Jackson-based multimedia visual artist, H.I. Green, says Cups made them feel like they had been “awakened again” and considers the cafe a go-to place for getting inspiration for new artworks.
For Green, the creative process starts with the title.
“Thinking of a title is the start to everything most of the time,” Green said. “Hearing weird, random quotes from people’s conversations at Cups can really help with title-building.”
After selecting a title, Green then drafts the “look” or overall aesthetic of the artwork through journaling, and then works with acrylic paints and oil pastels to bring the vision to life. Cups has played a vital role in the initial drafting and brainstorming process of Green’s work since their undergraduate days.
“Many a sketch was done at Cups on late nights when I had sketches due the next day,” Green said. “As an undergrad, I would come and do homework or sketch during my favorite barista’s shift and we’d talk about art I was working on and catch up. It was nice to talk to people that I don’t normally talk to about my work.”
Green has since had their work displayed at Cups in Fondren. Their work “Looking Forward to It,” an acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, garnered a huge positive response on social media, and represented a revitalization of the artist’s vision and confidence.
“Once ‘Stuck in the Green Room’ sold, I had all of this space,” Green said. “I started forcing myself to sketch a lot more and journal a lot more. ‘Looking Forward to It’ came out of a sheer need for painting and to get myself to do art again since it had been a minute since I had done a really good, finished piece.”
Green says that being able to show their work at Cups, without the stress of commission, also allowed them to feel more connected to their community and prepare them for graduate school.
“Having my work displayed at Cups allowed me to be more confident in people seeing and looking at my work,” Green said. “Cups helped me feel like my art had a place in the community…It felt nice to have something displayed and to see that people were enjoying it.”
To any local artists wanting to have their art displayed at Cups, Green had this advice to share:
“Come prepared. Lay out your pieces and see which one fits the vibe. And don’t forget to make name cards for your pieces!”
H.I. Green is currently applying to graduate schools and continues to create artwork and visit Cups for inspiration and their go-to Honeybush fog with oat milk. Be sure to follow them on Instagram (@h.i.greenn) for updates on their latest work!