The barista is a maestro, a juggler of coffee tastes. He is well aware of all the secrets and hidden treasure a coffee bean has to offer and he knows how to extract them all in a hot cup of the tempting brew that we call coffee.
Local baristas were the inspiration for Yi Xiao Chen’s illustration for the July artwork of the COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018, which perfectly shows the skilled barista that meticulously combines the grind, water and that extra kick of passion and love for coffee to serve the customer the perfectly balanced brew of choice.
Yi Xiao Chen is a 26 year old Chinese-Australian contemporary illustrator and visual artist currently living in Perth, Western Australia. With a medical background she is currently working as a doctor in Perth. Her work is mainly portraiture with a clearly developed style that can be best described as reductive or semi-abstract portraiture. In every work she tries to convey as much individuality and personality to the subject as she can by using basic shapes and forms.
Where do you live and work?
I live in Perth, Western Australia.
When in your life did you decide to follow your path as an artist?
I have wanted to be an artist from my early teenage years. There’s no single pivot moment where I decided to follow this path, but rather frequent reminders throughout my life that this is what I love doing the most.
What is your artistic background?
I did most of my learning visiting art galleries across the world with my family when I was younger. Other than that I learn by trial and error, discovering what works and what doesn’t in the drawing process. I haven’t attended an art school but I would love to in the future.
How would you define your style?
My work is graphic and highly stylized illustration. I’m always drawn to work that is bold and striking visually and I try to achieve that in my work.
What does your daily routine look like?
On most weekdays I go to work in a hospital. I typically only draw on my days off because its hard to be in the right frame of mind after work.
How do you create your art?
I first make sketches and develop a general concept of the work, then I finish it on iPad or Illustrator on the computer.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration can come from some unexpected places, such as people i see on the street, photographs, old movies, a certain space/room, etc.
If you could live in any time in history, when would that be? Why?
I love living in the present, because I have the most freedom and opportunities right now than in any period of history.
What was your first reaction when you were invited to contribute to the Coffee Art Calendar?
I was surprised and honored to be chosen as one of the artists.
Where did you get the idea for your artwork for the calendar?
My prompt for the work was “The Barista”. I wanted to convey a sense of passion and love for coffee that all good baristas have. I was inspired by baristas near to where I live who have an obvious love for what they do.
How would you describe your relationship with coffee?
I’m not a connoisseur but I appreciate the knowledge and skill that goes into making it well. For me a good chat over a cup of well-made coffee on a bright day is one of the best things life has to offer.
Where can one see your work on display?
Mostly on my website and Instagram.
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ABOUT THE COFFEE ART CALENDAR
The COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018 is an ode to coffee that is told through graphic art. From January to December it unfolds the story of coffee from bean to cup, while sourcing inspiration from the mythology of coffee, its fair trade production, exploring its social aspects and the amazing effect that the aromatic drink has on us.
Each month is represented by a theme that is closely connected to coffee, starting with the berry and ending with evolution while the story is told by 12 aspiring graphic artists that each contributed a unique view on coffee. The variety of styles and interpretations created a visually rich selection of artwork that will perfectly blend on every background, be it in your kitchen, living room or coffee shop.
Each artwork was created exclusively for the calendar by the contributing artists. By purchasing the COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018 you are supporting these 12 aspiring artists and sharing your passion for art and coffee.