Instagram has become a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I follow creatives, restaurateurs, chefs, bakers (and, if I’m being entirely honest, a few animal accounts as well) from all corners of the world. It’s like one big artistic collective in my feed and since I spend a lot of time on my own behind a computer, seeing other people’s work or vision of the world has made my own process feel less solitary.
One of the artists whose work I’ve completely fallen for is Jade Sheldon, an illustrator based in Portland who uses Instagram to share her creative process, delicious food photography and snapshots of her life with her husband with whom she runs the site Endlessly Enraptured.
I reached out to her to see if she might be interested in a collaboration involving – no surprise – illustrated interpretations of some of the pastries I’ve photographed and shared both on this site and on Instagram. A few weeks later and in my inbox arrived a joyous email from Jade with a handful of colorful, delectable illustrations to share. Above, she captured one of my favorite Pierre Hermé temptations. Below, a row of luscious éclairs from L’Eclair de Génie (all of which I have tried) and a bunch of French viennoiseries (I particularly love the cannelé!). For comparison, I have also included my original photograph below.
This exchange left me curious about how she found herself drawn to illustration. On her background, she says:
“I have been an artist my entire life. I used to follow my parents around, a pad of paper in one hand and a pencil in the other, asking what I should draw next. That desire to create never went away. It’s what led me to earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Art in Education. My artistic style has gone through many phases: from hyperrealistic portraits made from a combination of soft pastel and colored pencil to free form gouache paintings of food.
I not only illustrate, but am a photographer as well. Photography has allowed me to view the world in a whole new way and has influenced my illustration work by allowing me to not need as much control and just freely experiment. My work with photography and illustration has taken me to Italy to explore Tuscan vineyards, to New York to take part in Fashion Week, as well as to London and Paris to experience luxury hotels and fine dining. But even with all of these experiences I am still thriving, creating, and dreaming of taking my artistic career to new heights, where ever that may be. Currently I’m inspired by life’s simple pleasures: the steam from a perfectly poured macchiato, the sprawling petals on pale pink peonies, melting ice cream on a sugar cone.”
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