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PHONE +61 (0) 421 244 612

The Stimulant – Artwork

This is the inspiration behind my fourth illustrated cocktail artwork called “The Stimulant” featuring a Espresso Martini.

In 2015 I taught Computer Aided Design at Melbourne Fashion Institute and I have been doing some research on fashion illustration. I really admire Kelly Thomson’s work and this has given me the inspiration to try my first portrait drawing.

I read the story behind the Espresso Martini cocktail, originally called “The Stimulant”, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Here is an insight about the creation of this cocktail from

The story goes that Bradsell created the drink—originally called The Pharmaceutical Stimulant—at Fred’s Club in the late 1980s, when a young model, who Bradsell claims is now world famous, sidled up to the bar and asked for something to wake her up, and then fuck her up. His solution was a combination of vodka, fresh espresso, coffee liqueur and sugar, shaken into a frothy mix of bittersweet addiction. (Some speculate the model was Kate Moss, others Naomi Campbell, but Bradsell has never revealed her identity.)

Process: The first thing I wanted to try was illustrating the face of the cocktail, the model. I emailed a few friends and asked them to take a selfie. I chose Sarah Graham as my inspirational image. The pencil illustration is an original in A2 size. I scanned the image and started to apply contrast and colour.

I knew that the make up had to be very pronounced to obtain a high contrasted image. I wanted to create a dehumanise face, as some modelling images can be, where you cannot feel the soul of the girl behind the face. I decided to create a pattern from the coffee plant to apply on Sarah‘s shirt. The lettering and the cocktail glasses I want them to be the main elements of the illustration so that the model will be fade out in the background.

The vector grid in the background represents the texture of a hessian bag of coffee beans.

My idea for the lettering style was having funky letterforms with high contrast between the thin and thicks. I wanted to alter the x-high of the letters and also give them more dynamism.

As the last element of this illustration, I wanted to create a frame made out of coffee beans.

“The Stimulant” is an illustrated cocktail artwork representing a fashionista Espresso Martini.

Framed by Wilma Art Framing Concept
Photograph by Mark Logo from Foliolio
Artwork available on my online store