Introducing our latest Compostable Canvas artist, Grace Popplewell.

Introducing our latest Compostable Canvas artist, Grace Popplewell.

We are very lucky to have had Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist Grace Popplewell, design our latest Compostable Canvas Hot Cups. With their nod to our hospitality industry, they capture the cosy essence of being inside a cafe. We spoke to Grace about the inspiration behind these cups and what sustainability means to her.


Hey Grace, thanks for chatting with us. Firstly can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you got into design?

Absolutely! So, art has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I've been sketching, painting, and just immersing myself in all things creative for as long as I can remember. But it was during high school that I realised my artwork could have a practical side too. It was like a lightbulb moment! Suddenly, I saw how my creativity could be channelled into design, making things that people actually use in their everyday lives. That's when I knew I wanted to turn this passion into my dream job.

I went on to study design formally at AUT and dove headfirst into learning different design disciplines, with a main focus on illustration. It was a real eye-opener. I discovered the endless possibilities and became obsessed with creating designs that not only look great but also make people's lives easier and more enjoyable.

If you could describe your design style in one sentence, what would it be?

Describing my design style in just one sentence is quite a challenge since I love exploring a wide range of media and styles! From bold digital illustrations to intricate realism and expressive abstract paintings, I find inspiration in the boundless possibilities of a blank canvas. If I had to sum it all up in one sentence, I’d say ‘my design style seeks to capture the excitement and joy I feel while creating, infusing my work with a sense of vibrant happiness and endless creativity.’

We absolutely love the design you created for our latest Compostable Canvas, how did you come up with the design?

Thank you so much! I had a blast creating these designs. My aim was to achieve a modern, bold, and clean look while infusing a playful and inviting vibe that captures the cosy atmosphere of a café or restaurant. I wanted the design to evoke fond memories of being in a café, so I incorporated illustrations that serve as snapshots of those cherished moments. To add a touch more warmth and depth, I used a painterly brush texture to soften the high-contrast, graphic, black and white line work.

What influences your design work? 

My design influences are ever-evolving, it’s difficult for me to look at almost anything without envisioning it as a drawing or painting. Currently, I'm gearing up for an upcoming trip to Europe, and my research on the beautiful landscapes, architecture, colours, and artwork in places like Croatia, Italy, and the South of France has me buzzing with excitement and fresh inspiration. These captivating themes have undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping much of my recent work!

What are your favourite cafes around Auckland? 

There are so many! I love Ozone in Grey Lynn, their eggs benny is 10/10. Also Crave in Morningside will always have a special place in my heart.

As sustainability is a huge part of our business we love to chat about it. What sustainable practices have you introduced into your day to day life?

First and foremost I love to shop second-hand, it’s not only more sustainable and budget-friendly, but it’s also so much more fun to hunt through an op-shop with the girls and find hidden gems. 

I’ve also recently made the switch from plastic milk cartons to refilling a glass bottle with fresh Lewis Road Creamery milk from Farro. It’s kind of a fun ritual walking up with my glass bottle and filling it up myself, and it's gratifying to reduce single-use plastic waste where you can. As a nice little bonus, the glass bottle looks a lot cuter in my fridge, and Lewis Road Creamery milk is so delicious.

If you could have a coffee with anyone famous who would it be and why? 

Maybe David Hockney. As an artist, I have always been captivated by Hockney's vibrant and iconic artwork. Sitting down with him would be an incredible opportunity to discuss his creative process, his use of colour and composition, and his unique perspectives on art and life. I would love to hear about his artistic journey, the inspirations behind his renowned works, and his thoughts on the evolving art world. Engaging in a conversation with David Hockney would be a true privilege and a chance to gain profound insights from a living legend of the art world.

Lastly, please let our readers know where they can find / support your work. (instagram, website etc)

You can find and support my work on my website, where all my artwork is available for purchase at

For a more behind-the-scenes experience, come join me on Instagram @grace.ppplwll where I'm most active. I love sharing sneak peeks of works in progress, showcasing new paintings and design projects, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing some pics from my travels in Europe. Additionally, I often host giveaways, so it's a great way to stay connected and have the chance to win some of my creations!

Shop these great Hot Cups now!


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