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Vanessa Dualib

Photographer and Food Artist

Photograph from Vanessa Dualib

1.What got you started in creating art from veggies,fruit and other food items? Anything as a child spark an interest?

As a child I always had a somewhat creative mind. I used to actually play with my food before eating it. My father always thought that sort of amusing. My mother did not. But actually this project started as a simple way to try to bring together three of the things I love the most in my life: photography, food and humor.

2.Can you tell young people some of the different items you use to create your artwork? Which veggie or fruit is your favorite to work with and why? Which veggie or fruit is your least favorite and why?

There are a few of them that I kind of end up using more than other, such as sweet potatoes, aubergines and baby carrots. One of my favorites however are chicken eggs, because with them I create the 'Eggventures of Eggbert'set, which is definitely the one I have most fun with. But I don't really have a favorite veggie or fruit I like to work with, all of them can serve a purpose and offer myself a challenge to come up with something.

3. About how long does it take you to create one of your works of art? Do you have a term for the artwork?

It depends. Some of them are so simple taking me about 5 minutes (the Apotatosaurus Dulcis for example). Others, especially the baby carrot artwork can take a few hours because of all the little details.

4.About how long does your artwork made from veggies and fruit last? Does it bother you that your artwork isn't long lasting?

Not long, a couple of hours at most. It doesn't really bother me too much, because I think that with the photography part of this I manage to perpetuate that image forever. Sometimes you just find a very interestin shaped veggie or fruit that has a very unique form and that totally looks like something else. You will probably never again in your life find another one with the exact same shape. But by trying to create this animals and giving them a nice little story to go with them I believe the purpose of my work is accomplished. It won't last forever as an object you can hold, however it will last forever in the image I've created.

5. It looks like you need to use fresh veggies and fruit. Is this the case?

Not always. But most of the times I end up working with fresh fruits and veggies. But I am not limited by that, I have a few creations with less fresh veggies just because they end up giving me a certain 'roughness' on the appearance of the veggie and that, sometimes, is exactly what I am looking for.

6. What might you like to share with young people about your artwork?

Eat your veggies and fruits, kids! But before you do that, have a little bit of fun with them as well. Ask your parents to create with you a little animal with that fruit or veggie before you eat it, I am sure you will have a lot of fun.

7. Can you explain to kids the process of making one of your creations? Do you need toothpicks, glue, etc.?

Always toothpicks. Toothpicks everywhere! So be careful when you decide to eat them after you finish creating them! I carve some of the details that I think will look good on them and that's basically it.

8. Is it correct to say that you are a photographer first and an artist second?

I suppose. In the end for me it doesn't really matter to me. I've always been a photographer. And that's actually how I make a living. But when the project hit the internet some people started calling me an artist. Until this day, however, I don't really feel like an artist, I just feel like a have a little story to tell and I am just really glad that there apparently is an audience for this out there. People who will smile at my creations and find some inspiration to go on and maybe try to create something themselves.

9. Anything else you'd like to share with kids about your artwork?

I just hope they can have some fun looking at them and maybe be inspired to create or even recreate some of them at home with their folks. And to be curious about trying out some of fruits and vegetables, too.