Vivian Lee likes to play with her coffee... well, actually she paints with it!

Artist Vivian Lee hard at work last week at the Central Market, Kuala Lumpur where there was a long line of people waiting to get their portraits done... with coffee. — Pix by Choo Choy May
Artist Vivian Lee hard at work last week at the Central Market, Kuala Lumpur where there was a long line of people waiting to get their portraits done... with coffee. — Pix by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Everybody seems to be coffee mad these days; hipsters, coffee geeks, etc.

Vivian Lee, 26, found a way to use coffee in a different way: drawing “live” caricatures at bazaars, events, parties, weddings and cafe openings. Using coffee.

“I was working as a graphic designer before I started this. I use coffee because of the warm tones and vintage effects,” said Lee who also does drawings of animals. Her preference, of course, is drawing people because it is personal and meaningful.

A pug and eagle in the background... some of Vivian’s artwork done with coffee.
A pug and eagle in the background... some of Vivian’s artwork done with coffee.

Painting with coffee started out as a hobby before it became her full-time job. She uses local coffee that is longer lasting and according to Lee, smells good.

As a coffee lover herself, she often visits cafes with her friends and likes trying out different types of coffee.

When Coffee Nowhere launched their Singapore outfit, Lee was invited to do coffee caricatures at the grand opening. Lee also participates in various events in Penang, Putrajaya, Petaling Jaya and the city centre.

The talented illustrator got an early start as her mother was her art teacher and helped develop her talent.

Vivian (left) having her photograph taken with a satisfied customer.
Vivian (left) having her photograph taken with a satisfied customer.

Very often her mother accompanies her at these “live” drawing events.

It’s easy to spot her at any of these bazaars or events; a queue of people waiting to get their portraits done in coffee are a sure sign that she is there.

So who is the most famous person she has done a portrait of?

“Master Peter So, a feng shui master from Hong Kong is the most popular celebrity I did a portrait of to date,” said Lee.

Drawing portraits allows her to meet different people and she enjoys their various face shapes and mannerisms.

She first sketches the person’s face with a marker pen then does the finishing touches with coffee-soaked paintbrush.

A few of the ‘live’ portraits Vivian does.
A few of the ‘live’ portraits Vivian does.

“I haven’t started selling my artworks online yet as I’m focused on live portraits at the moment but this year I do hope to go online and pursue this interest,” said Lee.

For more information on where her next gig is, head over to Vivian’s Facebook page

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