Art truly knows no bounds as demonstrated by Samantha Lee, an online celebrity who has found fame for her whimsical uses of food as an expression of creativity. She whips up colourful and imaginative art pieces using only food items and kitchen utensils, and displays them on her website and Instagram profiles.
Samantha started her creative endeavours when she was expecting her second daughter. Her food art then was meant to encourage her older daughter to eat independently after the arrival of the younger sister, but has since taken a life of its own as thousands of dedicated fans eagerly await her next gastronomic masterpiece. Since 2008, Samantha has attracted over 260,000 followers on Instagram and the number continues to grow. In this interview with Chivalrystyle.com, she speaks about her passion and what goes on behind the scenes.
Do check out Samantha Lee’s website at www.leesamantha.com or follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/leesamantha#.
Why did you start this unique hobby?
Back when Facebook hadn’t existed yet, I used to forward emails on MSN. Once, I received an email about Japanese bento; it was so cute and I wondered if it was actual food or merely a model for a commercial. So I ‘Googled’ it to find out more. About five years ago when I was expecting my second daughter, I became interested in food art and started to do research on it. At that time, my older daughter was not used to eating on her own and I was worried that I would not have the time to spoon-feed her after her younger sister is born, so I thought of a way to encourage her to eat by herself. Hence, I started making her meals more attractive by presenting them as art.
What factors do you take into consideration when crafting your creations?
If you have seen my photos, you would know that my artworks are always colourful. Colour is very important because colourful food looks appealing. For instance, if I already have carrot soup, then I won’t cook carrots to go along with it, because it would be repeating the same colour. Instead, I would use other vegetables to give the dish some green colour, or perhaps bell peppers for red. Since I prefer to use colour to emphasise the design, I usually don’t cut my food into many complex shapes. Furthermore, I think food for kids should be kept simple – the simpler the better. That’s why I don’t use a lot of seasoning.
Is making food art difficult?
It’s really not that hard, but you have to be careful and do things step by step. A bear has a face, an ear, a body, and legs. Every body part requires a separate step. I always sketch my designs first so all I have to do is follow my drawings, which isn’t difficult. Usually, I would reuse the same design three or four times. When creating my food art, I will always use the easiest and simplest way possible. I don’t bother buying any special tools because it will be such a hassle trying to find the right tool whenever I need it.
Currently, what sort of activities are you involved in?
Sometimes I conduct workshops and share my techniques. I enjoy conducting workshops because at the end of the day I feel happy seeing the wonderful artworks created by the participants. As their food art is better than mine, I think my methods work. Making food art is so simple, anyone can do it, and it doesn’t require expensive tools either. Right now, I prepare my food art for my children and post it on Instagram, but as they grow up, I want to move on. Maybe it will become a career someday. cs