Have You Ever Seen Latte Art Being Created? Creator Interview: Sugi

Characters drawn colorfully on top of caffe lattes. When you see such exquisitely drawn latte art, you may think it would be a waste to drink it. Sugi is a salaryman who works for an IT company and a latte artist who posts his creations online. We sat down with Sugi to learn the know-how of creating latte art and the details of how he got into making it.

Creator Introduction
Name: Sugi
TOM Portfolio Page: http://otakumode.com/nowtoo

TOM: Would you please show us the process of making latte art?
Sugi: Well, first let me show you my tools. I’m able to draw latte art by using an espresso machine, a pitcher for pouring milk, a spoon for drawing the pictures, chocolate sauce and caramel syrup, and lastly a cup.

Espresso machine.
Colorful syrup.
A spoon used to draw the latte art.

Sugi: Next, I create the art. I First use the espresso machine to make the espresso and foamed milk. I create a caffe latte by pouring the foamed milk onto the espresso. As for the latte art, the technique of cutting through the foamed milk to create the pattern is widely used, but I use an etching technique to create my art and things like chocolate sauce and syrup for bringing color to it. If I have black, red, blue, and yellow chocolate sauce and syrup, I can create the color I want. It’s quite convenient.

Foaming the milk.
By pouring the foamed milk on the espresso, a caffe latte is made.
Carefully drawing the lines.
Mixing syrup to create color.
Finishing off the drawing with several colors.
Finished! It’s the magical girl Homura Akemi from Madoka Magica.

TOM: Is there anything you have devised in order to create your latte art?
Sugi: That would be creating milk with tiny bubbles. When the bubbles are rough, it’s easy for the drawing to collapse, so the consistency of the milk is extremely important. Because of that, I’m constantly buying and replacing machines (laughs). I constantly went through trial and error with finding one that foams the milk better. Next, I create the latte art by looking at a picture that someone else drew. I choose pictures that will transition well to a round cup, and I carefully think about the composition.

TOM: Why did you start to draw latte art?
Sugi: It started by seeing latte art drawn by Mattsun and George on the Internet. I thought it was amazing that pictures could be drawn on a caffe latte of all things, and I became interested. I began researching and unexpectedly found out how to easily buy an espresso machine. So, I started making latte art.

TOM: How do you decide on what to draw as latte art?
Sugi: Basically, I create things that others request. I make three to four per day, but even going at that pace they are neverending. I get lots of requests (laughs). A lot of different things are requested on Twitter, but anime and manga characters are often requested, so much of what I make is character latte art.

TOM: What is your motivation for making latte art?
Sugi: I create latte art because I enjoy making people happy. I even make latte art for my friends and relatives on the weekends. Also, I’m happy to receive positive comments from all kinds of people as soon as I put something on Twitter. Until recently, I had primarily drawn landscapes, which my friends were surprised by, and I enjoyed doing it because it made them happy.

TOM: Which of your works are you pleased with?
Sugi: I like Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk. I think it is my most well drawn work to date. I even received comments on Twitter from author Inoue (laughs). After that would be Jotaro from Part 4 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. JoJo is one of my favorite manga, so I often draw characters from it.

Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk.
Jotaro from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

TOM: Lastly, a comment for our readers please.
Sugi: From here on as well, I want to draw works that I receive as requests. I’m waiting for requests from overseas as well. By all means, please contact me on Twitter.

Check out our picture collection of the talented Sugi, and don’t forget to SUKI him! Keep it here for even more interviews with some of the most prominent creators in the otaku world!

Sugi’s TOM Porfolio Page
Sugi’s Twitter Page

*This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.*

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