Playing With Your Food
Spelen Met Je Eten / Playing With Your Food
Sarena van Dijk, illustratie
Categories/Themes/Tags: food, cooking, play, education, inspiration, youth, workshop, illustrated booklet
Have you ever been bored with food? Do you see cooking as a chore rather than something you can play around with? You’re not the only one. My project, Playing With Your Food, aims to inspire people to experiment more with cooking. It is targeted towards the youth of today (ages 18 - 28), but everyone could find something interesting to play with. It started out as a workshop, but soon turned into something more visual: an illustrated booklet. The booklet is an item to take home and flip through every once in a while when you’re up for a challenge and could be combined with an introductory workshop.
The research focuses on finding an effective way to entice the target audience to experiment more while cooking. When you play, you are more conscious and aware of your actions, this will accelerate learning new skills. Being more aware during cooking will also mean you make more conscious decisions about what you eat, how you prepare food, and where you buy it from, and this in turn will widen your world view. I aim to use cooking as a tool to improve self-confidence, creativity, happiness and environmental awareness in a playful and fun way.
The hypothesis proposes a workshop might be a good method. I researched this by discussing my ideas with two professional businesses, Kookstudio 25 and Hotspot Hutspot, and finding a place (Hotspot Hutspot) to host my workshop for acquaintances who belong to my target audience. During this workshop I found it is indeed a very effective method, but its effect is also incredibly temporary. A more permanent solution was needed. I started researching illustration as a method to convey playful assignments, challenges, to the youthful target audience. I researched existing illustrations for this age group and used a questionnaire about their cooking behavior to get to know more about how I could best approach the issue.
I concluded that a workshop is a great method to get the target audience to start experimenting, but a more permanent solution is needed to help bleed the effect into their daily lives. I am currently producing a prototype booklet, which uses illustration as a means to inspire the reader and to show various fun ways to experiment with cooking. I used the results from the questionnaire to make the contents of the booklet applicable to young adults. The illustration research helped me develop the drawings themselves to appeal to young adults by making the characters and situations more recognizable. The fact that I use as little text and as much illustrations as possible helps to make the booklet multi-interpretable and something you can pick up at various times and find something new to try. I hope to sell my booklet at various cooking supply stores and culinary workshop facilities. I might still combine it with the introductory workshop. Pick up a copy and before you know it, you’ll be Playing With Your Food!