These Intricate Disposable Coffee Cup Designs Take A Month To Make And Sell For Hundreds

Cheeming Boey paper cup art

Photo: Cheeming Boey

The marketing team at Sharpie, the pen company, must have dropped to its knees in gratitude when it discovered Cheeming Boey, a Malaysian-born, California-based artist whose oeuvre consists of incredibly detailed, circular line drawings on disposable coffee cups.He uses a Sharpie.

The company signed him up to its promotional 2011 Sharpie Squad—a group of sponsored artists that use the Magic Marker’s sister brand. He also starred in a video from ad agency DraftFCB that was featured in TED’s 2012 “Ads Worth Spreading” award.

Boey, 34, has sold his fragile, disposable art for six years. Some, like this samurai design, are priced as high as $1,250. They’re incredibly complicated—each picture forms a perfect, endless loop around the cup.

Not bad for someone who started the project as a bet after he left his job as a video game animator.

Boey became determined to prove the friends wrong.

He got a showing with the Marion Meyer Gallery in Laguna Beach, Calif., where he priced the cups at $180 each.

Boey can turn out five or six cups per month. But each cup may take several weeks to finish.

He carries about 70 cups in his for-sale inventory.

This is what the cupmaster looks like.

Here's DraftFCB's video of Boey discussing his process.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.