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Portraits of the underground

Inspired by the city's wide diversity, Lisamaria Laxholm sketches the characters she meets in the rattling carriages of London's Tube network. She's been busy creating a set of special edition coasters that could be yours to win.


Commuter culture

We met Lisa on London Underground's Circle line to find out how she captures London's
commuters in her incredible illustrations.

What made you start sketching on the underground?

I've always done lots of drawing but it was mostly still life or from my imagination. I find that if you want to get real authenticity and character, you should just draw whatever's around you. So that's what I do. Also, if you have a long journey, it's the best way to kill time.

How do you think people feel about being drawn?

It ranges a lot. I think some people initially find it a little intimidating. I mean I don't stare at them, I'm not creepy like that, but I do obviously have to look at them. So I think some people get a little put-off but, when I get talking to them, the majority are actually quite interested in what I'm doing.

So you've managed to break the silence on the tube?

Yeah, and I think it's actually much easier to do than people think. When I was on the tube the other day a busker was going from carriage to carriage playing tunes, and people really engaged with him. So I was drawing him and he was playing music, it was a great feeling of community.

What have you learnt about people from observing commuter culture?

People do want to talk, and they do want to share their stories. I think we're always concerned that we live in a society that's condensed to an online presence, you know, not fully being there because you're on your phone or you're checking emails or something. If you just take out your headphones and pay attention to what's going on around you it's quite fascinating.

How are you finding your Circolo Coffee Machine?

It's wonderful, very chic. I usually go for the Grandé, but I'm really looking forward to trying the Nestea Lemon Iced Tea. After a long day of sketching on the tube during the summer months, it'll be the perfect way to cool down.




Win a set of limited edition coasters

For the chance to win Lisamaria's London-inspired coasters and some Dolce Gusto Pods, follow @DolceGusto on Instagram and share what you love about where you live with #DolceGustoInspires before 20 August.

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