London 2014 - Milan Abad

Milan Abad

Blood, Sweat and Coffee, 2014

Black Ink, fineliner on 300gsm Textured off white art paper
84.1cm width x 118.9cm height

Water comes from the Earth, every living thing needs it to live. Just like coffee starts from the earth, and needs water to grow. Water has a cycle and place in this world, just like the coffee bean also has its own cycle. Ultimately we are all connected and eventually end up going back to the earth, where we came from.

This piece celebrates the cycle of the Coffee bean from soil to coffee mug. It celebrates the effort and people involved. I used black and white because it is pure and simple. I wanted people to interact in the piece so the cycle is spread out within the natural leaves of the drawing not in chronological order, so people may find something new every time they look at it.
London 2014 - Milan Abad
Milan Abad, winner of the Coffee Art Project London 2014 has given a singular and powerful meaning to the concept of ‘coffee’ and ‘coffee shop experience’.  A completely different and unique piece which tells the story of how coffee arrives to us as a  mocha, latte or flat white. With his ink on paper illustration Milan has represented a detailed, intrinsic and varied connection between the two ‘coffee’ world scenarios: the world of  consumers and the world of workers.

The Coffee Art Project team had a little snap through when Milan was working on the piece. We asked him to share  some of his working in progress with us.

A Q&A has been set up for him from The Coffee Art Project team to develop an insight into his artistic and coffee experience.



Q. When did you start drawing?

A. Since I was small, I used to draw pages and pages of little stick men comics all of the time.I used to have stacks of them. They were quite funny and super simple; I wish I could find them again, but I think my mum threw them away. I don’t think I started drawing properly until I was in high school; so possibly when I was 14/15?

Q. Describe yourself in 3 words. If you can!

A.    Energetic, Strange, Stubborn

Q. What does your art mostly represent?

A. I love anything involving life and death, but not in a depressing or dark way. I have a lot of skulls in my work, but again, not in a dark way; I am just fascinated by these subjects and people’s perceptions of it.  My work probably ranges from the most commercial content, from sports, fashion and music, to editorial, narrative and abstract pieces about phobias, perception and nature. I think the less constraints I have on a piece of work, the more emotionally driven and intuitive it is. I am very interested in people.

Q. Which kind of art world are you close to?

A. When I was doing my A-Levels in school, the only art world I knew was old and contemporary painting. But since I specialised in Illustration at University, I would say illustration.  The great thing is that it is so broad; you can have illustration that looks more like contemporary art, or work that is a lot more graphic based. Different disciplines are all starting to cross over. My work takes a very commercial route, heading down the route of popular culture; but exhibiting work as just pure art is something I will always stick at. I think being flexible is good.

Q. What do you feel when you creativity starts flowing?

A.I guess I just feel happy and focused. Usually I listen to music that really gets me in the mood, so I zone out and draw.

Q. Why did you connect coffee instantly to the project waterfall?

A. Well, I felt it was something so simple as life cycles. I thought it was all connected; coffee, it all starts from the earth, goes on a cycle and then returns to the earth; just like water. You need water for coffee and generally to live. Coffee makes people happy and so many people drink it, so it just makes sense I guess.

 Q.What did you actually feel during the creation process?

A. Well I mostly felt sleep deprived and shattered. I felt excited and buzzed at first, especially during the first few all nighters. It was such an intense piece with so much work done in a very short space of time. I think the most enjoyable part was actually filling in the large ink areas; although half the time I didn’t have clue if I was overdoing it.

Q.   Would you like to go to Tanzania and meet the communities that you have drawn  about?

A.  Yes, that would be amazing.

 Q.What you would like to do in your future apart being an artist? Do you have any other dream?

 A. Well, I used to want to become an Olympic athlete. Another dream I had was to travel around the world discovering new places and species. Not sure if that is a job per say. I’m working on having my own t-shirt label, which is another dream of mine. Not sure if that counts since it is also creative.

 Q. How does it feel to be the winner of The CAP 2014?

A. It feels amazing; I literally don’t know what to say. There were so many great pieces of work that all deserved the same. So I guess I just feel lucky and very happy that hard work can pay off.
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