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.

Sketches

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!

Edinburgh Illustration Postcards

Edinburgh Illustration Postcards

I have lived in Edinburgh for over 6 years now and I still feel like a tourist sometimes. I feel like I’m on an interesting journey most of the time. So I created two illustrations from two of my favourites places in Edinburgh. One is the Shore which is full of barges, great looking buildings, great bars and even better restaurants. So I illustrated a small section of the shore for exhibition at Hula Juice Bar and Gallery. But I hope in the future I can illustrate more parts of the Shore.

Me and my husband Chris often thinking about wish one day can live in this area. But as more and more tourists visit Edinburgh, also, more and more foreign students study and live in the city centre. We found the price of live in the city centre are getting impossible for us to live. So Edinburgh city centre is really beautiful but it’s really only for the tourists. Poor local like us have to move quite far out and comes to Edinburgh city centre during weekend for “visit or tour”.

The other area I illustrated is Canongate Kirk. I’ve always found Canongate Kirk is like a building from a fairytale. I have visited this place a few times throughout the different seasons but my favourite season at Canongate Kirk is the spring when the cherry blossom blooms. The top of the building has a unique shape and when the cherry blossom blooms it gives the whole scene a romantic feel.

With the cherry blossom giving the whole scene a romantic feel I also illustrated a young couple kissing under the tree. I just tried to give the whole illustration a “loved up” feeling. I always like illustrating “happiness” as I really feel like is too short to focus on depressing, horrible and cold things. I wish to bring happiness to people who see my illustrations and to hopefully put a smile on their faces.

edinburgh canongate kirk illustration

So the actual postcards print out look like the photo below: 

My exhibition at Hula Juice Bar Edinburgh

My exhibition at Hula Juice Bar Edinburgh

This September I will have my first solo exhibition at Hula Gallery and Juice Bar in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

Hula, and specifically Marie Valey, who is the Gallery Manager, contacted me back in February of this year and kindly invited me to be their September to November artist and to exhibit my illustrations and a series of products in their immensely popular venue.

For those who are not familiar with Hula, again they are a juice bar and sell all kinds of drinks from smoothies to milkshakes to all kinds of other drinks. They also do food and I’ve tried their sandwiches which are genuinely absolutely delicious. My husband is a big milkshake person and he’s utterly obsessed with one of their milkshakes, something called a Nutty Professor, which has yoghurt, ice-cream and peanut butter in it. Yum!

Back to the exhibition itself, the main focus of the illustrations would be my “Vintage Kitchen Illustrations” as they found my illustrations colour and fun but also it fitted in perfectly with the kind of venue it is, a juice/food bar.

So I created a series of new illustrations and products for this exhibition and hope to use this opportunity to not only sell prints but just as importantly build some new connections and also test the market with my illustration products.

I really enjoyed the creative process of this personal project. Before I turned my career around and became an illustrator, I had trained and thus worked as a professional chef for many years. Why I changed career is a whole other story but naturally I’m attracted to anything food. I also love anything “vintage” and “retro” so I put a lot of my passion into this project and I had so much fun creating these illustrations.

The opening night of my exhibition is on 5th September 6:30 to 8:30pm at Hula Gallery/Juice Bar Edinburgh (103-105 West Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2JP), their telephone is 0131 220 1121.

Please come and join us if you can and if you would like to get in touch, even to provide some feedback, I’d love to hear from you.

Below are the new “Vintage Kitchen Illustrations” I created.

 

“All about the Coffee ” 

An illustration dedicated to my love of coffee and for all the coffee lovers out there

all about the coffee illustration

“Happy Hour, Vintage Cocktail and Shaker”

I’m not a particularly big fan of alcohol but I love the beautiful colours of different cocktails. Sometimes when I feel a lot of pressure I like to go out with friends and my husband Chris to try to release some pressure and I will have a drink or two. So I created this illustration during a really stressful period and I can’t wait to have some “Happy Hour(s)” with my friends and loved ones.

vintage cocktail and shaker

“Mile High Pancakes”

I love tall, fluffy, soft and almost sponge-cake lie pancakes for my breakfast, dessert and even late night supper. I created these illustrations for my love of these pancakes. I also love vintage weighing scales as they have beautiful colours and shapes so I put this element into my illustrations.

pancakes and vintage scales illustration

“Vintage Pineapple Upside Down Cake”

Over the last few years upside down pineapple cakes, or even any kind of fruit upside down cakes, have been really popular. Being a savoury chef and not really a sweet food kind of person (and being from Taiwan) I’ve never tried this kind of cake before. They look very different compare with other cakes but they also look warm, delicious and just make you want to have a bite. One of my favourite movies in recent times is “The Help” starring Emma Stone and one of the characters in the film, Celia Rae Foote, was cooking a upside down pineapple cake when she met her new maid (or as they call maids, help) for the first time and she burned the cake. After that film I just kept imagining the picture of this cake so I illustrated it.

vintage pineapple upside down cake illustration

“Vintage Thermo and sugar jar”

As an illustrator I’m always looking for inspiration for illustrating and one of my favourite websites for looking at anything is “Pinterest”. While during “Pinterest” I found a really beautiful vintage thermos flask so I decided to put it into one of my illustrations.

vintage thermos flask illustration

“Witchery Coffee Pot Illustration”

I work in a fine-dining restaurant called “The Witchery by the Castle”. As a fine dining restaurant we always have some really fancy tableware around and one night when I finished work I was waiting in the restaurant reception for a taxi and I saw this really awesome looking coffee pot. So I took a photograph of this coffee pot and decided to illustrate it.

vintage tea pot illustration

“Retro Smoothie and Blender”

As I’m going to have my exhibition in the Hula juice bar I decided to illustrated something related to juice and smoothie. That’s why I created this illustration.

retro smoothie blender illustration

 

“Vintage Cake Illustration”

I adore beautiful cakes so I created an illustration based on a really beautiful cake I saw.

vintage cake illustration

“Say Cheese” 

A lot of people use these kinds of cheese plates instead of traditional cakes at their weddings and I’ve seen a few of them on “Pinterest” so I couldn’t help but illustrate one. Also Catherine Holm’s series of cookware and her fondue set looks a bit like a UFO to me and I just love it so I illustrated that also.

cheese tower cake illustration

“Sundae, Sunday”

Chinese is my first language and although my English is pretty good nowadays when I was younger it was let’s just say interesting. I always thought (ice cream) Sundae’s were spelt “Sunday” and I wondered why the name of this tasty dessert is Sunday. Maybe this is because Western people only eat this dessert on Sunday so they called it a Sunday? Then I discovered I made a silly mistake and I still love a nice sundae during the summer

Sundae Sunday Illustration

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