via Advertiser: Forget the paintbrush and easel, all Wez Koni needs to make a masterpiece is some froth and a toothpick.
The Leumeah resident is fast becoming known across Sydney for his amazing latte art.
Mr Koni doesn’t settle for leaves and flowers in his froth – he’s more likely to craft portraits, landscapes or fluffy animals.
“I’ve always had an artistic flair,” the 29-year-old said.
“I’ve loved sketching and photography since I was about five years old. Now I use the coffee as my canvas.”
Mr Koni makes his latte masterpieces at the Macquarie Fields Salvation Army site.
His job as a barista wasn’t the first time the artist crossed paths with the Salvos.
When he was just a toddler, the Papua New Guinean fell into a fire and suffered horrific burns.
He was taken to a Salvation Army medical clinic and was treated by Australian nurse Lorraine Mack, who later adopted him.
Mr Koni has now lived in the Macarthur area for about a decade and loves interacting with his customers and uploading pictures of his caffeinated creations to Instagram. He has spent countless hours watching videos to hone his craft.
“I would just watch all the YouTube clips when I was at home and on the bus,” he said.
“I didn’t take any classes or anything, just YouTube.
“First I had to learn how to actually make the coffee and steam the milk and then I could move onto the art.”
Soon enough Mr Koni was using chocolate sauce, food colouring and a whole lot of creativity to design amazing images in his coffees.
He said he had improved significantly in the few years he’d been working on the art and loved the challenges presented to him by customers.
“Lots of people ask me to do portraits, which is always fun,” he said.
“I’ve even done a portrait for John Howard.
“Recently someone asked me to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset, which was a really good one.”
Mr Koni said the challenge was to work fast to complete the picture, because “no one wants to drink their coffee cold”.
He said people had travelled from across Sydney to try one of his coffees.
“It’s pretty crazy really,” he said. “While it’s great to do a nice picture, the best thing is seeing the smile on people’s faces when they get their coffee. It’s more than coffee – it’s love in coffee.”