A while back I mentioned that I’d be changing things up a bit through the new year and getting back to my roots. You see, when I started this blog back in 2010, it was never meant to be a food blog.
It was simply going to be a place where I could write and practice taking photos of my food, something I’d already been doing for four or five years (yes… before Instagram or even Facebook, existed), and talk about the other creative facets of my life.
I started my first blog waaaaaay back in 2004. It was on the Live Journal platform. Remember when Live Journal was a thing?
Yes? No? All the cool kids were doing it! I swear!
That’s where I made my first on-line friends. People like Corinne, Sylvia, Elizabeth and Erica. We all shared a love of books and photography. And that’s how I embarked on my first year long Photo A Day project back in 2006.
What I loved about that was the sense of community with those ladies, and a few others who joined us, and sharing our photos and our love of learning to be better photographers.
But then things got nutty and I went back to school while working full time and blogging fell by the way side.
Picture taking/making, however, did not. One of my fondest memories of my old 9-5 office life was not the job itself but my camera and my IT colleagues. I always had it in my bag and my co-workers – all men – would often come out with me at lunch for a walk to take pictures or come up to my desk in the middle of the day and say “got your camera? bring it… you gotta take a picture of this!”.
We even started creating elaborate setups of toys (from product samples in our offices and Kinder Surprise eggs), with story lines, that I would photograph in our cubicles.
They were the first ones who had to put up with me taking photos of my food in restaurants at lunch time. Little did they, or I, know where it would lead!
I left my full time job in January of 2010 to open up my design studio. I was now creating for a living – my dream! But what I didn’t count on was that creating for a living becomes creating on demand.
And that, my friends, is a whole different ball game from creating for the sheer joy of creating.
About half way through the year I realized I really missed the process of creating just because. And I started to crave having a space where I could do stuff just for me – writing, photography, baking and cooking, creating, traveling… whatever I wanted.
I also really missed having co-workers. As much as I hated working for a big corporation and all that goes with that, I missed having people to talk to and bounce ideas off of during the day.
And I missed the act of sharing what I created. I think a huge part of being an artist is that most of us really do want to share what we create because creating brings us joy and happiness and we want others to feel that too!
So I created Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach. It was going to be a space where I could take photos of my food, talk about the places I’d eaten and the dishes I’d cooked, write about stuff I felt like writing about, and just generally talk about creative stuff. And it was a way for friends near and far to keep up with my photos.
Only somewhere along the road it turned into a food blog. And things got serious. It was all about creating recipes and taking the perfectly styled food photo and figuring out ad networks, sponsored content, increasing my subscriber counts and embracing social media – not as a place to connect with others but as a place to get my stuff out because… it was all about traffic, traffic, traffic.
So suddenly, this was no longer a space to create just for me. Now I was creating on demand again.
Don’t get me wrong – food blogging is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I love blogging. I love food. I love eating it, making it, writing about it, photographing it, travelling to it… with Food Bloggers of Canada, it’s now my main business and I LOVE IT. I’m incredibly passionate about it and about creating a community for others who are just as passionate about it and sharing their incredible talents with the rest of Canada (and the world!).
But I also think that because it’s become my business, it’s become even more apparent that I need a creative space that’s less about begin a food blog and more about… well… food, photography and my creative life. (gee… was that my original blog tag-line? I think so!).
Many of you have noticed that things have slowly been changing here since the new year (and every non-recipe post I create results in an onslaught of unsubscribes!).
Food is absolutely staying. Because I love it. But there will be more posts about all the other creative things I do. Like today. Today is the first post in what I hope will be a semi-regular series called Weekend in My Studio.
Future Weekend in My Studio posts will not be as wordy – I promise. But I had to set the scene today!
I do a lot of doodling and illustration. It relaxes my brain. It’s my way of meditating. Today I’m sharing a few of my latest doodles here.
But what’s new for me is hand lettering and watercolours. I started both this week!
I’ve wanted to do hand lettering for ages. Not calligraphy but illustrated lettering – I think it’s a natural extension of doing any kind of illustration work. On my last trip to Toronto, a friend gave me all his notes on hand lettering from his uni days as an architecture student (they had to do everything by hand until third year – talk about practice practice practice!). So I’ve been reading and starting to practice. I have to do 100 versions of each letter of the alphabet!
100 letters x 26 plus the numbers o-9… well that felt like a boring sketchbook to me. I need colour!
So I started messing around with watercolours (also at the urging of the architect friend) and figured out how to do colourful washes on my sketchbook pages which will make all that letter practice much more enjoyable! It was also great watercolour practice. It takes a while to get a feel for the paints and the brushes.
But then I got carried away and started doing washes on some of my doodles… just cuz, you know, i wanted to see what it looked like. I was a little scared at first that i might ruin the finished doodles but then I reminded myself… “who cares!! if you ruin it you’ll just do another one“.
That’s the great thing about art. Or baking. If you ruin it you can just do it again – it’ll be a little bit different the next time around but that’s the beauty of making stuff – no two are alike!
So that’s my studio this weekend. I hope you enjoyed the little peek inside and learning a little bit about why I’m bringing this to my blog!