Interview with Judy Sunwoo, Angel City Tote Artist
Author | groundwork coffee Date | March 04, 2020
We're excited to partner with local Los Angeles artist, Judy Sunwoo, on our new Angel City Tote Bag. Featuring hand drawn ink, these collapsable totes are an ode to our city and the namesake signature blend.
And pick up a bag for yourself in our online store.
Why did you choose to focus on the blend that you did?
I travel quite frequently and through it I am able to see the differences in art and design featured in every city. While I work with two very different styles, mainly minimal watercolor and detailed ink, I felt this blend in particular would go well with my detailed ink style, as Los Angeles has an appreciation for raw and expressive design. Plus, the name is so attractive: Angel City!
What do you like about doing art with ink?
One thing I love is the drying time! I don’t have to worry about smudging the piece when completing a project. I am able to draw exactly what I have in mind, and along with it I am able to decide how thick or thin my lines can be or even how many strokes or marks I can make within a drawing.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the different elements of this piece
I took into consideration the blend’s flavor but also my perception of Los Angeles. While the images of citrus and even the color are used for depicting the blend’s taste, objects such as the palm leaf and birds of paradise are symbols of Los Angeles that I felt needed to be included. Everyone who lives in L.A. knows the beauty of good parking, and everyone in L.A. should own at least one pair of good sunglasses.
Community is an important value to us at Groundwork. What does community mean to you and your work?
Community to me means an extended family where members like to work together! A place where values and ideas come together to help out one another. A place where money is not the goal, but a means of building higher ground to help those that are unable to do so as easily, as Stitch once eloquently put it: “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”
This particular piece is obviously very LA. How was LA shaped your other work and you as an artist?
L.A. immensely shaped who I am as a person and as an artist. We have so much great food and amazing coffee! There are very few places in the world where I can enjoy an iced almond latte in my t-shirt at the beach during winter, then later have Korean food with Mexican tacos in heavy gym clothes on Wilshire Boulevard past midnight. I love seeing and experiencing new cultures and embracing diversity. I also absolutely refuse with every fiber of my body to eat subpar Thai food. Because I am an Angeleno.
Are you a coffee drinker? What's your go-to coffee drink?
I proudly proclaim to be a coffee addict. However I am lactose-intolerant, therefore I order a cold brew or iced americano whenever milk alternatives aren’t available. I will never refuse an iced almond milk latte. Never.
How does coffee play a role in your life as an artist?
Coffee is essential in my art. I can go without eating properly in order to produce work, but I need adequate sleep in order to be sane and coffee is my dear friend at those moments.