Jenny Acosta and Benjamin Koh have never met in real life. Jenny works as a freelance food illustrator in Brooklyn, New York while Benjamin works as a freelance graphic designer in Bukit Batok, Singapore. Benjamin has never visited New York City while Jenny has lots of relatives living in Singapore because her mother is of Hainanese Chinese descent.
Both creatives share an obsession with FOOD. Jenny works for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in New York City while Benjamin just launched a zine full of food illustrations on Etsy.
Jenny exudes a bubbly charm whenever she talks about her work.
How has being a FOOD illustrator changed your life?
J: Making food a focus in my work has really made me want to look closer into all things edible beyond just eating. It has helped me appreciate the detailed process of making food; made me curious about the origins and pioneers of the past and future in food, and has allowed me to find new ways to link the role of the chef to the role of the artist and designer. I’ve been able to enjoy food and food communities in really fun ways by expressing my gratitude or passion for (a certain) flavour through illustration.
“GIFs are a great medium to express the current state of food culture; a saturated repetition of marketing consumption and trendy eating habits.” – Jenny Acosta
What inspires you to keep drawing FOOD?
Jenny Acosta, Food Illustrator (New York City)
J: Seeing friends, family, and strangers get as excited about my art in food as they do about a new restaurant or dish they tried inspires me to keep bringing out a new “course” and pushes me to not just draw food as still life, but tell its story in a fresh yet familiar way. I grew up cooking with my grandparents a lot as a child, so when I can connect with them through showing them my artwork about food and they can understand and enjoy it, that is one of my biggest motivations to keep communicating this way. Of course good food inspires me to keep drawing food, because I’m tasting these amazing things that remind me that the food world is important, exciting, and always changing. I want to be part of that movement of exciting food culture through my art.