Coffee Rings

Making a Mark with his Caffeine Fix, Designer Carter Asmann Finds a Different use for Stains

California-based artist, Carter Asmann, has taken doodling to a creative new level. After accidentally creating a coffee ring on a page of his sketchbook one day, Carter realised that coffee could add a new dimension to his work.

‘My original illustration happened to be a rather simple bicycle,’ Carter told us. ‘Since then the concept has moved to larger individual pieces of paper and now includes far more elaborate subjects.’

The quirky illustrations are not only a perfect example of how to turn mishaps into success, but also proof of the numerous good uses of coffee! So grab a cuppa, and read what he told us about it:

The Plus: We’re guessing you drink a lot of coffee?
Carter Asmann:
I drink coffee everyday, lots of coffee. Often pour over coffee, – black, no sugar, no cream. And when I drink espresso, I prefer Americanos.

TP: How does the coffee get out from your cup, and on to your work?
Step 1, brew a batch of coffee. 2, carefully and deliberately spill the coffee over the edge of my mug. 3, I then place the mug on mixed media paper, leaving behind an inconsistent coffee ring stain and splatter. 4, Once a ring(s) dries, I begin to sketch out the drawing. 5. I slowly begin to add more and more details and shading. 6, photograph, document and share.

TP: What is the most challenging part of the process?
The most challenging part of the process is learning to control coffee as an art medium. There is a lot of variety in the colour, texture, of every batch of coffee.

TP: You work with a wide range of mediums, from photography to illustrations. How do they all connect?
I like to consider myself a multi-media artist. I like illustration, photography, painting and digital arts. Photography in particular helps me to learn about composition, lighting, and colour in a way that other art mediums are not able to.