A Coffee Cup Project | Josh Hara’s Smart Art

Sophia Francis

A detailed sketch on the curved edge of the cardboard cup that we wrap our lips around, that is smart art. That is the work of Josh Hara, the artist from Ohio who is committed to the coffee cup project, to creating comical art using the humble ink pen, the discards of a renowned morning caffeine fix and a whole host of celebrities and characters as sources for thought-provoking content.

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In his bold, impressive coinages of comical phrases such as ‘no coffee, no talkee’ and ‘don’t hate, caffeinate’, Hara wittily creates prints with a purpose – work that is saying more than it first indicates. Detailed on the sides of these Starbucks coffee cups there can be found the socially satirical, the ingeniously clever images of disgruntled coffee consumers and the sketches of devilish waiters all entrapped by the commodification of the coffee bean. Or more simply, we find inventive, resourceful, fun artwork.

Hara’s work is unique in the sense that the Ohio artist uses an original medium upon which to showcase his work, as opposed to the canvas or the page, which is precisely a major reason for the recognition and acclaim given to the cartoonist’s spoofs and lampoons. The works are sure to prompt a smile and a chuckle, ranging from the comic personification of cats and dogs and quips such as ‘I want cat treats. A lot of them. Or the coffee gets it’, to the appearances of many different celebrities.

With the ambition to be a cartoonist from a young age, it seems that Hara’s realization of bringing laughter to nearly 70,000 Instagram followers is evidence of his absolute commitment and dedication to his work, and having created a landmark 100 coffee cup comic sketches the artist has achieved a remarkable following and a coverage by the London Telegraph, the Metro and many other publications. The 100th cup itself is a self-reflexive, endearing image of the bold figure, ‘100’, that hovers above a smiling, seated, still sketching Hara who is pleased with his creation.

There have even been calls from avid Instagram followers for Starbucks to commission Hara’s work, and for this we must keep our eyes peeled. It is smart art, art that makes you laugh, and it is making the headlines for a reason: that is Hara’s wit.

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