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Beautifully Intricate Food Illustrations by Anna Keville Joyce

When food stylist Anna Keville Joyce's pet bird died, she mourned for its loss in a tangible way. She utilized her professional creative skills to aid in the healing process, and the results are beautiful. A Tribute to Budgie is a series of elegant birds comprised of food and arranged on plates. Joyce came up with the images and crafted the illustrations while photographer Agustn Nieto documented the series.

Joyce uses food in inventive ways, and we see crushed-up Fruit Loops cereal in the body of a flamingo and carefully-peeled carrots that act as feathers for the other birds. Surrounding each plate are the foods that were manipulated in the production of the series. Seeing the raw materials of these intricate illustrations makes you appreciate Joyce's handiwork even more.

In an interview with the website First We Feast, Joyce explains that she begins an illustration by gathering references of interesting food details. Afterwards, she creates a sketch and purchases ingredients based on what she thinks will work for a particular piece. Joyce tends to buy more than she uses, because like a painter, she needs a palette with options. From there, she starts with the longest-lasting ingredient and works backwards to the most delicate until she completes the incredible pieces we see here.

Anna Keville Joyce website and Agustn Nieto website
Interview with Joyce on First We Feast website

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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