Maria Aristidou is the incredibly talented creative we chose to lead a creative uk general elections theme… known for her highly unique process of creating art using coffee bean stains as her choice of paint. She aptly calls her process of creation ‘Coffee Art’ and we have been fans for quite some time!
So what’s the correlation between Art, Coffee and the upcoming UK elections you may wonder? Well, we’ve been following the elections fever build-up for the last month including the very fisty-cuff leader tv debates and we saw the kind of pressure that the key party leaders have to put themselves through in order to win votes… regardless of what you may think of the politicians individually, it’s certainly not an easy task for the faint-hearted and we are sure that the daily fix of caffeine, and cups of coffee consumption must be going up as a result in the dining rooms of parliament, during what must be a highly stressful and pressurised timeframe.
So the first step was to choose the style in which Maria was going to go with… were we looking to caricature each of the main party leaders, or was it best to capture the essence of each of the different characters that the majority of Great Britain will be putting a tick alongside on national polling day come May 7th. Another reasoning to keep it very middle ground was capturing characters in Maria’s work… and as you can see in the video and photos, Maria has captured each party leader in an amazingly unique way.
Maria, who is 27 years old; lives in-between her two bases both in the UK and at her family home in Cyprus. She is a highly experienced commercial artist and illustrator who decided to ditch the usual paints she previously used, and now uses coffee, of which she herself is also a big fan of!
Her first coffee illustration happened by actual accident, but she liked the results so much that she ended up choosing to create more this way. The rest as they say is history, and now she stands out for being different, and quite the alternative artist. She enjoys making coffee paintings of some of her favorite people, characters and animals and she has to date explored a number of different themes; the latest being inspired by us around UK Politics.
To create the effect, and as showcased in the video above; she uses water paper and up to five different coffee blends, depending on the subject matter. There is a very technical process by which she cooks the fresh coffee beans and then pours the liquid over her palette… or saucer in this case, and the rest involves doing what she does best and bringing characters and themes to life on paper.
When we asked about her backgroud in the world of art, she told us:
“I started creating at a very young age, and I can still remember when I first picked up a pencil as a kid and started experimenting with ‘painting’ on my mums bedroom walls, until when I studied for my BA in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University in UK and then completed my MA in Arts Health at the University of Central Lancashire.”
“Coffee painting was developed earlier this year and quite by chance when I spilled coffee all over another project that i was working on at the time, and rather than being upset or angry about it I just got intrigued and my imagination just got carried away. I was fascinated by the stains that the coffee had left which actually look very beautiful and open up a range of scope artistically. After that i just started experimenting with coffee further just to see to what extent I can work with it and here we are… that’s what I call Coffee Art!”
In terms of subjects and themes, Maria loves areas of pop and celebrity cultures. She is also fascinated with design, internet trends, social media platforms, movies and music as a whole and so a number of upcoming themes awaiting her creative expression. She conveys great passion for her work and it’s clear even from watching her create, as in the video above, how she engrosses fully in the moment and the creative process:
“In a way all of the subjects I have explored as an artist have developed my character and my outlook on modern life, and my art is certainly a key part of my identity. Politics plays such a key role in all of our lives as individuals and communities, and so I really enjoyed delving into this theme whilst also embracing the challenge of capturing each political character from the main political parties.” she explained.
When asked about her own love of coffee… and whether she actually preferred tea or coffee for herself personally, she told us:
“Of course I should prefer coffee… it would be strange if I didn’t I guess! And I actually love all kinds of coffee from Americano, Latte, the greek Frappe, greek Coffee and Espresso. I’m not quite the obsessive connoisseur or expert, but depending on factors such as where I am, how i am feeling and the weather around me, I will choose my coffee accordingly!”
Maria herself has also been following the whole build-up of what has been happening and what is predicted in the UK General Elections and as UK is her home she was quite philosophical… or should we say ‘arty’ with her feelings and predictions:
“As an artist I feel it is important to always be anonymous with anything that is politically oriented. I naturally have my own opinion, I have hopes and dreams.. but my job is more around trying to encourage perspectives and thoughts from others, and learning about what others feel.
… My personal message for everyone, and not just in the UK but everywhere around the world would be to always make your vote count and make your opinions also count. Make your dream, hopes and ambitions count too. We may all be just considered as little individuals in the wider scheme of things, and maybe even by the politicians… but we all count!!”
And the importance of making each vote count for the best interests of everyone is certainly something we would also advocate from our side too… using the hashtag #BeCounted feel free to help spread the word!!
Photos/Video by: Alex Scott for Newsivity
And linked to the upcoming UK General Elections, check out when we also caught up with the very alternative Alan Hope from the lively Monster Raving Loony Party in the UK. We decided to also include him into the themed coffee art collection too as a representative of the ‘alternative’ side, and we must say that Maria has done quite the amazing job!