illustration

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!

Women Who Draw

Stoked to be in good company on Women Who Draw! This free directory is a beautiful and easy-to-use resource for art directors, illustrators and art enthusiasts to find amazing female illustrators.

The idea is to aid in diversifying who gets published, by showing off the awesome work of illustrators of different backgrounds and communities. Over 2700 illustrators live here, and applying or searching is easy.

Proud to be one of them!

That's me up there in the top right!

That's me up there in the top right!

Superhuman

One of my favorite ways to describe working at Darling has been to cite Themiscyra, or Wonder Woman's island.

I am filled with cheese, yes.

But while watching the film months back, it wasn't just seeing how strong, beautiful and supportive the Amazons were that reminded me of my own sort of heritage of confidence.

When Diana (Gal Gadot) translates enemy plans to gas Allied troops at the Western Front, she's astonished that the Supreme War Council won't go straight to the front to prevent the attack.

"You fight without honor!" she shouts, incredulous.

Photo by Clay Enos - © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC

Photo by Clay Enos - © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC

That's the part that reminded me of my team. Honor above all. An acute sense and desire to distill truth to help the world.

It's a sort of naïveté isn't it? Idealism for justice, glory and the use of power? Maybe that's the only word we have as mortals we can think of in the face of super-heroism.

Photo by Clay Enos - © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC

Photo by Clay Enos - © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC

I am hopeful that believing in something and doing something about it is just the tip of an iceberg we are all called to summit.

In Darling Issue 23, (the IMAGINATION issue) we explored the double-edged sword that is our imagination. It is either an open door to envision a brighter future, or we can become dragged down in anxiety.

Anxiety is an issue all too prevalent today, but I don't think we're done fighting if superheroes keep capturing our imaginations (and movie $) the way they do.

This was a fun story by Jaimie Li to illustrate for the spring 2018 issue.

Don't forget all of the power you, too, still possess.

Enjoy!

DARLING 23 | Melanie Loon Illustration 1.jpg
DARLING 23 | Melanie Loon Illustration 2.jpg