FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Students in a digital arts class at Kapiolani Community College work on projects designed to reflect their fantasy meals. Projected on the wall is Reri Wright's work in progress, the Portuguese bean soup her late father used to make at Christmas.
KCC computer students find artful inspiration in their fantasy foods
Food is about more than just sustenance: Flavor, taste, texture and appearance are to be considered, too. Most people have a favorite food or a meal, something that stimulates the senses and gets the saliva glands, ever so discreetly, drooling in anticipation.
Students at Kapiolani Community College are taking the idea of their favorite meals one step further.
By drawing their idea of a fantasy meal, students are using food as inspiration for a project in Art 112: Introduction to Digital Arts.
"I want them to taste the food, smell the food and see the color," said instructor Karen Jones, a former art director for Island Scene magazine and part-time teacher at the school. "Both in food and design, you have to think creatively."
"Strawberry Shortcake" By Rika Utsum
A sweet strawberry is not just a delicious berry or a good source of potassium and vitamin C, but also red, firm, slushy, seeded, romantic and more, in the appraising eyes of Jones' students.
In her two classes, students are encouraged to look at ordinary vittles in another light.
It's a tradition for students in the New Media department: spending multiple weeks in Art 112, capturing the foods that get the imagination going.
The subject may be food on the surface, but the emphasis is more on learning to draw these mental fantasy meals, as well as mastering design principles and developing technical skills in such software programs as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
For some students, it's their first attempt at drawing on the computer screen, and the challenge is at once both easy and daunting: easy enough to conjure up a personal fantasy meal, but challenging to illustrate with only the click and drag of an unwieldy pen tool.
"Sometimes the hard part is the details," said student Yvette Coloma, 18, who drew a scene of a pizza birthday party and presents for herself.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Instructor Karen Jones helps Marissa Kealoha with her project in a digital arts class at Kapiolani Community College. The assignment is to depict fantasy meals with computer graphics.
The fantasy part was easy, said the liberal arts major. "I thought about where you would want to have food and the people you would want to be with."
Ideas of sumptuous meals vary from person to person: Sushi, steak and dessert-themed fantasies played across the screens of the 15 students, intently staring at their Macintoshes during a Tuesday-night class.
Before the assignment began, Jones encouraged her students to go to markets and coffee shops, to look at fresh fruits and vegetables at grocery stores and then people-watch at a Starbucks.
Patisserie major Reri Wright, 20, drew 10 sketches, eventually settling on one her late father would have enjoyed: bowls of the Portuguese bean soup that her father would cook for the family at Christmastime.
"It takes me back to a memory of another time," said Wright, a pastry chef at Roy's, who plans further study in Switzerland once she completes her degree.
"Happy Birthday Pizza" By Yvette Coloma.
Everyone has a food fantasy, said Jones, who, not so coincidentally, is also a food stylist and photographer. She is enamored with the presentation of food, making it look appetizing under the bright lights of photo shoots for such clients as Zippy's, McDonald's and Chai's Island Bistro.
"We are all interested in food -- if we don't eat, we die. But more than that, people like food," said Jones.
She tells her students to get in touch with their senses when they're relying on their imaginations, using items such as fruits and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts for the classes to touch, taste and smell.
"I brought in a box of chocolates, had them each take a chocolate, then I'd say close your eyes, smell the chocolate, feel the texture and listen to the crinkle of plastic on the box. Then taste it and listen to the snap of the chocolate and examine the contrast of the crunching," said Jones.
"But it's really about reinterpreting it for yourself and getting to think visually," she said. "That and learning to think creatively, technical skills, expressing yourself and have fun."
"Divine Hamburger" By Nick Bright