Playing with your food when you’re young is a given but what about doing that as a respectable grown-up? Even more, what about getting paid to do that while using the skills you learned in, oh, say kindergarten? Guess what? That’s how I spend my days!
Yes, food styling is a very grown up job. You have to think quickly on your feet, have a certain set of skills and expertise and the hours can be long. However, it’s incredibly fun and as long as you obey the rules of the kindergarten room, you’ll be just fine. Let me explain just a few similarities.
Being a food stylist means you’re going to be part of a creative team so you have to be polite and play well with others. Of course your opinion is expected but you don’t want to hog the floor time with incessant chatter and you need to be able to collaborate with others, even if you have different opinions. In kindergarten, it was, “How do we build the best block tower?” In food styling, it’s, “How do we create the best food photograph?” Same but different. It’s everyone’s project or it’s no one’s project. That’s an important distinction.
Something else that’s equally important in kindergarten and in the world of food styling is knowing that creative expression is good thing! While kids instinctively know this and create without fear of judgment, as a food stylist, we can be a little more guarded. Our work is constantly critiqued and adjusted according to art director’s, photographer’s and food company’s opinions. Well, I say take down the guard rails and just go for it! Embracing your inner child and getting wildly creative is extremely important in food styling. Dip into the finger paints, get out your glue stick and get to it! Everyone will thank you. The KEY is to not become so attached to your “work of food art” that you are not open to what others think and say. It is, after all, about the team! And no one is criticizing you. Don’t take it personally. You need to be a strong person to keep unattached!
There’s more kindergarten lessons to come so if you’re wondering what else your inner five year old can carry over into the world of food styling, stay tuned for my next blog! And if you want to join me for my webinar on May 5th I am going to show YOU what’s in my food styling bag of tricks. It will be fun and informative and just like playing in kindergarten of course!