In the relatively short time I’ve been working as an illustrator I’ve had the great pleasure of being involved with the making of three books. All of the books have been completely different from each other, one has been published internationally and the whole thought and creative process has been completely unique for book.
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
The first book relates to my old career as a chef and is called “Home Style Taiwanese Cooking”. This book is all about the kinds of food we eat in our homes in Taiwan and contains around 60 recipes complete with photos, lots of descriptions and some of my illustrations. Creating this book was a very interesting process. We were only given around two months by the publisher Marshall Cavendish to create all of the recipes so this meant lots of buying ingredients, lots of time cooking photographing and finally writing everything up.
Aside from working in restaurants kitchens this is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done but I’m really pleased with the outcome of the book. It can be bought through a number of different outlets including Amazon, Waterstones, etc.
The Illustrative Chef: 30 Illustrated Recipes by Liv Wan
My second officially published book came from They Draw and Cook and was entitled “The Illustrative Chef – 30 Illustrated Recipes by Liv Wan”. After I published my first cookbook, the Home Style Taiwanese Cookbook” I focused my efforts on something I wanted to do for a number of years and created a number of illustrated recipes which I submitted to the popular “They Draw and Cook” website. They ran a competition where they chose just a couple of their favourite illustrators to create an illustrated cookbook and I was one of them. Awesome!
This book was a lot of fun to create and it effectively ticked off something from my illustration bucket list.
This book is available any country that has Amazon but here are two links anyway.
Home Style Chinese Cooking
After Home Style Taiwanese Cooking came out I was asked by my publisher if I would be interested in making a second book, this time about Home Style Chinese Cooking.
So I present you with *drumroll* Home Style Chines Cooking. Is Chinese cooking the same as Taiwanese cooking? Well yes and no. My background and training is in Taiwanese and Western cooking but my grandparents are all Chinese and they were the main cooks in my family. So I’ve had the great pleasure of being surrounded by both cuisines and I’ve picked up a tremendous of recipes from my grandparents.
So this book is all about the Chinese food we eat at home. Restaurant food is a whole other ball game and maybe eventually I will do a restaurant style cook book but for now here is “Home Style Chinese Cooking”. Once the book is available I’ll post some links here. All photos are by my husband Chris Radley and I did all the illustrations.
My Illustrated Manifesto
The second book I worked on was my illustrated manifesto. I was asked by someone what my illustrated manifesto would look like and it really made me think about my journey. I’m still quite young but I’ve lived in a number of different countries and indeed cities. I started off in Taipei, Taiwan, then I moved to Shanghai for a year, which was a very(!) interesting place to live, then I moved to Birmingham, England, which I didn’t like so much and then my husband and I ended up in Edinburgh, Scotland, where we’ve lived for a few years now and really love.
This book wasn’t published but I created it myself along with a very unique cover so this was a really thoughtful but fun project. If you’re interested in having something like this created for yourself I would love to hear from you.
The Man Who Lives in the Zoo
The final book I was involved in was a competition for Edinburgh Zoo. Unbeknown to me before entering this competition I had no idea someone actually lives inside Edinburgh Zoo. This person is called Darren and he’s head of all the animals and lives in a wee cottage, complete with Sky tv and his own cat, and he’s responsible for all of the animals. If you visit Edinburgh Zoo you may notice a little cottage and think to yourself “why is there a little cottage in the zoo”. Well, that’s Darren’s home.
We, the competitors, were given unprecedented access to Edinburgh Zoo, which was a truly great experience, and he described his life at Edinburgh Zoo. He has sky tv and a cat as mentioned above and he described ordering takeaways as “very interesting”. Just imagine you work at Dominos and someone places an evening delivery for pizza at Edinburgh Zoo. One must think one is “taking the pee”. But no, he really does live there.
So this is my interpretation of a day in the life of Darren, the head of the animals, at Edinburgh Zoo. I have to say this project was great fun. I used a lot more textures at this point then I had done before and I also had the book made by Blurb. Apart from a couple little quality control issues on the behalf of Blurb I really like how the book looks.