This September I will have my first solo exhibition at Hula Gallery and Juice Bar in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.
Hula, and specifically Marie Valey, who is the Gallery Manager, contacted me back in February of this year and kindly invited me to be their September to November artist and to exhibit my illustrations and a series of products in their immensely popular venue.
For those who are not familiar with Hula, again they are a juice bar and sell all kinds of drinks from smoothies to milkshakes to all kinds of other drinks. They also do food and I’ve tried their sandwiches which are genuinely absolutely delicious. My husband is a big milkshake person and he’s utterly obsessed with one of their milkshakes, something called a Nutty Professor, which has yoghurt, ice-cream and peanut butter in it. Yum!
Back to the exhibition itself, the main focus of the illustrations would be my “Vintage Kitchen Illustrations” as they found my illustrations colour and fun but also it fitted in perfectly with the kind of venue it is, a juice/food bar.
So I created a series of new illustrations and products for this exhibition and hope to use this opportunity to not only sell prints but just as importantly build some new connections and also test the market with my illustration products.
I really enjoyed the creative process of this personal project. Before I turned my career around and became an illustrator, I had trained and thus worked as a professional chef for many years. Why I changed career is a whole other story but naturally I’m attracted to anything food. I also love anything “vintage” and “retro” so I put a lot of my passion into this project and I had so much fun creating these illustrations.
The opening night of my exhibition is on 5th September 6:30 to 8:30pm at Hula Gallery/Juice Bar Edinburgh (103-105 West Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2JP), their telephone is 0131 220 1121.
Please come and join us if you can and if you would like to get in touch, even to provide some feedback, I’d love to hear from you.
Below are the new “Vintage Kitchen Illustrations” I created.
“All about the Coffee ”
An illustration dedicated to my love of coffee and for all the coffee lovers out there
“Happy Hour, Vintage Cocktail and Shaker”
I’m not a particularly big fan of alcohol but I love the beautiful colours of different cocktails. Sometimes when I feel a lot of pressure I like to go out with friends and my husband Chris to try to release some pressure and I will have a drink or two. So I created this illustration during a really stressful period and I can’t wait to have some “Happy Hour(s)” with my friends and loved ones.
“Mile High Pancakes”
I love tall, fluffy, soft and almost sponge-cake lie pancakes for my breakfast, dessert and even late night supper. I created these illustrations for my love of these pancakes. I also love vintage weighing scales as they have beautiful colours and shapes so I put this element into my illustrations.
“Vintage Pineapple Upside Down Cake”
Over the last few years upside down pineapple cakes, or even any kind of fruit upside down cakes, have been really popular. Being a savoury chef and not really a sweet food kind of person (and being from Taiwan) I’ve never tried this kind of cake before. They look very different compare with other cakes but they also look warm, delicious and just make you want to have a bite. One of my favourite movies in recent times is “The Help” starring Emma Stone and one of the characters in the film, Celia Rae Foote, was cooking a upside down pineapple cake when she met her new maid (or as they call maids, help) for the first time and she burned the cake. After that film I just kept imagining the picture of this cake so I illustrated it.
“Vintage Thermo and sugar jar”
As an illustrator I’m always looking for inspiration for illustrating and one of my favourite websites for looking at anything is “Pinterest”. While during “Pinterest” I found a really beautiful vintage thermos flask so I decided to put it into one of my illustrations.
“Witchery Coffee Pot Illustration”
I work in a fine-dining restaurant called “The Witchery by the Castle”. As a fine dining restaurant we always have some really fancy tableware around and one night when I finished work I was waiting in the restaurant reception for a taxi and I saw this really awesome looking coffee pot. So I took a photograph of this coffee pot and decided to illustrate it.
“Retro Smoothie and Blender”
As I’m going to have my exhibition in the Hula juice bar I decided to illustrated something related to juice and smoothie. That’s why I created this illustration.
“Vintage Cake Illustration”
I adore beautiful cakes so I created an illustration based on a really beautiful cake I saw.
A lot of people use these kinds of cheese plates instead of traditional cakes at their weddings and I’ve seen a few of them on “Pinterest” so I couldn’t help but illustrate one. Also Catherine Holm’s series of cookware and her fondue set looks a bit like a UFO to me and I just love it so I illustrated that also.
Chinese is my first language and although my English is pretty good nowadays when I was younger it was let’s just say interesting. I always thought (ice cream) Sundae’s were spelt “Sunday” and I wondered why the name of this tasty dessert is Sunday. Maybe this is because Western people only eat this dessert on Sunday so they called it a Sunday? Then I discovered I made a silly mistake and I still love a nice sundae during the summer