Sarit Atzitz - Food & Lifestyle Illustrator
I get excited about a slice of lemon and seeds full of pomegranate juice just like a fashion designer gets excited about a new fabric
I’m following Sarit Atzitz’s works, on Facebook and Instagram for almost 3 years. Every time one of her designs pops in front of my eyes, I smile and then amazed at how talented she is.
I invited Sarit to visit ‘Innovation cafe’ to talk about her existing job.
What is your background?
For many years I worked in the field of product design, I developed and designed dozens of products. I was a partner in setting up a fascinating and groundbreaking design group, whose main activity was thinking outside the box and looking at products and using them in a different way.
I have presented at countless important exhibitions in the world and in addition, I was a lecturer in design.
I believe that the way I did in the field of product design, and the tools I collected over the years, influenced my way of thinking and doing when I decided to focus on food illustration and dealing with in the artistic context.
How did your business start develop over the years?
About five years ago, after exhausting 20 or so successful years as a product designer, I connected my two great loves, food and illustration, and started a food blog.
It was my way of preserving my creativity without thinking too much about what would come out of it.
I called the blog "anything is possible" and did not know where these pair of words would lead me.
I have always been a person who sees and understands the world visually, so it was natural for me to present readers with recipes through illustrations instead of texts. Each post had two images, one of the ingredients of the dish and the other of the prepared dish.
It fascinated me to explore the field, dive into a slice of orange or bread, find a whole world there and try to illustrate it in my own way.
The blog gained momentum and sympathy and from there started rolling and leading me to new and absorbing districts, meeting new clients and people who believed in me and in my way. Today I work with clients in various fields and on two levels, print and digital.
Why did you choose to focus on culinary illustrations?
I had a strong connection to food and raw materials since ever, I get excited about a slice of lemon and seeds full of pomegranate juice just like a fashion designer gets excited about a new fabric or its folds.
Food illustrations as legitimate as Fashion illustration, and I feel I have built and developed my field and style with my own hands. It was a very natural move for me, and today, when I introduce myself people always wonder what food illustration is, because it's not a really familiar field, especially in Israel, but when they peek at my works they are amazed and immediately understand.
What is special about your illustration style?
My illustrations are divided into two main types:
One is a realistic illustration of raw materials, dishes and everything in between. Private clients who order such an illustration from me, send me various pictures of the dish and tell me about it, where it came from, what their memory of it is, on what plate it was served, and I illustrate for them an illustration of the dish in the most authentic way possible.
Today various commercial companies have begun to realize the potential inherent in illustrations instead of photographs. At a time when everyone is taking and uploading semi-professional photos to social networks, there is something unusual and prominent in the illustration technique. It is different, emphasizing the main idea of the dish and causing great astonishment in the observer.
The other type of my work is a combination of raw materials from the field of food with illustration in line, which creates a new and surprising image that always brings a smile or wonder to the eye of the beholder.
Most of my clients are commercial companies, entrepreneurs, architects and interior designers who see the wonder and potential of a huge wall illustrated in the space they design, or in a digital campaign consisting of a series of illustrations of mine that they upload to social networks.
Do you connect to the foods/dishes you illustrate?
To me, there is something very emotional in food illustration, even if it is not a dish familiar to me or even popular with me. The illustration process connects me to the overall experience of the dish, of the raw materials from which it was prepared, the event in which it was served, the connection created between the people who ate it together, the colors and flavors that come up while creating, and of course the memories we all have.
Sometimes I illustrate dishes that I personally do not eat, and even there I manage to connect to the emotional place of the dish and get excited by the very story behind it.
What is the most special dish you have illustrated?
There were lots of dishes that were special to me, but I think the dish that moved me the most was a dish I illustrated to mark 4 years since my father's death.
A simple dish full of memories and flavors from the house where I grew up, from moments I remember my dad relishing it. During the illustration process, I really felt he was there with me for a moment, tasting it and enjoying it so much.
Tell me about an interesting project you worked on
Undoubtedly the most exciting project I worked on was the illustration of the walls of the Ibis Style Hotel in Jerusalem.
This is a hotel from the global Ibis chain that opened about two years ago near the Machane Yehuda market. The interior designer who approached me asked to put the market motif into the hotel, the freshness of the raw materials, the colors, the smells and the overall experience of visiting the market.
I was given a free hand to create illustrations in all 104 rooms of the hotel, in the public spaces, in the restaurant and in the main entrance hall of the hotel.
All the illustrations I created were unique to the hotel and consisted of a connection between illustration and raw materials from the market. It was a huge and satisfying project for me, the kind of project that makes you so proud of yourself.
What do you like to eat?
Homemade food. I grew up in a home where every day when I came back from school there was a hot meal on the table, amazing Turkish and Syrian cuisine that even as a child I loved very much. I still remember my grandmother's hand movements rolling vine leaves. I love dishes that have stood on the stove for a long time and that have a story and history and a connection to the family.
Did the ‘Corona year’ Affect Your Business?
I work with different clients on projects that do not always require regular meetings, so in this aspect, I was not limited. I continued to work from the studio and send products for printing or digital use. The main thing I felt changed, was a slowdown in projects and budgets, more cautious clients, trying to run in a world of uncertainty that ultimately affects all areas of the budget. I hope the coming year will bring with it a lot of desire for a new and fresh creation.
What are your plans and aspirations for the future?
Strongly enter the field of interior design, public spaces, restaurants, hotels, in Israel and abroad. Develop a textile line with my illustrations, create a series of ceramic vessels decorated with illustrations of plants and raw materials from the field of food, and even exhibit in my own exhibition.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
With architects and interior designers in Israel and around the world who have an open mind to my work, who understand the potential of the idea, with different food companies, who are looking for a new direction for packaging and cool campaigns in print and digital and with everyone that food illustration turns him on and sees it as a springboard for new ideas.