Part 2 Ideas: The Brief

Exercise: Writing a brief

For this exercise I was tasked with writing a brief that will have led to the creation of a chosen image. I have become interested in the work of Felicita Sala, initially in her illustration of children’s books and then in her food illustration. I also have real love for illustrated non fiction, cooking and cookery programmes I so thought one of her illustrated recipes would work well for this exercise. This recipe is from her website. The photograph below this shows some initial notes about what the brief could have been that I made in my learning log. However I felt like I missed a step. I felt like I needed to create a spider diagram about what the illustration shows before jumping straight in to write the brief. I also wanted to do some research into illustrated recipes to help identify a role for the image.

The photo above shows my spider diagram. I researched food illustration in order to find a role. The research led me to a website called “They Draw and Cook’ which are cookery books featuring illustrated recipes. To begin with I thought this was perfect but the recipes are submitted by the artist, rather than there being a brief as such. I looked into food magazines and in particular contemporary and independent ones. I came across ‘The Gourmand’ but this wasn’t right because the images in that are either photos or hyper real. Eventually I found a New York based publication called ‘Diner Journal’ which features, “art, literature and recipes providing a thematic exploration into food, inspiration and creativity. This seemed a perfect fit for Felicita Sala’s contemporary style. My research also enabled me to pinpoint an audience more effectively.

The Brief

To illustrate a recipe for Thai Barracuda Soup to be featured in independent food magazine ‘Diner Journal’ which features art, literature and recipes. Diner Journal has a readership of design conscious cooks who enjoy trying new cuisines and being experimental and creative with food. The magazine is 13 x 18 cm in size so the artwork will need to fit those dimensions.

The illustration will consist of a method to make the dish, together with images of the ingredients needed to make it. You will need to create an illustration of each ingredient separately: barracuda, coconut milk, Thai rice, green chilli, red curry paste, palm sugar, lime juice, yam or potato, coriander and salt and pepper. These should be positioned around the method which will read as follows: Heat coconut milk and some water in a wok. Add salt, pepper, sugar, chilli, curry paste and vegetables. Cook 5 minutes. Add fish chunks, cook 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with lime and coriander.

This method should be handwritten and should form less than a quarter of the overall page. It should be placed amongst the ingredients, centrally positioned at the bottom. Each ingredient must be labelled, also by hand. Labels that vary from just the name of the ingredient are as follows: lime juice, a drizzle; 1 tbsp fresh coriander; yam or potato, cut into strips; barracuda chunks. The title of the dish should also be hand lettered and be positioned at the top of the artwork.

The images will need to look true to life but there is scope for some stylisation. Distortion or surrealism are not appropriate because the ingredients need to be recognisable. Colours should be as they appear in real life, however there may be variation in tone. Any materials or media can be used with the exceptions of photography, printing or collage.