack are burger restaurants. Edinburgh has literally dozens of them and my husband and I have been to a few but for us Bread Meats is one of the really special ones. Their burgers are delicious in general and their luther burgers (especially) and poutine’s are really something special.

This illustrated restaurant guide is my tribute to some the coolest and best restaurants in and around Edinburgh and so I was delighted when the owner of Bread Meats Bread contacted me for this exciting project. Personally I love it when my personal projects turn into jobs and it was a pleasure meeting Yll, the manager/owner at Bread Meats Bread in his original Glasgow restaurant to discuss ideas.

Ylli really liked my illustrated restaurant guide so we decided to use the same idea but redesigned and re-illustrated for their children’s menu. This is the first time they have created a children’s menu and it was my first time creating a children’s menu so it was a lot of fun to work on.

I’ve also recorded a time lapse video of how I drew a buttermilk chicken burger. I tend to share quite a lot of sketches on my social media channels so people have been asking me what my illustration process is. So I’ve attached a time lapse video that shares part of my illustration process. I hope this will demonstrate how a fairly rough sketch turns into a final piece of work.

I’m still waiting to see an actual printed children’s menu so I might visit Bread Meats Bread sometime soon to try to grab a copy of the menu I designed and illustrated.

bread meats bread childrens menu
bread meats bread childrens menu

I also created a timelapse that shows how I illustrated one of the menu items. People often ask me how I create items and I’ve just finished putting together my second Chinese language illustration class so thought it would be fun to share my process.

Taiwan Treat Packaging Design and Illustrations

Taiwan Treat Packaging Design and Illustrations

This summer I was commissioned by a San Francisco food company “Taiwan Treat” to illustrate their new food packaging. Taiwan Treat, just to give you a little information, is a subscription based food service. You pay a monthly fee and a box of food arrives, quite cool.

My client sells delicious Taiwanese snacks, tea and treats, so initial ideas were based upon and inspired by Taiwanese culture and attractions. So I illustrated the front of the box as well the inside of the box.

So for the front of the box, I illustrated Taiwan’s night markets, the 1010 building, The Red house theatre, Presidential office, tea culture, mountain, pearl milk tea / bubble tea, hot springs…etc. The whole image is colourful but not too over the top. It also stands out and is full of Taiwanese culture. You may not know what’s inside the box but you will at least know that it’s related to Taiwan.

For the inside-the-box illustration, my client wanted me to illustrate some fun and cute characters. I decided to depict Native Taiwanese (also know as the indigenous peoples of Taiwan) children wearing their traditional costumes while playing and feeding a Formosan black bear with some Taiwanese snacks. I’m sure I don’t need to mention don’t try feeding a bear but if you see one, don’t, run!

I decided to use native Taiwanese children as part of the main characters as I’ve always been fascinated by the native tribe culture. There’s a “Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park” in Pingtung which I have visited a couple times and it’s extremely fascinating. Also when I was around 8 or 9 years old I wen to a Native Taiwanese culture camp and just loved their culture and stories. So I decided to create my characters based on the biggest tribe called “Amis” and to illustrate those kids wearing Amis’s costumes and hair pieces.

I also decided to illustrate a Formosan black bear because bears are one of my favourite animals to illustrate and can look very cute. Formosan black bears were voted the most representative wildlife of Taiwan in 2001 and even now you can still see a lot of Taiwan souvenir’s and materials that use Formosan black bears as the main character.

Over the last six months I’ve been commissioned with a lot of food packaging illustrations and designs and I really love this kind of project. So if you need an illustrator to illustrate and design your food packaging or you need someone to draw something for you, I’d love to hear from you.

taiwan treat packaging design and illustration
bear and child illustration
Mexico Map Illustration

Mexico Map Illustration

Mexico Map Illustration. Mexico has and still is one of my dream destinations and a place I really want to visit before I die. So when I decided to illustrate some map illustrations, Mexico was really high up on my list. I just love all the colours, the culture and the food of Mexico. I also desperately want to see the Day of the Dead festival one day and much more.

Mexico map illustration

I like illustrating maps because the process of illustrating a map of a country, city or area always makes me feel like I’ve gotten to know this place before I visit. Of course I believe I will learn much more about a place if I can visit in person but it’s ok to let the imagination run sometimes.

For this Mexico Map Illustration I started by finding “things” I wanted to drawn from each of the states in Mexico and then I listed them in my sketchbook. I tried to keep at least two things for each states but sometimes there were more. Things that could be included were food, local agriculture, souvenirs, buildings, traditional dance, customs and famous people from the past. For example, if someone talks to me about Mexico I will automatically think of Day of the Dead Festival, Frida Kahlo sugar skulls, lucha libra and nachos but my process teaches me an awful lot more about the countries I want to illustrate.

I never knew before this project Mexico is a popular spot for archaeology as Mexico has a lot of dinosaur fossils in the ground. There is also an interesting food called tomatillos that looks like green tomato and is covered by a layer of skin. I just love this process and the fact I can develop my knowledge of something through my work. How fun is that?!

Below are just a select few of the “element” illustrations I created for my Mexico Map Illustration.

Mexico illustrations spot illustration cute illustration

I really hope I got everything right as I don’t know any Spanish so if I made any mistakes please forgive me. Some of the buildings I illustrate might not be the typical tourist attractions but I just loved the colour and the shape of the buildings so I can’t help but illustrate them. Also I want to present a “bright and positive” image of Mexico so I didn’t illustrate anything related to crime. Some of the information I got from the Wikitravel website states that certain parts of Mexico are quite dangerous for tourists but just like many places around the world there are good parts and bad parts.

This map is a little bit different compared with other maps I have illustrated but this is exactly why I like working on self-initiated projects like this. Projects like these give me a chance to experiment with different design styles and explore different layouts and all kinds of possibilities. Who knows maybe next time when I illustrate a map it will be in an entirely different style and design again.

But one thing I really hope to do in the near future is to change my computer. I use an iMac and it’s now four years old and it really struggles with the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator. My husband’s iMac is seven years old this year and while he does 90% of his work on a Macpro laptop when he does use his iMac we make each other laugh with our constant swearing at our computers.

But the point is I almost didn’t manage to finish this map because my computer is now so slow with creating images like this. So lovely people, if you like my art please get in touch and buy my map so I can have some money to buy a new computer so I can create more work like this.

If you’re interested in purchasing a print of this map you can buy it here from my Etsy shop:

Self Reflection Good Me Bad Me Illustrations

Self Reflection Good Me Bad Me Illustrations

Self Reflection Good Me Bad Me Illustrations is a project I have been working on for myself. Every year I try to print out a booklet and feature my most recent works (typically from the last 12 months) and send it out to difference agencies and potential clients. There are many ways of pulling in work as an illustrator, Google, Bing, Yahoo etc but living in the capital of Scotland there a lot of agencies with a lot of potential work. So this illustration is one of the covers I made for this booklet.

Self-reflection illustration illustrated by Liv Wan

The idea of this illustration is to create something like an “illustrated CV”. You can see on this illustration there are a few things that really stand out including that I like food, family and love is important to me. I love cooking and beers, I’m a hopeless coffee lover, love adventure and travelling to exotic locations and naturally I love drawing. I’m passionate about these things and of course there are more things I love and care about but the things I have illustrated above were the few things that first popped into my when when I tried to summarise what I like and who I am.

This project helped me to find out what I like and who I am. I know this kind of thing might sound super easy for many people but for me it’s so hard. For example, I’m always afraid to introduce myself in front of people. I just don’t what I should say about myself. For example, I think branding for other people or other people’s business’ is easy but branding for myself or my business is always so hard because I don’t what kind of thing represents me and my and my business?! So I think illustrate this “illustrated cv” is actually a very good “mind” exercise for me to help me find myself.

i chose a peach-ish pink for the background colour because I love pink and the pattern underneath looks like roads (or streets). This represents the “map” aspect and the whole point is to help you find out who I am. this illustration will be the front cover of my self-promotion booklet and when you turn to he back cover of the booklet you will see the other illustrated CV of me but this illustration will be about the “dark side of me”.

Dark side of me, an self-reflection illustration illustrated by Liv Wan

This “dark side of me” illustration features a few things about me that you could say are dark about me. The first thing is I’m extremely impatient so I illustrated myself chewing on a clock. I also have a bad temper so Illustrated myself breathing fire with steam coming out of me. I did this in Mount Vesuvius style so there are buildings and people blowing away. I like looking at human organs and I have eaten many different kinds of animal guts before and I think they are delicious. I like zombies an I like horror films with human body parts or blood flying around when I draw.

Self-promotion cover illustration

So this is the cover I plan to use for my self-promotion booklet and as you can see this booklet will be my volume 3. If you’re interesting in receiving a copy of this booklet please email me or leave a comment and I’ll respond.

An interesting thing and also very good news for myself is after I completed these two illustrations posted them on my Facebook page and I got a private commission from one of my illustration fans, Elizabeth. She is a professor in a Filipino university. She found my illustrations a couple years ago and that’s how we communicate and we have been friends since. I also posted her some of my vintage kitchen illustration

Interesting thing and also a good news is after I completed these two illustrations and I post them on my Facebook. I got a private commission from one of my illustration fan, Elizabeth. She is a professor in a Filipino university. She found my illustrations couple years ago and that’s how we communicate and be friend with each other since. I posted some of my vintage kitchen illustration postcards for her before so she can use my postcards to encourage her students to be creative.

She commissioned me to create an illustration with a similar style to the bright side of me illustration. I asked her what things she would like me to illustrate and she gave me this.

  • She is a university professor
  • She likes chocolate chip biscuits and ice tea
  • She has eight dogs and they are like her family to her
  • She loves taking photos
  • Her favourite fruit is mangosteen
  • She likes desiguel dresses.

Anything other things that I illustrated you will have to look at the illustration and figure out yourself. She also aced me to change the text in the middle as you can see from this illustration.

So if you are interested in having one of these colourful, fun and beautiful illustrations created for yourself you can contact me here. You can use your illustration to make a different statement among your friends or strangers. I believe they will have their hearts blown away once they see your “selfie illustration”. This is such a different and special way to tell people who you really are and what you are really like.

Custom made self-reflection illustration illustrated by Liv Wan

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