Hello and Welcome to The Illustration Blog of a Nomadic Mediterranean Foodie
I’m a multi-cultural food and travel illustrator and artist with a passion for Mediterranean folk and tribal cultures + authentic culinary stories. My artist alias is Yaansoon, and I’m a nomadic Mediterranean foodie with multi-cultural roots that include Moroccan, Lebanese, Jordanian, and European ancestry. Married to an Italian gastronome who shares my passion for culinary exploration and cultural travel, I like to create food illustration and travel illustration artwork that is inspired by our adventures and the cultures we both belong to.
We are currently living and working in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region), where we spend our time exploring the local cuisines as well as introduce some of the authentic Italian dishes to the people we know.
So thrilled that you’ve stumbled across my food and travel illustration blog!
FOR A PROFESSIONAL BIO & CLIENT ILLUSTRATION COMMISSIONS, PLEASE VISIT MY ILLUSTRATION PORTFOLIO + FOR SELF-INITIATED ILLUSTRATION PROJECTS THAT ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR ART LICENCING, PLEASE VISIT MY ILLUSTRATED BLOG SERIES.
Yaansoon means Aniseed, and just like me, it has roots in more than one culture. A Southern-European and Mediterranean herb, this flowering plant makes a nice cup of tea packed with splendid healing properties. Botanical, aromatic and a food ingredient, I chose this soothing and therapeutic herb to denote my creative persona.
Most blogs offering culinary travel coverage focus on photography as the primary medium for capturing their gastronomic creations and wanderlust experiences.
On this Blog, my main medium is the art of illustration.
I basically started this virtual journal to develop my food illustration and travel illustration style. I’m very passionate about travel, and also have a strong knack for reconnecting with my food heritage. I thought why not draw inspiration from these two aspects of my life for my illustration blog?
An Illustration Blog in Love with Storytelling
Having served as managing editor of two Mediterranean publications in a previous career stint, I thought I’d bring some of that editorial fun into my blog.
Instead of basing my post entries on general categories that say things like Food, Travel or Lifestyle, I decided to sprinkle my recipes and narratives across an editorial calendar consisting mainly of three or four Illustrated Blog Series.
My husband is the inspiration behind the first series on this blog, dubbed Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes. That’s basically why I have tag-lined it: “Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple.” He is a wonderful Italian man, who also has origins south of the Mediterranean. His unique and mouthwatering recipes come from obscure towns and cities in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
I also have a travel-oriented Illustrated Blog Series with an exploratory edge, dubbed Illustrated Travel Stories. As mentioned earlier, I have been to over 20 countries, signifying a myriad of cultures and exciting culinary flavours – across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Please join me as I chronicle some of these wonderful adventures using travel illustration and illustrated maps as my main visual story-telling tool!
Illustrated Italian Recipes is another blog series that focuses on homemade Italian food made with natural ingredients. In 2017, my husband and I went city-hopping across 15 Italian regions, cities and towns. We tried many local and authentic dishes from Milan and Southern Italy across a large number of trattorias, pizzerias and restaurants. This blog series aspires to bring to you simple and easy-to-make versions of these scrumptious dishes.
Early 2018, I introduced a new series to my blog, dubbed Illustrated Mediterranean Kitchen Tools. I created this section because I have a particular fascination with folk and vintage kitchen tools from Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. Owing to my multi-cultural roots, I grew up in households run by foodies that cherished traditional cooking methods. I’ve been around vintage enamel colanders, Bedouin coffee roasters, traditional Lebanese Kibbeh grinders, and many kitchen tools that may be on their way to extinction due to the ever growing use of modern kitchen gadgets. This section is my way of documenting some of the tools that make food tastier because in my opinion, slow food is always more flavoursome than food that is cooked in a hurry.
In here, there’s also a strong focus on women, especially the kind of matriarchs who have taught me valuable life lessons about inner strength, kindness, and compassion. To learn more about this aspect of my blog, check out my blog series titled, Illustrated Women Who Can, featuring resilient women from the 20+ countries I have been to.
I feel blessed to have experienced so much and I can’t wait to share some of these stories with you!
To contact me for commissions and collaboration please visit my Contact page.
First Posted on 10/10/2016 (with updates)