Endless Lively Conversations...
"Endless lively conversations over endless cups of coffee in literary cafés"- Lawrence Ferlinghetti
When we created this illustration in collaboration with Mr. Ferlinghetti and Double Day for the release of Little Boy, we had no idea that this line would take on new (aspirational!) meaning thanks to COVID.
To have a cup of coffee in a real cafe… But I digress.
Part fiction, part autobiography, Little Boy’s expansive stream-of-consciousness narrative enthralled us, and the romance of this passage swept us up. It summons vintage images of coffee-fueled benders in Greenwich Village, beat generation poets, romantic dissidents, and sense makers lifting up the wall-to-wall carpet of American culture to see where all the dirt had been swept.
There are so many extraordinary insights and breathtaking sentences in Mr. Ferlinghetti's spiraling work, but we gravitated to this one, perhaps a bit for the sake of nostalgia, but also because it sums up a fundamental lesson he has taught us: that meaning-making is first and foremost a communal act. In a time when unprecedented access to digital communication tools have ironically led us to unprecedented divisiveness, sharing coffee and conversation may be the necessary antidote.
In these isolating times of COVID,face time in a crowded cafe is something we all dream about in 2021.
For the drawing, we explored the idea of "endless cups of coffee" as a visual pattern on cafe tables that interlock and overlap each other, much like a great conversation. Coffee pouring from a pot into a cup forms the tip of a fountain pen.