Some of my first memories are of drawing or coloring. I even ruined my Playschool kitchen set by adding some crayon doodles to the stark white pop-up table. Since then I have switched from crayons to Sharpie markers and from plastic toys to more traditional materials, though sometimes I do go back to my “roots” and doodle on whatever I can get my hands on. Most of my creative moments are late at night, when everyone else is asleep and the world is quiet. Quiet enough for me to get things done with out too many distractions. Ask anyone who knows me: I’m notoriously not a morning person, so my night owl habits usually make mornings rough. Like most of the world, I need a caffeine crutch until almost noon, but unlike most of the world I’d rather lick a shoe than drink coffee. Hellllooo chai tea! Sometimes I’ll ask for an extra pump of chai tea syrup at Starbucks and I’ll be flying until at least 2pm.

During one of these extra pump days my procrastination set in and my empty grande Starbucks cup sat there, taunting me, asking me to doodle on it. Once my Sharpie marker joined in on the taunting, I couldn’t resist. So much open white space! The clean circle with the green and white scales reaching the edge of the logo just begged to be connected, extended and twisted. I gave in and my Starbucks project was born. I don’t get a chai tea every day, so i can take my time and make sure each cup is it’s own little masterpiece.


Sometimes I sit on my designs for awhile, thinking about my next step. Other times I dive right in, pushing the thought of a ruined cup out of my mind, pledging to cover-up any mistakes.

Inspired by a dahlia flower, I saw this pattern executed in a rug and thought it was elegant and beautiful. It just need a little bit of tweaking to fit around the logo. I let go of a few weaker design ideas that I initially thought would make the pattern better and let the remaining elements work together.

I have a recurring circle theme, but out of all my circle cups, this one is my favorite. It’s clean, simple, and pleasingly not symmetrical. This was my second cup and it set the bar for the rest.

This cute yet angry octopus perched on the Starbucks logo wasn’t my initial idea. I was going to turn the entire logo into the head of the octopus, but realized it wouldn’t be as cute as a smaller one sitting on top. Although this isn’t typical of my cup designs, it’s one of my favorites.

Want to see all my doodle cups in detail? Click here.

What are my plans for future cups? I’m going try to visit some neighborhood coffee shops, both in New York City and New Jersey, and unleash my Sharpie markers on them. Stay tuned!


  1. Taylor says:

    that is so cool. i work at starbucks, I’ll mention your website at work

  2. hailey says:

    Is there anyway I can get those cups!?!?

  3. […] a little smaller to keep me (and my favorite baristas) from over-watering my tea. Inspired, by the Downtown Doodler and a New Museum coffee set, I made […]

  4. […] On March 31st, 2012 A Book Called… Forever will take the stage at a Pre-Release Exhibition [Map] prior to it’s official journey of the U.S.A and Canada on The Sketchbook Project, 2012 World Tour! The night will feature a premiere showcase of Rob Jelinski’s newest creation, A Book Called… Forever. There will also be unplugged performances by Joel Jelinski and M. Josephine, and a live mix of music that inspired the project from DJ Irs. Some official Tour Memorabilia will also be given away throughout the night. Our very own Downtown Doodle  will be there doodling some of her famous Starbucks cups! […]

  5. […] a pre-release exhibit.  He was kind enough to ask me to attend this event and doodle on some Starbucks cups in the crowd! I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing event. If you are interested in […]

  6. Aunt Peg says:

    Bern, these are INCREDIBLE!!! I am blown away! Gosh this would make the coolest, most creative portfolio! I knew you were amazingly talented, but, WOW. I love you!!!!!

  7. […] Grande Doodles, by the Downtown Doodler Commented […]

  8. Vicky W. says:

    that’s awesome!

  9. Brittany says:

    bern, you rock! these cups are awesome!!!

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