Without coffee, Amy Franke can't function - not only is the cup (or alternatively, bucket) of coffee a key element and inspiration in many of Amy's illustrations, but the magical brown drink also serves as "survival fuel" and is one of the reasons for the insane success of the Munich-born, now Berlin-based illustrator, Amy Franke.
Amy Franke is a "coffee sipping illustrator" who for about 3 years has not only been causing a stir on Instagram, but also in the German coffee scene. In line with her collaboration with Rancilio, for which she was able to lovingly illustrate an espresso machine, her own espresso roast is now coming out!
From now on, when the real Amy makes coffee at home, it will be her own roast! The "Rise and Grind" roast brings everything needed to transform a morning grump into a ray of sunshine. But back to Amy - we interviewed her because we wanted to know how she got to the graphics and to coffee, of course.
19grams: Icebreaker Question: How do you drink your coffee when you go to a cafe?
Amy Franke: Always a large cappuccino with oat milk!
19grams: You describe yourself on your IG channel as a "coffee sipping illustrator" - what's behind that? Who are you and where exactly do you come from?
Amy Franke: My name is Amy Franke, I'm 23 years old and I come from near Munich! During my studies in print and media technology, I became self-employed as an illustrator and began to post my illustrations on my social media channel @amyfranke_.
19grams: How did you develop your artistic skills and what training or schooling did you complete to become an illustrator?
Amy Franke: My studies focused on the field of engineering, so there were few artistic aspects. It was only during my practical semester in marketing that I taught myself Adobe InDesign and Illustrator using tutorials and began to work intensively with these programs!
19grams: How did you come to create these great graphics? Have you been carrying the idea around with you for a while, or did you want to do something completely different?
Amy Franke: Originally, I had planned to enter the IT industry after my studies and work as a programmer. However, during my practical semester, I slid into the graphic direction, especially with a focus on social media graphics and animations like GIFs for Instagram stories and AR filters for platforms like Instagram and TikTok. At first, I posted my illustrations more for fun, without the expectation that they would ever reach as many people as they do now.
19grams: Do you remember your first illustration that you published?
Amy Franke: In fact, I posted my first illustration of my character in January 2021! In this, my character was seen hugging a huge coffee cup.
19grams: What highlights or milestones have you achieved in your career as an illustrator so far?
Amy Franke: It's really incredible how the account has grown and how many people follow my illustrations. The collaboration with brands like Stradivarius, Casetify, and Urban Outfitters was also an exciting experience and definitely a highlight! Being able to release my own coffee after posting so much coffee content over the past few years still feels surreal!
19grams: How did you come up with the idea of choosing coffee as a theme for your illustrations? Why coffee? What was particularly important to you about coffee (why 19grams)? :)
Amy Franke: Coffee is a topic that connects many people, and the exaggeratedly portrayed coffee consumption is very relatable for many. It's amazing how present coffee is in the culture and everyday life of many people. 19grams was actually the first cafe I was in Berlin, and I was excited from the beginning!
19grams: What techniques or materials do you use to create your coffee illustrations?
Amy Franke: I mainly use my iPad and the Procreate app to create the sketches for my illustrations. For vector-based graphics, I rely on Adobe Illustrator. These two tools are my preferred combination for creating and editing my illustrations.
19grams: What does the creative process look like when you're working on a coffee illustration? What are your steps from the idea to the finished work of art?
Amy Franke: Most of the time, the ideas actually come to me while drinking coffee or in other everyday situations. Then I usually sketch them very roughly into my notes app so I don't forget them, and then create a colored illustration. After that, I make about 1000 small changes until I'm satisfied!
19grams: You now have different setups at home - what is part of your daily coffee routine?
Amy Franke: I now have a Rancilio espresso machine with a matching grinder and I'm totally thrilled with it! However, I must admit that part of my daily coffee routine is forgetting not to touch the milk frother - and burning my hand!
19grams: How is your latte art coming along in general? :)
Amy Franke: I would say there's still room for improvement, but it's getting better step by step! At this point, I would like to say thank you again for allowing me to participate in your barista course. This has definitely contributed to the fact that you can now guess that my latte art is supposed to represent a heart.
19grams: How has your relationship with coffee evolved over time?
Amy Franke: Although black coffee and I are still not friends, there is at least already a 50/50 ratio of milk to coffee!
19grams: What are your future plans or goals as an illustrator? Are there any specific projects, challenges, or dreams you would like to realize?
Amy Franke: My next goal is to deal more intensively with the topic of having my own exhibition. This would be a big dream for me and a significant milestone in my career. In addition, I plan to publish my coffee table book, which I have been working on for 2 years, as well as enter into further exciting collaborations with talented artists and interesting companies!
If you're now curious about what the "Rise and Grind" roast might taste like, you better check it out straight away. Here is the link to the coffee