This barista draws charming caricatures of customers on their coffee cups

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This barista draws charming caricatures of customers on their coffee cups

If you go to the Starbucks near Eglinton Avenue East and Warden Avenue, you might be walking out with a caricature of yourself on your coffee cup, thanks to a talented local barista.

In the 30-45 seconds that it takes to take an order, scribble it down and pass the cup along to another barista, Jason Tocewicz finds the time to draw caricatures of the customers in front of him.

"I try to sneak it in there. I try to make it inconspicuous but it's kind of become more popular so a lot of people ask for it or are expecting it," he said. 

Tocewicz says he can fit in anywhere from a dozen to two dozen cartoons per day, depending on how busy it is and whether or not there are enough Sharpies lying around.

Usually it takes him 30 seconds but sometimes Tocewicz can finish a quick drawing in only 10-15 seconds – shorter than the time it takes for you to decide if you want whipped cream on that macchiato of yours.

"As I'm writing non-fat and asking their name, I'm already doing the shape of the face, the eyes, the hair as quick as possible," he said. 

Tocewicz has been working at the same Starbucks location in Scarborough for seven years, and has worked for the company for a decade – since before Starbucks was even putting names on cups.

He said at first, it was just a way for him to make sure customers' orders weren't getting mixed up.

"It just became about the fun of doing it. It's also a stress reliever. Most of the time when I'm not at work I'd rather be at home drawing so it became a way of doing something for myself… it was fun kind of throwing myself out there putting a piece of me on someone's cup."

Soon Tocewicz started to create more more elaborate and colourful coffee cup art during his break at work and at home, which he posts on his Instagram page @jasontocewicz. He has made elaborate coffee cup art for his coworkers and many of his regular customers. 

Little act of kindness

Tocewicz says he's motivated to keep going and do as many cartoons as possible because of the positive response he gets from customers.

"There was this one lady who told me about this horrible day she had...she left the store and she saw this drawing I did for her on her cup, and she said it totally changed everything for her that day," he said.

"She came in the store a year later and she told me the story and she was crying. She was like, 'you have no idea how much that little act of kindness did for me.'"