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Korean artist’s amazing doodles imagine the secret life of the Starbucks logo

Rather than throw his used Starbucks cups in the trash, Seoul-based illustrator Soo Min Kim does something better: he turns the materials into art.

For years now, Kim has been using Starbucks cups as an unconventional canvas. Armed with only a green marker, he doodles around the company logo, creating funny and strange scenarios for the iconic mermaid.

Some of his works imagine the siren as real-life people, like a distraught commuter or a stressed-out mum with three kids. Other times, Kim draws her as imaginary characters or pop culture icons such as a robot, King Kong, and Spider-Man.

[Cup art] Five Hundred Won (17.06.21) 먹고산다고 이런저런 일을 하고나니 시간만 처량하게 흘러있었다. 눈앞에 떨어진 돈 몇푼 줍는다고 인생이 달라지는 것도 아니거늘. . 정신차리니 벌써 에어컨을 켤 계절이다. 프로듀스101도 끝났으니 이제부터 열심히 딴짓해야지.

A post shared by Soo Min Kim 김수민 (@fseo) on

We recently had the opportunity to interview Kim to know more about him and his paper cup art. Check it out:

What made you decide to draw on Starbucks cups?

“At first, I just painted on normal paper cups. But one day I realized that it’s more interesting to draw on Starbucks paper cups. I drink Starbucks coffee every day and there were many used Starbucks paper cups on my desk.

“I also chose this medium because the siren image gives me the limit of thought, but at the same time, the limit brings out more creative ideas. When I do a paper cup work, I always think that siren image is another me.”

[Cup Art] Marathon! (2017.8.19) . . 只今大阪です。 이 영상 찍으려고 일본까지 갔…;; #오사카 #겁나덥다 . . #soominkim #fseo #cupart #cup #art #starbucks #starbuckscupart #design #doodle #painting #illust #instaart #papercup #artwork #osaka #김수민 #컵아트 #스타벅스 #일러스트 #디자인 #일상 #イラスト #紙コップ #デザイン #スタバ #グリコ #大阪 #道頓堀

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What was the first design you made?

“My first work. I painted my wish.”

Soo Min Kim art

How difficult was it drawing back when you started as compared to now?

“I don’t feel ‘difficult’ about these things both then and now. It’s just my personal work for pleasure. I draw when I have an idea, I don’t draw when I have no idea.”

[컵아트] 이불킥!! (2017.08.14)😫 . . . #김수민 #컵아트 #종이컵 #스타벅스 #이불킥 #일러스트 #커피 #낙서 #디자인 #메이킹 #타임랩스 #잉여 #soominkim #fseo #starbucks #cup #coffee #cupart #papercup #papercupart #starbuckscupart #design #illustration #doodle #timelapse #video

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Tell us more about your creative process. How do you come up with your designs? And how long does it take for you to finish?

“Most of my works comes from my personal wish, complaint, dissatisfaction, etc. Every day I drink coffee while thinking and drawing at my office. It takes a day, a few days, or a few hours in several cases.”

[Cup Art] I Got You! (17.08.04) . 얼마전에 새로 장만한 소니 미러리스 a6300으로 찍어봤다. 전에 쓰던 모델도 소니꺼여서 조작의 큰 불편함은 없었으나, 기본 컴맹에 기계치다보니 사진을 바로 컴이나 폰으로 전송할 수 있다는걸 이제서야 알았다. 아아 나에게 세상은 너무 빠르다. #a6300

A post shared by Soo Min Kim 김수민 (@fseo) on

What are you working on next?

“I still have lots to do with Starbucks paper cups. So I have no idea yet.”

[Cup Art] Tha Man Who Can't Remember (2016.12.22) 청문회 틀어놓고 일하다가 정신차려보니 이 그림이… #청문회 #기억이나지않습니다

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To see more of Soo Min Kim’s work, you can check out his Instagram account.

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