During February 2016 the vegetarian and organic food experts of Amy’s Kitchen bring you Amy’s Mobile Kitchen – a vintage van that serves delicious Amy’s soups and chillis across London, Manchester and Glasgow, free to those who make a donation to local charitable organisations. The delicious & warming soups & chillis are accompanied by outstandingly good bread from local artisan bakeries.
Joining this project is artist Alice Stevenson, who has previously created illustrations for fashion designer Marc Jacobs. Alice has created a bespoke logo for Amy’s Mobile Kitchen as well as designing the bright illustrations that adorn the van, making it impossible to miss as it travels the UK streets. She is a London based illustrator, artist and writer whose creative output is informed by her observations of the world around her, using striking colour palettes, playful compositions and decorative forms to communicate ideas and narratives. Below, Alice Stevenson kindly tells us more about this lovely project.
How were you commissioned to do the artwork?
Margaret (creative agency) found me through the power of Google and thought I’d be perfect for the project.
What was the brief and how much artistic leeway were you given to do as you wished?
The brief was quite open: to create an intricate and playful pattern covering the van which featured Amy’s ingredients and worked around the Amy’s logo. I came up with some initial approaches and the version featuring “ingredients inside ingredients” were unanimously considered the most successful and visually engaging, so I developed this approach to fit around the structure of the truck. When developing ideas for the illustration for the Amy’s Kitchen Food Truck, I wanted to capture the joy of eating food created from organic vegetables and natural ingredients. As a keen cook and lover of organic food, this is a subject very close to my heart. I’ve always been inspired by the shapes and colours of vegetables and natural produce, So the illustration ended up being a playful celebration of this. I wanted to give the illustration an energy and a sense of movement and also explore the way the shapes of vegetables can combine to create something beautiful and decorative. By putting smaller ingredients inside larger ones, I encourage the viewer to really look into the imagery and engage with it.
How did you create the artwork?
Initially I create pencil sketches of compositions and ideas. When developing the illustration I scan black & white drawings of the shapes used in the image, I fill them to create block colour elements on photoshop and then arrange them on layers, this gives me the freedom to experiment with composition. Once the illustration had been approved I converted the different elements to vectors so that they could be printed on a large scale.
Pineapple and Prawn personal work
What is your favourite vegetable to eat (and why)?
I love vegetables so much, there isn’t a vegetable I won’t eat, so this is a near impossible question! I think one of the best vegetable experiences I’ve ever had was a side dish of purple sprouting broccoli, steamed with garlic and mustard in Jojo’s: a wonderful restaurant in Tankerton, Kent. The broccoli had the most complex and rich flavour. My boyfriend and I still reminisce about it years later. Nothing beats simply prepared, organic or home-grown veg for deliciousness.
Alice Stevenson, Le Pan magazine
What is your favourite vegetable to draw (and why)?
Halved red cabbage is extremely satisfying to draw due to it’s intricate texture and pattern, I’ve done some lovely watercolour and ink studies of those over the years. I think any vegetable cut in half is fun to draw as the interplay between its form and shape and then the seeds inside it are very rewarding to explore.
Christmas card designs.
Make sure you track down Amy’s Mobile Kitchen if it passes your way! Keep track of the van’s location by following @amyskitchenuk on Twitter and following the hashtag #amysmobilekitchen. And look out for the elegantly painted sides of the truck, thanks to Alice Stevenson.
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