Thursday, April 05, 2012

Perfect Foodles - illustrated recipes by me!

Watermelon Salad Foodle - 1 hour.

Some of you might already have seen this since I've been all over Facebook and Twitter with it so please ignore me if you have.

I have rediscovered the artist in myself with Foodles - illustrated recipes! And I wanted to share the thought behind it with the regular readers of this blog because it is a turning point for A Perfect Bite.

A Perfect Bite turned a year older in december. And I finished one more year as a foodwriter on the 5th of April. While I was excited and felt I should do something, I had also reached a state of enuii with the blog. In part because I am in the fatiguing process of opening A Perfect Bite as a proper business space where I will consolidate all the work I do in various food spheres (I have lots to share on that front and hope to do so in time). But added to this a reader left a comment saying my pictures did not do justice to my content. as well meaning as they were, I was left very dejected. I work hard to put up interesting posts but pictures have always been a drawback for me. They have improved immensely after I invested in my Linux camera but one cannot be good at everything no matter how fabulous the tools. And there are so many brilliant new bloggers today whose images are absolutely fabulous that my pictures often pale in comparison. I was debating working with a friend on pictures but fiercely possesive as I am about my space blog, the idea of sharing it did not sit well with me.

I remember wishing often, over the years, that I could draw images for my blog because drawing was something I was good at. But the way I had learnt to draw as an artist and later an animator - by hand on paper, then ink in and cleanup, scan and transfer - was a very long, involved process. There were newer ways of shortening this but learning them required time I did not have with the schedule I juggled. I began many drawing projects but work and other commitments would invariably interfere and I would let drawing slide. But the food or blogging Gods must have been listening...

Or maybe it was just my husband who was listening.... to my grumbling about how my Nokia did not allow me to do XYZ blah blah blah...

Cut to early one morning last week, the bell rings and Flipkart delivers a package. That reveals a Samsung Galaxy Note with a note "To the love of my life... happy networking..... Yes this man is just adorable! ....SIGH!! But even at that point I had no idea how much of an impact this was to have on me. I used it to FB, Tweet, email, loved how it helped me organise my life, make calls, messages and keep threads of conversation alive.

But one of the main features of the Galaxy Note is that it comes with a stylus and a very cool (now that I have discovered it) Memo app that allows one to make memos to oneself. Finally one day I used it to doodle a little and was charmed at the beautiful lines it delivered. So I drew some flowers, then a breakfast note and then I thought I woudl attempt an illustrated recipe. Something I had wanted to do since I had discovered the blog They Draw and Cook and posted it online. The response encuoraged me to draw more. I was having FUN!

5 illustrations down the line, I was drawing furiously, sketching out new ideas even as I finished the current one. And so #PerfectFoodles - illustrated recipes! were born. Of course there are many differences.  Drawing with a stylus is different from drawing with a pencil - I need to think out every stroke and line. But the strokes come out so beautifully! And the limited tools, page size and color palate of the Memo App force me to pare down recipes and illustratations. Which is in keeping with my cooking philosophy - a handfull of good ingredients, cooked simply to bring out their flavours. Basically that Food and Cooking are simple and FUN! Not impossible tasks to be procatinated over or run away from. I am loving every second of discovering this new medium. Mostly though I am just ecstatic to be drawing! And being able to combine drawing and food - well thats the cherry on top! I really could not have asked for more!

Cooking is fun, exploring food is fun and sharing recipes is fun so these are my little bits of culinary inspiration.....

Thought I would leave you with some ealry Illustrations.

Nimbu chilli Nazarbattu - water colour - 1 week to complete

Chilli plant - water colour - 10 days

Drying Chillies - Watercolour Pencil colours and ink - 12 days

Grinding Mustard - Color Pencil - 2 days

Pickling Season - Water coulour and Pencil - 1 week to complete

Black Mustard

Mustard plant

Yellow Mustard


The knife said...
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The knife said...

the illustrations look pretty good and stand out too...i wouldn't stress too much on the photo comment...if it's a personal blog then one can't be equally proficient in everything.

Else you need to have someone designing your blog...someone clicking your blog photos...perhaps someone else writing it too...actually you might become Steve Jobs at the end of it:)

Rina said...

I love the the illustrated recipes and think your blog is absolutely unique. I am the one who made the comment that left you dejected. Am so sorry :(

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

Interesting concept - illustrating your recipes! :D