Life and Thyme

Love Letters to Gelato...and Coffee

In college, I used to spend easy Saturdays lingering too long, alone in one of the many coffee shops near University of La Verne. Introvert warm fuzziesss.

Well-intentioned to be diligent, I would probably bring a totebag stocked with my laptop, sketchbook, maybe a book I wouldn’t read.

Most of the time, these unmeasured blocks during which I set to out to “create” weren’t directly productive. Instead, I’d end up meeting someone, and someone they knew and spending hours at the shop, just talking. Sort of fighting the existence of an internal clock.

Until that blessed interruption, I would be blogging, doodling, reading blogs, maybe actually reading and generally scheming for ideas of the future. Mostly just being.

I was interested in graphic design, in interior design and fashion blogs, in music and writers my friends introduced me to, and in hand-lettering, which I go back and forth about now. Seeking retirement but…not really…? It doesn’t challenge me the same way majority of my work does now (and for some reason I looove to make things difficult!).

I don’t revisit this Saturday ritual much now, and am 100% rethinking it. The last time a conversation was born out of time I was killing, it was August, at Dripp in Fullerton. I met an art director who told to me about agency work, negotiation and…recommended returning to typography, combining it with illustration.

Haha…so, question. Do you fight your roots? If so, maybe we should both make like these ligatures and let loose a little.

Type does continue to grab me first, on book covers, t-shirts and fresh, new-to-me online portfolios. A stunning photo says a thousand words you receive all at once, but aesthetics can give words a clear shot to hit you the same way.

For Life & Thyme’s recent gelato story, I was excited to get the chance to letter these beauuuuutifulll Italian flavors.

So maybe next time you’re holding a cup or a cone, just looking to kill time, inspiration will find a seat on the couch next to you.

A Slice of Your Attention

Ziza called me between trips. Back from Italy, and off to Belize.

Would I be interested in illustrating for a story?

YES.

Life and Thyme, September 2018.

Life and Thyme, September 2018.

This summer, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of contributing to Life and Thyme’s excellence in food journalism, but to get to illustrate for my mentor, L&T’s first guest editor, was tops.

Over the next few weeks, Ziza’s series “Food as the Foil to Overwhelm” will walk through how food more instinctively, instantly and deeply connects us than all of the technology that promises to.

In her opening post, “Meditations on Garlic,” she writes,

Through its growing, its eating, or even in its absence, food teaches us about life, and therefore our role in it. When it comes to cooking, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Frankly, we don’t even need to be good at it; we just need to let ourselves do it. We’ll recalibrate in such a place, in being with our senses.

We had a few different ideas on that initial call, exploring shapes of thought process or of being literally too plugged in.

Once I had this idea, for a slightly sinister charcuterie board, I had to explore the end of it to show her the full concept.

Pencil sketch on newsprint.

Pencil sketch on newsprint.

In it, hands reach for a bite while ensnared by plug-in cords (Why did I let my phone get to 38% before getting to this party?), and notifications hide in sweet honey, while emails pile up under Google and Instagram wheels of cheese.

It’s hard to get settled, get calm, get fed, when all of those things keep tugging at your brain. They’re clamoring for just a slice of your attention.

But nourishment — physical, emotional and spiritual — isn’t fleeting, it’s foundational. And nothing slows us down like being next to the crackle, sizzle and rising of food.

Read Ziza’s first post here!