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Bernadette Moke-Downtown Doodler-Starbucks Cups

This week we profile Bernadette Moke, the illustrator behind the Untapped Cities column Downtown Doodler, most famous for the Grande Doodle Starbucks cups that went viral.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?

I really enjoyed drawing the Chrysler Building Archidoodle, it was a departure for me from my usual art style, but I haven’t looked back since. It was a turning point in my style. But thinking about the piece as a whole, art and writing, The Jefferson Market Library is my favorite piece, I love that watercolor and my writing was some of my best.

What’s your “day job”?

I am the art director at Diversified Media Group. We do digital signage for JCDecaux, Nike, Adidas, TDBank, Bank of America, Coach, Chanel, Time Warner Center, Prudential and more. Personally I do social media, all marketing, also any creative work our clients need. I’ve done animations for Nike, Adidas and Prudential. The highlight of my career was having one of my videos in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue during Fashion Week in the Fall of 2010. I also do some work for our sister companies, Diversified Systems and Sky Web Digital Media.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

In my city, Roselle Park, there is a homemade pasta place, Casa di Trevi. Best. Ravioli. Ever. In NYC there is little French place on the lower east side, Antibes Bistro. It’s cozy and charming, and the food is incredible (try the Guiness braised short ribs!). I have all my go-to food spots in the city that are outstanding and not super crowded. Hera are a few:

Lunasa for Brunch, so much food for under $15

Half Pint for an extensive beer list and cheese curds

Tacombi for tacos

Thai Son for Vietnamese food

East Village Tavern for Mac and cheese

What’s the most memorable thing that happened while at Untapped Cities?

Dîner en Blanc, which we attend as an Untapped Cities team, is always an amazing experience. I’ve been fortunate to go twice now. But also the MAS After Dark Party at the New York Public Library last year was really fun.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned during your internship?

I learned a great deal about writing, networking, and that if you ask nicely and drop Untapped Cities name you can get special tours. DISCLAIMER: I did this once for an piece about The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. But seriously, I’ve learned a lot about myself as an artist and writer, and that can only help my career and make my future columns even better.

What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?

I really enjoyed visiting castle ruins in Ireland. My favorite is a medieval Franciscan abbey, The Claregalway Friary located in the town of Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland.

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

I grew up in Monroe Township, and my favorite obscure fact about it is:

In the early 1900’s, Bernarr Macfadden, influential American proponent of physical culture, came to the part of Monroe and attempted to set up a camp called “Physical Culture City”, where he could teach his beliefs health and strength training. However, in 1907, Macfadden was arrested for distribution of pornography and the camp dissolved. He died of a UTI in 1955.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I love exploring and photographing abandoned buildings, I usually do it alone which might not always be the best idea. I guess that’s the craziest thing, I’m not usually one to take risks and break the rules, give me a sharpie, paper and plop me in front of the TV and I’m a happy camper.

What are some of your favorite websites?

I visit the fashion site/blog, Tom & Lorenzo religiously. I would be lost without my Wunderlists. I get all my new recipes from Pinterest. Colossal is a HUGE source of inspiration. I’m now addicted to Cookie Clicker (thanks to Luke from Untapped Cities). I love looking at What Do You Carry, but I’m biased because I was recently featuredRetronaut is a site I turn to when I need a mental break at work. Of and of COURSE Untapped Cities!!!

Find out how to join the Untapped Cities team.

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