We’re both very busy people, she has a busy full time job and I’m always working on 4-5 commissioned projects every month so we both decided to work on this project over the course of 3-4 months simply to give both of us less pressure.
So the way we worked together is she cooked a batch of dishes she wanted to put in this book and she took some really simple photos (but clear enough for me to see the shape and colour of the food. She would then email me the photos, I would sketch the dishes and email back to her for approval. I would illustrate the food in different platings and with different surroundings. Once approved I would develop the illustrations in Illustrator and do final editing in Photoshop. This is typical of how I work with almost all of my clients.
The most challenging part of this project is there were some dishes I have never cooked or tried in my life. Once I have tried a dish I’m pretty good at visualising how it should be plated but three dishes; “Stuffed Chayote“, ” Achiote Chickpeas” and “Sloppy Joe” I’ve never tried. So for these dishes I had to email my customer back a couple time to ask for a recipe and/or list of ingredients for that dish. But I do think my chef background helps a lot when I work on this kind of project as I understand a lot of theories about cooking and cooking techniques for a lot of food and ingredients.
My experiences of cooking for my own food blog also helps me a lot when working on this kind of project. If you follow my food blog “Egg Wan’s Food Odyssey” then you know I cook and style all the dishes in my food blog and my husband Chris takes photos for my food. I think many years of food styling and helping out my husband to take food photos helps me to visualise the dish and how to make the whole setting look beautiful. I like to let the surrounding decorations, such as ingredients, tablecloth, cutlery and food itself to tell the story and communicate with viewer through the photos. So I use the same way to comes out some decoration and different setting and angle for my food illustrations as well to try to make viewers feel hungry when they see my food illustrations.
Below are some of the food illustrations from this project. If you want to make a unique and special illustrated cookbook for your friends and family and need some help, please contact me. I can help you with your food illustrations and more.