Are you a gourmand who loves to correspond? Three local artists are cooking up Michelin star worthy greeting cards that look delicious enough to eat.
Kriebel picked watercolor as her art form of choice for a practical reason: its portability.
She began exploring it on a 2004 trip to Mexico, where she kept a journal of the recipes she learned to make from home cooks she met along the way. First, she would sketch the ingredients, the processes and the finished dishes before going back to illuminate her outlines with watercolors. Over the following years, she traveled throughout Central and South America, documenting more dishes in text and brushwork. Her diaries ultimately became the backbone of Mi Comida Latina, a gorgeously illustrated cookbook focusing on the classic foods of Latin America, which was published in 2012.
Its resounding success inspired her, so she set a goal to create a new food-focused watercolor every day of 2014, from a T-bone steak and ice cream to a Niçoise salad and blueberries. Out of this daily ritual came her “Illustrated Feast” series, which now includes over 20 greeting cards. Her most popular creations include a Dagwood-sized sandwich overlaid with a Warren Zevon quote, “Enjoy every sandwich,” a roundup of chili peppers and their Scoville units, and a heart formed out of beets coyly titled “Heart beet.”
Kreibel continues to rely on her medium’s mobility. She took two trips to Cuba in this past year to work on her next illustrated cookbook, Comida Cubana, which will be published in September 2017 by Burgess Lea Press.
Find her cards: On Etsy and at her studio (716 Monroe St. NE, Studio #14) on Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment.
Somewhat ironically, the roots of this vintage-vibed press with a penchant for small town Americana can be traced back to the booming metropolis of Los Angeles in the early 21st century. John Reburn was doing design work for a variety of clients in the entertainment industry when he began letterpress prints on the side. His first card featured a blue plate special with two eggs and bacon. Since then, he’s produced a number of culinary-minded creations, including a series of fruits made from antique images, a classic Coke bottle and old-fashioned recipe cards. There’s a natural connection between the art form and such subjects. “I’ve always said letterpress feels like cooking,” says Reburn, who moved to Roanoke, Virginia in 2003. “It’s tactile and the same love goes into it. It’s about basic ingredients and simplicity.”
The other reason he likes epicurean minded cards is because, “Food always connects,” he says. “A lot of my cards don’t have words or sentiment. They’re visceral, so people get it no matter what.”
Find his cards: In his online shop
Sarah Hanks graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2004 with a degree in graphic design, a career she pursued at Discovery Communications. Looking for a creative outlet, she took classes on letterpress and screen-printing on the side. She began producing cards in 2011, including a number with a cheeky epicurean angle. One features a milkshake emblazoned with the phrase, “Brainfreeze! Oops! I forgot your birthday!” Another proclaims, “It’s your birthday. Go bananas.”
Stressful-when-they’re-starving people inspired one of Hanks’ best-selling cards, “I love you even when you’re hangry and that is true love.”
Her biggest success story may be the tasty triptych: “Make tacos not war,” “Make bacon not war” and “Make doughnuts not war.” “It’s kind of commentary on how people are so food obsessed,” she says. “Maybe if we spent more time eating rather than hating the world would be a better place.”
Find her cards: In her online shop