Interview: Gabriel Nkweti

I met Gabriel in a random, didn’t expect it kinda way. I walked into Starbucks one chilly morning for a Hazelnut hot chocolate and saw these sketches on cups displayed. Me thinking it’s for their autumn collection, only to be told at a later visit that they’re not for use but one of the staff drew them. I was totally blown away by the skill and detail, not to mention patience it took to sketch some of the designs. Anyway, the barista pointed out Gabriel, who was making my drink, and said he did the designs. I went up to him and here we are with an interview 🙂

I’ll say that this is my first published interview I’ve done with a stranger, and it was an absolute pleasure.

Tell me a bit about yourself

I was born in Cameroon and when I was pre-teen we moved to France. My mother is French white and my father is from Cameroon. I remember the first thing I ever drew was a plane and clouds. You see when we visited France I would be awake when we took off and fell asleep, so as a child I always thought France was in the clouds. Hahaha! Funny how a child’s mind works. After years of living in France I wanted to have a change so a friend said let’s go to London and I’ve been here for the past 4 years.

sketch artist gabriel nkweti

Gabriel and some of his designs

How did you get into art?

I think it must be something in my family. My brother is this amazing sculptor and my mother draws. I remember going to one class and was bored. I wanted to do what I wanted to do which was different from what the teacher wanted me to do. I told my mother I didn’t want to go back.

How do you do what you do?

It’s often serendipity. If I think about it too much it won’t work. In a moment some ideas will appear. It’s like a bottle neck and they come into a small passage and then woosh! It’s like an addiction, I can wake up at 4am because I have to draw. It’s about listening to yourself.

sketch artist gabriel nkweti

Starbucks designs 1

Do you only sketch?

No I paint as well. Oh wait I have my painting to show you…

artist gabriel nkweti

Art Temporary

Gabriel explains that the blue in the painting represents water/ice  and then other things came to him like the axe and this is how it came together for him

Do you have a preference? Sketching or painting?

I like to sketch and turn it into a painting. I like to paint because it come to life, if I had more time I would paint. I want to recreate the feelings and emotions of people. I’m always interested in what people feel or think when they see my work. I’m always asking what’s your favourite and am always surprised by their response. You always wonder what do they see. I can’t help myself I have to draw.

sketch artist gabriel nkweti

Sketches on Starbucks cups

What’s the dream for your art?

To have my own brand.

What makes your heart sing?

It’s difficult and simple. My Italian beauty (his girlfriend Georgia) she’s the best thing that’s happened to me. I will also say people, people are amazing in all ways.

sketch artist gabriel nkweti

Gabriel with his sketches

What struck me about Gabriel is his passion, humility and kindness. He’s compelled to be of service to others through his art and does his best to fulfill that. Like most talented artists he is never satisfied with his work and thank goodness for his girlfriend who acts as a sound board to help him regain his centre.

If you like his work you can check him out on his Instagram or his Facebook pages.

Thank you for reading and until next time be well!


6 thoughts on “Interview: Gabriel Nkweti

  1. I loved this interview! And it’s so inspiring that you even took the time to interview him – I’m sure that also meant a lot to Gabriel. Too often in London we are rushing around – especially in somewhere like Starbucks where people are just like “Coffee NOW!” – so it’s lovely to see someone so creative expressing themselves in this way and people like you stopping to acknowledge it. Hopefully more people like you will take notice and one day he’ll have his own brand! 🙂


    • Thanks you so much for reading and commenting! Really pleased you enjoyed it! Sometimes when you stop to smell the roses your find some beautiful gems. Yes I really hope he gets his own brand so everyone can see his creativity.


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