You can call him a ‘logo manipulator’ and what he does to the iconic Starbucks mermaid is simply hilarious. The kind of tweaking that Soo Min Kim, an illustrator, paper cup artist, and podcast producer, does to his subjects is both awe-inspiring and comic.
So good is Kim’s spoof on Starbucks mermaid on coffee cups that some consider it better than the beverage inside! What this illustrator, based in Seoul, Korea, does is to place the Starbucks mermaid into everyday situations with such realism that it becomes both funny and thought-provoking.
Consider Kim’s illustration of a bloated Starbucks mermaid binging on junk food or simply enjoying a bath with money that Starbucks has earned over the years. He doesn’t say it, but it does seem a commentary on the way the public is preyed upon by such coffee houses. And we don’t mean Starbucks alone. This realism coupled with comedy depicted through Starbucks mermaid is being lapped up by the discerning public on social media.
Kim, who graduated from Chung-Ang University, was always passionate about drawing since his childhood. It’s his skill with markers and paint, and dollops of lively imagination that he is able to bring out his incredible variations on the Starbucks mermaid. It’s not only his work on Starbucks mermaid, but also on celebrities like Freddie Mercury, the Indian-born British singer-songwriter, and Hayao Miyazaki, a Japanese animator, filmmaker, screenwriter, cartoonist, author, and manga artist.
But it’s the Starbucks mermaid that has made Kim popular. Even the French newspaper ‘Les Echos’ incorporated his work in editorial illustrations for a Starbucks feature. He has also transformed his Instagram account into a gallery of characters that vie for space with his amazing series on Starbucks mermaid.
Incidentally, he enjoys a following of over 180,000 fans on his Instagram page alone that is set to increase with every passing day.
Soo Min Kim