An illustrator’s panoramic drawings capture intimate, local scenes from around Tokyo.
After the illustrator Adrian Hogan finishes the coffee he buys from a Shibuya, Tokyo café, he doesn’t throw out the cup. Instead, he draws on it.
Rotating the cup until his 360-degree vision is complete, Hogan captures the whole scene around him in quick, colorful sketches. His Instagram videos of the process have gone viral, and Hogan says he’s sometimes recognized around Shibuya as he works.
Hogan is originally from Australia, but spent a year after university teaching English in the town of Hachinohe in northern Japan. Eventually, drawn by the city’s vibrant media and art scene, Hogan moved to Tokyo.
His career took off, but Hogan still found time to sketch quietly in local cafes. He first had the idea to translate his loose-leaf doodles onto coffee cups last May, when he sketched a panoramic view of the street outside the shop window. “The coffee cups have been a great way for me to look around again and be open to fresh inspiration,” Hogan says.
Through his work, he’s also met new people. The sight of someone holding a paper cup up to their face as they sketch is quite unusual, but Hogan says that in some restaurants and cafes, the people he’s included in his sketches have been so pleased with the outcome that they bought the work and paid for his meal on the spot.
“I’ve always been fascinated by daily moments that often go unnoticed,” Hogan says. “By showing this work, I hope I can highlight some cultural interactions, objects, and gestures, and encourage others to pick up a pen and have a go at drawing their surroundings and noticing properly, rather than gazing absentmindedly.”