It was May 2012 at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. Neil Gaiman addressed the University of the Arts graduated class with the same care he takes with his writing. He delivered one of the greatest commencement speeches of all time. So potent that it not only inspired the graduating class of 2012 but every person motivated to make good art. Neil so eloquently stated, “Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.”

We’ll pause here and repeat, “Make good art.”

Make good art is a statement that is true for the good and bad times and as timeless as the adage “this too shall pass.” At Pour Vida, our coffee is our good art. It’s how we express ourselves and put love into the world. For the following artists, coffee is the medium and much like the beloved author Neil Gaiman, their art is simply stunning.

1. Ghidaq al-Nizar

Ghidaq al-Nizar is from Sumedang, Indonesia. A big coffee-lover, he was inspired to do art when he received a latte Rosetta and was bored with the pattern. Al-Nizar started with latte art, but eventually added coffee grounds to his art, too, as #zerowastecoffee.@coffeetopia

Coffee Art Coffee Art

2. Giulia Bernardelli

The majority of her work is a hybrid of painting and photography. First, she creates a small image out of coffee pigment — either on paper or inside the bottom of a cup itself. Then she takes a photo with the cup still in the shot. @bernulia

3. Steven Mikel

Steven Mikel,  is an American painter born in South Bend, Indiana in 1959. Formally trained in Photography and Technical Illustration, Steven began his fine art career as a realism painter focused on revealing the overlooked or unnoticed beauty tucked away in the details of the world around us. Mr. Mikel worked with traditional watercolors until 2008 when he began experimenting with brewed coffee. Having always loved the warmth of sepia tones, he extensively researched and successfully developed a process ensuring that his coffee paintings have the stability and preservation factors equal that of oil paintings. Courtesy: http://www.stevenmikel.com

"Breakwater" Coffee Painting

Breakwater

Dr. Phillips Center South Coffee Painting

Dr. Phillips Center South

4. Karen Eland

Karen has been a creator since childhood, but a portrait class at age 14 unexpectedly propelled her into an art career. Her love for coffee was born in the late Kaldi’s Coffeehouse in New Orleans, where she would go every day to sketch her fellow French Quarter locals while sipping a black coffee with a dash of nutmeg on top. Courtesy of http://www.karenelandart.com/

Sumatra Beans, c. Karen Eland 2009

Sumatra Beans, c. Karen Eland 2009

 

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans, c. Karen Eland 2009

5. Vanni Mangoni

Australian artist Vanni Mangoni treats spilled coffee the way Vincent Van Gogh treated his oil paints, Michelangelo treated his blocks of marble, and Dali treated his mustache. To Mangoni, a coffee stain painting is more than a novelty, a quirky trick, or a creative way to look at breakfast. The coffee spill is a beacon of artistic possibility, both the paint and the canvas, waiting to be transformed into his vision. Courtesy http://www.vannimangoni.com

Peyote Tunnel

Peyote Tunnel

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

 

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