Food Illustration: 5 Talents To Know

In an ever-present digital world, analog things has its ways of always coming back and take a new hold of me. In todays #foodstagram, infographic and vector-heavy digital landscape, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone didn’t know about the concept of drawing with their hands. For others, like me, it has opened their minds to how awesome illustration can be.

And quite embarrassingly so. It marvels me sometimes how foggy our minds become through the endless streams of hashtags, timelines and feeds. Must I unfollow everybody I know in order to regain my personal taste in things, with the possibility of actually discovering something fresh?

That is essentially what happened today.

How Food Illustration Blew My Mind

After a session of aimless wondering through the web I remembered my Ello account. Everybody knows the feeling of striking gold when you’re least expecting it, and by revisiting my old Ello account I discovered an illustrator I actually had known about before. Not by name though, but through her work.

But first, the back story:

As an avid reader of Lucky Peach, I love the way the magazine disrupt the usual way of covering food journalism. Not only are the articles so much fun to read, but they spice it up with equally quirky images. I instantly recognised Justine Wong’s work through her Ello account from many Lucky Peach articles I’ve read previously, and sat up quickly. This was the start of a good hour of deep research into the world of food illustrators, and the people I saw connected to each other opened up a whole new world for me. A world of deep admiration first, followed up by a newfound love for food. In a strange way.

It’s pretty remarkable how these talented illustrators take the concept of food to a whole new level through their work. Let’s take a look:

Justine Wong

In a Lucky Peach article about spending a day in Tokyo, freelance illustrator Justine Wong wrote a marvellous piece based on a Kickstarter project she started titled 21 Days in Japan: An Illustrative Study on Japanese Cuisine’. 

The project funded twenty-one days of eating in Japan, with Justine documenting the meals through one hundred watercolor paintings. When I discovered this piece, it blew my mind.

Justine Wong’s terribly talented.

Check out Justine’s work here:

Julia Rothman

Illustrated, food-themed patterns was something never were on my radar until I discovered the work of Julia Rothman.

Apart from being a part of ALSO and reviewing art and design books on her blog, Julia works from her studio in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002.

Check out Justine’s work here:

Tom Hovey

Tom Hovey is a Welsh Illustrator based in Bristol.

Tom’s multi-disciplinary approach has seen him apply his unique style across a broad spectrum of genres including TV graphics, food illustration, editorial, book illustration, storyboarding, animation, apparel design and murals.

Check out Tom’s work here:

Emma Dibben

Emma has become well known for her splatters, fingerprints and splodges, a visual language that she has carefully developed and is now part of her trademark style. Food is not only important to Emma’s Illustration practice, it informs a big part of her life.

Check out Emma’s work here:

Luis Mendo

After 20 years of working as a Graphic, Type and Editorial Designer, Creative Director, Design Consultant, Teacher and Creative Thinker in Amsterdam, Luis now draws in Tokyo, Japan.

Check out Luis’ work here:

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