Fresh & Fabulous Vegetarian features 30 illustrated (and hand-lettered) recipes by me. It’s the first complete book I created illustrations for, and it’s full of color, lettering and deliciousness.
Exploring food illustration with They Draw and Cook
I’ve always been a great foodie and a passionate (vegetarian) cook, so I was thrilled to discover the platform They Draw and Cook about a year and a half ago. It’s a platform where illustrators from around the world can share their favorite recipes by making illustrations for them – what a great concept and what awesome illustrations they have! I immediately fell in love, sent in a few pieces, and over the following months decided that I really want to keep the ball rolling with more illustrated recipes. Salli and Nate – the illustrator and sibling duo behind the project – give every illustrator with 30 illustrated recipes under their belt the chance to do a book with them. I knew I was up to the challenge.
The power of personal projects
From autumn 2016 to summer 2017 I produced a new illustrated recipe each week, only taking short holiday breaks. This was the schedule I set for myself – a new recipe every week. And I loved the whole process! Even if it was hard sometimes, coming up with a new (and delicious) recipe each week, and finding a layout direction for each one was very challenging and fun. I certainly experimented and learned a lot – about illustration, about lettering, and about colors. I have certainly become better at using Photoshop and achieving the textures and color combinations that I want, and I’ve also become much faster – in the drafting stage as well as creating the final illustration. I’ve become stronger at making decisions and applying visual concepts. For this alone, the time put into this project was absolutely worth it.
For me, this project was about having fun doing something I love, but also about building my portfolio as an illustrator. There’s nothing more powerful than personal projects for this. Investing your time and your heart into something that’s not paid work, and that will only (maybe) pay off much later may seem illogical, but it’s so important for an artist. Not only do you show the world (and potential clients like art directors and publishers) what kind of work you’re good at, you also learn a ton, get better with your tools, and make your heart sing by creating work you truly love. I’m passionate about cooking, and fresh produce – I have always been. The different colors and textures, the smell, nature’s incredible garden of edible fruits and veggies. I’m also deeply in love with colors, and drawing, and letters. For me, having the chance to do a book about all of these things combined was something I didn’t have to think about twice.
Projects like these are an awesome chance to experiment with your style and try out new techniques and refine your approach – without any pressure behind you.
Personal projects are so important for me to keep me sane and focused as an artist, and also to initiate the projects I want to work on rather than wait around until someone brings them to me.
So this book project was the perfect match! And it not only turned out that Salli from TDAC was the best art director ever (loved working with her, she’s such a fun and positive person to work with, and an awesome illustrator herself!!), but that working on a book, even if you „only“ write down recipes and put them into a layout and apply color choices to them, is a really long and hard process. I’m incredibly pleased with how this book turned out, and I hope that all of you food lovers and veggie and/or lettering fans will find that too.
The book is available from: