Interview: Christina Allen from the @blackeyedproject
If your a regular follower of all things coffee on instagram you probably have come across the black eyed project.
Christina Allen is the amazing women behind this page and is also the artist who draws these beautiful photos on used coffee cups. You can follow Christina and her beautiful drawings on instagram @blackeyedproject
We hope you enjoy the following interview.
Where did the idea come from to start doing art on coffee cups?
I was working as a creative assistant at a pretty hectic firm during the day and as server at night so I didn’t have a lot of time/energy left over to work on my illustrations. The restaurant across the street used plain white coffee cups and by the end of the day I’d have two or three left over on my desk. Instead of tossing these perfectly unused white paper cups, I would doodle on them in any spare time I could get. I posted a few from time to time and really liked the feedback I got. I ended up quitting my creative job which gave me ample free time to work on a year long illustration project (and/or challenge) and I decided to use the coffee cups from my daily coffee as my surface.
You have over 200 prints, where does the inspiration come from?
Most of my inspiration comes from really random thoughts haha. My mind tends to wonder when I get overwhelmed and I take words that I hear or see around me and kind of come up with a phrase that I turn into a drawing. Whenever I find myself really struggling to grasp a concept that I like, I listen to music that can give me a good mental visual.
What does the future hold for the Blackeyed project?
I’m not really sure to be honest. I jumped into the project as a whole without really making a plan (which I tend to beat myself up over all the time). I’ve actually been looking to have a show with all of the cups that I finished and possibly starting a new year long project.
How hard is it to draw on the coffee cup considering its rounded and I can imagine would be very unstable?
I love it! Ive always liked drawing on things that aren’t flat, it gives a little more of a challenge perspective wise and gives you more shape to work with creatively. The only real frustration behind it was preparing illustrations for print. Trying to edit illustrations on a curved surface to seem flat was definitely annoying at times haha.
Have you seen the coffee industry get behind you project?
I’ve been pretty embraced by the coffee industry. I’ve had a few coffee shops reach out to re-post/tag things and a few businesses ask for logos and illustrations for promotional reasons. A really great local coffee shop (Lamplighter) helped me out with a few dozen coffee sleeves for me to promote my half-year show.