Hello and welcome to my food illustration blog and illustrated travel journal!
Before telling you more about me, I would like to start the first post on my blog by dedicating the artwork, portfolio, and illustrations created here to my eternal Sufi mentor and spiritual guardian, my late Grandmother, my lovely Teta.
I am so grateful that in so many ways I turned out to be like her, a well-travelled foodie, who appreciates the cultural differences that make us, and who also happens to enjoy exploring folk traditions and making things with her hands!
In the spirit of Teta’s generosity and Mediterranean hospitality, let me first invite you over to a (virtual) cup of tea, and then I’ll introduce myself!
My artist alias is Yaansoon and I’m an illustrator and artist with a passion for world and tribal cultures + botanical and culinary stories. Please join me as I share with you my Illustrated Blog Series, where you will find some tried-and tested travel tips, authentic Middle Eastern and Italian food recipes, culinary tours, illustrated maps, as well as inspiring stories about resilient women and mother figures who have taught me valuable lessons about living compassionately.
Chronicling Stories through Food and Travel Illustration
The first series to be launched on my blog is called Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes, and it is done in collaboration with my dear husband, who is an expert on Middle Eastern food, in addition to his native Italian cuisine. Both hailing from multi-cultural roots, my hubby and I are two avid foodies and truly curious nomads, who love to explore interesting culinary cuisines and distant world cultures. That’s why the tagline reads: “Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple.”
This series was followed by three more main blog categories that highlight anecdotes from the 20+ countries I have been to across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and they are: Illustrated Travel Stories, Illustrated Women Who Can, and Illustrated Italian Recipes.
Bedtime Stories & 1001 Arabian Nights
One of the reasons I decided to create a series for each aspect of my blog is closely related to my childhood memories. When I was a kid, my late Grandmother used to tell me stories inspired by 1001 Arabian Nights. Her kid-friendly version of this legendary short-story series made me fall in love with children’s books, food narratives, and travel from an early age.
My grandmother’s bedtime storytelling also came in instalments over the course of many, many years, emulating the very technique Shahrazad, the heroine and narrator of the 1001 Arabian Nights, used to keep Shahryar the King hooked to her stories. This continuity is essential to storytelling, and so I thought I’d create a similar atmosphere over here at my blog.
The other reason for following the “blog series” format is linked to my professional life. In a previous career stint I served as managing editor of two Mediterranean publications, and I was heavily involved with the creative direction of one of those two institutions. I thought I’d bring some of that editorial experience into my new illustration blog by creating a Zine-like feel for you to enjoy flipping through.
New Blog, New Logo
For the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen me over at WordPress.com (yaansoon.wordpress.com) where I have been blogging about food, travel and lifestyle. I finally felt it was ripe time for me to walk the “self-hosted blog” path, and that’s how Yaansoon.com was born.
With my new food and travel illustration blog comes a new logo. My illustration style has evolved so much over the past few months – that I felt my old logo was no longer representative of what I was all about as an illustration artist.
To see my logo’s Before & After, please feel free to watch this illustrated YouTube video, which also talks about the launch of this blog:
Dabbling with different mediums and materials, I realised that my strongest suit was in my linear lines and shapes. My number one tool is my ink pen, along with a host of ink brushes that I use to experiment with lettering. That’s why my new logo is hand-drawn in black pigmented ink with a brush-tipped pen.
To learn more about this food and travel illustration blog please don’t hesitate to visit my About page, and for a more illustration-focused bio, please visit my Portfolio. Meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest posts and freebies, and let’s connect over Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr.
Looking forward to seeing you again soon and have a lovely day!
People illustration + Food and travel illustration by illustrator and artist Yaansoon