Coffee Lovers

Coffee Lovers

Recently I’ve been working more on my personal projects. I’m still really busy with paid work but I was thinking about what I’ve produced in the last 12 months and I’ve barely created anything for myself and while it’s great I’m getting paid work I really want to keep creating work for myself and my portfolio. So I decided to create a series of illustrations called ‘Coffee Lovers”.

I love drinking coffee and I absolutely must have a cup of coffee in the morning or my day just won’t go anywhere. Drinking coffee is like a very important ritual in my daily life and with this in mind I started work on a series of illustrations that will celebrate “Coffee”. I’ve also decided to use this series of illustrations to create a calendar for next year, which means I will have finish 12 illustrations plus a front cover for this calendar before October.

So far I have completed 4 illustrations and I’ve already got ideas for the next three illustrations. I will use the same colour palette to colour this series series of illustrations to make them look like a “collection”. I also started working on a “hand lettering” series of illustrations which you’ll see more and more of appearing in my illustrations.

The first illustration for this series is “Barista Magic”. The idea for this illustration came from a tiny sketch I was drawing in my sketchbook. I sketch every day and can quite often just doodle away and this is one of those illustrations I started sketching without much thought but I really liked it and I was drinking coffee (surprise surprise!) at the time and I thought my illustration was quite nice.

I also do quite a lot of research on websites like Pinterest. I’m always looking for things that will inspire me and I saw this very vintage, retro looking electronic coffee pot on Pinterest which I just loved. I illustrated this electronic coffee pot with a barista on the front making coffee. It’s almost like saying this coffee pot can make coffee just like a professional barista can make coffee for you.

I love coffee but most of the time I only drink instant coffee. I don’t have the time of patience to grind my own beans and I have one of those fancy coffee machines with the small different flavour pots which to be fair does make nice coffee but if you drink 3-4 cups of coffee like me a day they can be really expensive. It’s especially annoying when you get too focused on your work, forget you have a hot drink and you end up drinking a coffee that cost a couple pounds (or whatever the pods cost) and it’s cold.

This why I only drink instant coffee at home now but occasionally I will have a nice coffee outside in a cafe at the weekend.

So when I drew this “Barista Magic” illustration, I was thinking what if there is a coffee pot that looks cute, pretty but in a classic vintage style that can make me affordable coffee at home. This would be magic! This is where my idea for these illustrations came from.

I illustrated some spilt coffee and also the steam that comes out from the pot into heart shapes because this is an illustration about love. My love affair with coffee! I also illustrated things like biscotti, sugar cubes, spices, teaspoons, cups etc, those things you will need for making a cup of coffee or you will eat with your coffee.

The rest of the illustrations are ” Love is Brewing”, ” Travelling Cafe”, ” A Cup of Joy” and I’ve written about each of these under their respective illustrations.

 

cafe barista magic illustration

Love is Brewing

The idea behind “Love is Brewing” is about a coffee date. Couples that have their date with a cup of coffee and coffee makes everything better (coffee lovers like me can understand this) and romance, love and relationship grow when the coffee is brewing.

love is brewing illustration

Travelling Cafe

“Travelling Cafe” is just one of my silly day dreaming ideas. One day I was working in my studio and the weather was cold and miserable. Typical Scottish winter! I was imagining what if there was a magic travelling cafe truck or van stopped outside of my home, that would be fantastic!

Because this travelling cafe has to be quite “magical” I didn’t go looking for a normal food van or truck for this illustration. Instead I illustrate a cafe truck/van in the shape of a coffee pot.

travelling cafe illustration
a cup of joy illustration

A Cup of Joy

When I illustrated this illustration it was also a cold, dark and miserable day in Edinburgh. In fact this winter has been downright miserable, it’s been particularly cold and wet. So I was drinking my freshly made coffee and I used a coffee mug to warm my hands and I was drinking the hot coffee to warm my body and then I thought about how nice a warm bubble bath would. I didn’t make a bath, it would just send me back to bed but I thought about how the bubbles look so similar to the foam on a coffee mug.

It will be super awesome if I can have a “coffee cup” in the shape of a bath tub. This is how I got inspiration for this illustration. I drew a pink pet pig because I really want to have a pet pig and little piglets looks so cute.

Sketches

coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches
coffee lovers sketches

I hope you like my “Coffee Lover” illustrations so far. I have put these four illustrations on my Etsy shop. If you like them you can purchase different sized prints on my Etsy shop.

Stay tuned! There will be more “Coffee Lovers” illustrations coming out soon!

Pink Food Poster Illustrations

Pink Food Poster Illustrations

I decided to create these two pink food poster illustrations because I will be teaching another online illustration class with a Taiwanese illustration website called “School of Creative” (創作私庫). This time I’m going to teach a short class about how to turn your beautiful food illustrations into food product packaging. Hopefully by the end of class all my students will be able to bring a “food and drink packaging” portfolio home with them.

My class information in Chinese can be viewed here. if you click the link then you will see the class header I designed and illustrated for my food packaging class. I will start another seven weeks food illustrations class from April 2017 and both classes are taught in Chinese language.

I’ve always had a very high interest in food and drink packaging illustrations. I recently illustrated two food packages which you can find in some supermarkets in the UK. One of these was for Lees Luxury Mini Snowballs and the other one is Lees 24 pack Meringues. I will write a blog post to show my illustration process and development for this project later this year.

I think it’s quite difficult to get food and drink packaging commission projects if you don’t have an illustration agent to represent you. Most companies like to hire illustrators through these agents so I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to work on a project like this. Both the food and drink packaging sectors are really hard to get in for a freelance illustrator. I tried contacting many of the major supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s (etc) as well as some popular food magazines including Jamie Magazine, Lucky Peach but without an agent I’ve had no response.

One of my aims a bit later this year when I’ve cleared a lot of the work I have going on right now is to look for an agent. I’m in a pretty fortunate situation where I do have a lot of work right now but more work is always good.

Back to my pink food illustration poster. This time I used slightly different styles to illustrate this poster. I started using different brushes to draw shadow. The brushes I used for shadows came from the Vector Sketch Pencil Brushes set. I love using these pencil brushes as they give my illustrations an interesting texture. I also limited the colours I used in this illustration as well as using a reddish pink for the main colour and I then found other shades of pink and green to go with the main colour.

I’m really happy with how this poster turned out but I ended up keeping two different background colours as I like the look of both. You can now purchase these pink food illustration posters on my Etsy shop:

Pink Food Poster with Pink Background

Pink Food Poster with Brown Background

Both posters got different size option.

pink food poster illustrations
pink food poster illustration framed
pink food poster illustrations
pink food poster illustrations

Below are two different version of the Chinese food illustration class banner I created.

pink chinese illustration class banner
brown illustration class banner
Chinese Spices Illustrations

Chinese Spices Illustrations

I created these Chinese spices illustrations for an article I wrote to introduce people to spices that are commonly used in Chinese cooking for both my food blog and about.com who I have been writing for. These Chinese spice illustrations are also used for chapter pages in my upcoming cookbookHome-Style Chinese Cooking“.

Some of the most common questions I’m asked by people are about how to make five-spices powder. How do Chinese people use spices in Chinese cooking? That’s where I got the idea to write this article about different spices and to show what they look like. Instead of taking photographs of these spices I decided it would be more fun to make illustrations of each spice.

At first I was only planning to illustrate just dried spices but after sketching them out I found there were kind of boring to look at. So I looked for references for the dried spices in plant form and illustrated both the plant and dried forms together. So you can see the raw form and the version you see in your kitchen.

I really liked working on this project as I like drawing subjects like this. Flowers, trees, plants, anything food related, I like drawing it. If you’re curious about how to use these Chinese spices, you can have a look at my article “14 Essential Chinese Spices” on my food blog “Egg Wan’s Food Odyssey” . I didn’t included my About.com site as from January 2017, I will no longer to work for about.com as their Chinese food expert. This is a great relief for me as I’m so busy with my illustration business I have had no time to focus on any personal projects and I’ve had even less time to update my food blog.

I will put this “14 Essential Chinese Spices” poster on my shop soon so if you have any interest in purchasing this really fascinating poster you can purchase it from my etsy shop.

chinese spices poster
Amomum Tsaoko illustration
cinnamon stick illustration
nutmeg illustration
sichuan pepper illustration
sand ginger illustration
bay leaf illustration
clove illustration
dried chili illustration
orange peel illustration
star anise illustration
cardamon illustration
cumin illustration
fennel seed illustration
Liquorice Root illustration
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Survival Trail Illustrations

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Survival Trail Illustrations

RBGE Survival of the Smartest poster illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

Earlier this year I was commissioned by the Royal Botanic Garden here in Edinburgh to illustrate a series of illustrations for their upcoming event called the “Survival of the Smartest” which was basically a children’s glasshouse adventure trail.

This is one of those “bucket list” projects that I’ve wanted to work on. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, or RBGE as I’ll call it from now on, is one of my favourite locations in Edinburgh for my family. Chris and I both love the gardens and Amelia loves charging around there and if we were to renew our wedding venues in Edinburgh (want to do this when we hit the 10 year mark) then the RGBE would be our instant first choice.

I also love drawing anything to do with nature, whether it be flowers, trees, plants, animals or whatever so I have always dreamed of being commissioned by the RGBE. So when I got their email I was over the moon.

Working with the RBGE was a lot of fun. All of the people I worked with were super friendly and lovely. I got multiple free access to the Glasshouse for drawing and sketching. They even picked some passionfruit for me to eat in the Glasshouse. The photo below shows myself and the copywriter Sarah eating passionfruit. I never even dreamt of eating fresh delicious fruit directly from the Botanic Gardens. Before I was always worried I might get arrested or at least thrown out of the gardens if I touched any plant especially in the Glasshouse. But they actually welcome people to touch their plants and feel the different textures.

So far I am still waiting for the official launch date for this event. The event was due to be launched during the summer but they had a big event when the largest flower in the world, the “Titan arum” blossomed. Apparently the flower smells like rotting meat when it blossoms so I didn’t check it out but still, it was a big event that brought in a lot of people. Then we had the Fringe festival for which everything, and I literally mean everything, gets put to one side. So fingers crossed everything will be put on display in the gardens really soon, I’m so excited!!

I illustrated a series of illustrations for a small booklet, two different poster illustrations and a billboard size illustration. The illustrations below are just a few examples from this project. You can see all the illustrations by visiting the Botanic Garden Edinburgh and walk through the trail in the Glasshouse. I believe the booklet is free and full of fun facts about plants and activities so don’t forget to get a copy. Just a note but I loved the paper and texture they printed out the booklet on. Usually booklets will use a coated paper but they chose un-coated paper this time which has a lovely texture. I will post photos after this event has launched and I will definitely visit and take more photos to show everyone.

bamboo passionfruit pine plant illustrations Royal botanic garden

 

RBGE Children Survival trail booklet illustrations illustrated by UK based Illustrator Liv Wan

This is one of the poster/billboard size illustration I created for this project.

RBGE Children's Survival Trail poster and billboard illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

These are some of the booklet illustrations:

RBGE Children's Survival Trail booklet illustration

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

2015 Foodies Festival

2015 Foodies Festival

This February I was commissioned by Foodies Festival to illustrate a series of advertisements for their “2015 Foodies Festival”. The Foodies Festival just to give you a brief overview is a series of food festivals lasting several days throughout the country. Each festival brings in local chefs, some Michelin star, as well as produce providers and product makers from all over the country. There are also cooking demonstration tents and best of all lots of stands where you can try all kinds of different foods which range from BBQ meats, seafood, Jamaican, Mexican, local Michelin star restaurant and so forth. Last year you could even drink from coconuts.

So back to this job, I was told that my illustrations are going to be used on their website, on their tickets, banners, posters and flyers. So after this project finished I was really desperate to see my illustrations in public. As I’m based in Edinburgh and Edinburgh has so many festivals of all types most events don’t get a lot of advertising until quite close to the event but on several trips out I’ve seen my illustrations including on the billboard below and a flyer at a local Marks and Spencers.

My friends sent me photos they took in a local restaurant when they saw the flyers, then I saw the aforementioned flyers at Marks and Spencer in their magazine at the check out counter. I was so happy as this is the first time I have seen my illustrations outside in the public.

Finally and as mentioned also above I also saw my illustration billboard size at Craigleith Retail Park which is a really busy local shopping park with a Sainsburys, Nike shop, Marks and Spencer, KFC, Boots and more. Well actually, my husband saw the billboard when we were driving in. We drove into then park and he shouted “look at the poster” and my heart nearly popped out of my chest when I saw it.

 

This is first and only time I’ve seen it in poster form as to be honest I don’t really go into town that often. My friends liken me to a hermit as I literally work all the time from home but I’m really happy with how the poster looks.

 

So if you’re in Edinburgh between the 7th and 9th of August and want to taste some really quite awesome food (genuinely the food is great, I’ve been for two years now and it’s great) then you should make your way to Inverleith Park to join this delicious and fun event. You also have the added bonus of Inverleith Park sitting right next to the Royal Botanical Gardens so you can spend a few hours at the Foodies Festival and follow this up with a lovely walk around the gardens (which really do look lovely at this time of the year). Chris and I are going to the Foodies Festival this Sunday as the organisers very kindly gave me some free tickets. I guess this is one of the bonuses of being a freelance illustrator and this is one of those jobs that makes me really love being an illustrator.

Taiwan Street Food Map Illustration

Taiwan Street Food Map Illustration

It’s time for another new food map illustration! I illustrated this “Taiwan Street Food Map Illustration” for a Taiwanese souvenir company which I have been working with for a good few months now and this illustration is going to be printed out on postcards. It’s fun but tiring commission project due to the sheer amount of detail and thought that has to go into this. As you can see there are a lot of food and different elements on the map but it’s funny how I feel I know my home country better than ever after researching and then illustrating street foods from all around Taiwan.

If you asked me before doing this project what the speciality of “x” place was, apart from Taipei I probably couldn’t tell you, but if you now ask me what the local street food speciality of that area is I can now tell you in an instant.

This map illustration was inspired by the fact Taiwan is a country that is full of all kinds of delicious and cheap street foods. Taiwan is famous for it’s food and especially it’s street food which people from all over the world travel to try and I’ve always thought eating out in Taiwan is like a national activity. Almost every Taiwanese person will spend their free time of holidays looking for delicious food or restaurant. Taiwan is a true foodies country!

But drawing food is such a tough job for an illustrator because I have basically chained myself in front of my desk for many days drawing this map and drawing this map has made me super hungry and as a result I’m snacking all the time. I can sense I’ve put some weight on after finishing this illustration so now I’m minutely quieter I’m trying to go the gym as often as I can to try to erase both my weight and guilt.

Even though putting weight on was a bit annoying, drawing food is so much fun. I love drawing food and anything that brings happiness to people. Another thing I found challenging during the process of creating this illustration was finding the English name for some of the foods. Some dishes are easy to translate into English while some aren’t. Some examples of difficult dishes to translate are “seaweed shaved ice” and “blood tofu soup”. Hopefully one day the Taiwanese government will setup some kind of website or webpage with all the street foods translated into English.

Below are some of the food illustrations I did for this map. I was drooling in front of my desk all the time when I illustrated this map and especially when I had to draw some of my very favourite dishes like pork buns, zingzi and stinky tofu.

 

Next two images are the detail images of the map:

Individual elements:

If you would like to buy a print of the Taiwan Street Food Map Illustration you can buy it here from my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/289481597/taiwan-street-food-map-illustration-uk?ref=shop_home_listings

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