#WILL: Coffee Cup Calligrapher, @kuyageorge

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First it was Facebook, then it was Twitter, and where words were the predominant means of communication across said platforms, through Instagram, visuals have slowly but surely taken precedence. Instagram allows for creative expression and storytelling through the most minute everyday lens. Here at The 5th Element Magazine, we want to highlight some the most entertaining, aethestically-appealing, inspirational and overall dopest of profiles that our fingertips have crossed paths with. Continuing our feature after a mini-vacay, #WILL: What It Look Like, we move on to highlight the typographer extraordinaire, @kuyageorge.

George Anzaldo has many labels for himself and what he does: hand letterer, typographer, muralist, sign painter. Under the guise of it all, George is an artist and a man of many words, though less of the spoken variety and more through stylistic penmanship often scrawled on coffee cups. What he says was an accidental occurrence turned into everyday habit and a popular hashtag that has played a role in the globetrotting his craft has recently taken him on, marking his territory from the Bay Area to familiar scopes in LA and all the way to Thailand. George was the first to state through this profile feature that Instagram is a crucial marketing tool for his work and where his coffee cups and handwritten signs speak for his talent, they also speak of the positive messages he wants his art to convey. We spoke to George on the benefits Instagram has on his art and staying focused on what’s really important.

1. How did you start using Instagram?
I was a bit late to the iPhone game, so I’m still pretty new.  However, Instagram was one of the first apps I downloaded. Now it’s one of my main marketing tools for my artwork.

2. What applications do you use for editing?
Afterlight.

3. How would you describe your photo aesthetic?
I enjoy seeing different perspectives.  Unexpected composition and unique color patterns.

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4. Has Instagram had any creative influence or impact on your art?
Yes.  It has been a great way for me to showcase my artwork to a broad demographic; I have transitioned from a casual user to this being one of my main sources of networking.

5. In what ways has Instagram opened new doors for you and your art?
It has put me in contact with people all over the world.  This has allowed me to work with people close to home, all the way to Thailand.

6. Do you still dance? Has Instagram played a role in that sect of your life?
Yes, I still dance and the team that I dance for has been a part of several viral dance performances.  (The Company, @Companyfam).

7. How did you start #coffeecupchronicles? How do you decide on what you’re going to write/draw on a cup on any given day? 
It kinda happened by accident. I did a cup one day that read “Don’t fail me now”, I made it thinking I was talking to the cup of coffee because I was really tired that day. After that, I started doing more and more cups, one almost everyday. Usually my inspiration would come from me making up sayings or positive messages, sometimes music and poetry play a role as well for the inspiration of the quotes I write on the cups. Depending on how I’m feeling that day will determine what I write on the cup.

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7. In a way, Instagram for artists (of all kinds) is like what YouTube did for dance groups and choreographers. Would you agree or disagree?
I would agree. It’s an easy platform for people to communicate and contact each other. I have personally experienced profit from Instagram and it’s a great way for artists to be recognized.

8. Social media has become so integrated in our everyday lives, do you think that’s a positive or a negative? Or can it be both?
It can be both.  It’s useful for all the reasons I’ve listed above, but at the same time, our world is saturated with technology and distracts us from what we should be focusing on.

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9. What do you look for more in your feed, dope aesthetics or dope content?
I look for creatives.  Tattooers, artists, typographers, graffiti writers, photographers — people who are making and creating.

10. Any profiles you recommend we follow?
@MatthewTapia – typographer.  @CoolHandKen – sign painter from the Bay Area.

Want to see more of @kuyageorge’s photos? Follow him and us on Instagram and check out what George has in store as he takes over The 5th Element’s Instagram handle, @the5thelmntmag, tomorrow!

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Nina Tabios

Nina Smoove aka Champagne Ninang. Certified hooligan. $F Bay Area born and bred.

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