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Our Artist of the Week paints with coffee (yes, coffee!)

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and we want to showcase their work on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

We found her! Possibly the most 'Seattle' artist there is out there. Why, you ask? Well - she uses coffee as her 'paint' to make her beautiful work! Yes, that's right. Take a look through the gallery - every single picture in there is painted with java. WE LOVE THIS! Ok, enough of me fawning over her - let's get to know Tammie Wales!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Tammie Wales: I am 33-years-old and I have made art since, well, forever… art is all I’ve ever done. I have been painting with coffee since January of 2015 and since then it has taken over my entire artistic world. I used to work in all sorts of mediums painting murals, drawing portraits, I’m even a licensed tattoo artist and shop owner for the past 8 years but now the coffee art has 100% of my attention.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Every coffee artist does it differently but coffee art is for me very simple; brew coffee and stain the paper. Beyond that I’m not going into detail because I’m planning on tutorial videos for patreon.com only soon.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
I have a million ideas of my own but what has happened is that my exposure to an endless variety of clients requesting tattoos has opened up many new creative perspectives. So today I produce everything I like and that which I do not like simply because I now know what other people do like and it sells.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I am a fantasy art fanatic! I’d prefer to just produce mermaids, dragons, monsters, warriors, witches and vampires but I do not want to limit my audience.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I’m most currently extremely proud of my ‘Steampunk Horse Engine’. It is everything that is great about what I can do as an accomplished artist today. The art is steampunk which is fantasy, my favorite style, it is intensely detailed and lots of artists can’t do that kind of thing and it was produced in just a two day time period. However by next year I’ll have a new favorite coffee painting to replace this one on the top of my list of personal favorites.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Tattooing is without question a discipline that cannot be impersonated. A good tattoo artist can create and produce for hours even days on end with great focus and precision execution. My experience as a full time tattoo artist for many years allows me now to extend that approach consistently to my coffee art and I’m just barely getting started.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
My big plan is to purchase and RV and travel down the showing and selling my coffee art at festivals and fairs. I’m 33 with no kids and everyone older than me says now is the time.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
Just coffee, black with cinnamon.

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