Food and sustainable living an illustrated guide

An illustrator is making the ordinary look extraordinary, especially food. Next time you have a meal, you will certainly think about Shubhashree Sangameswaran’s illustrations.
Illustrator Shubhashree Sangameswaran
Illustrator Shubhashree Sangameswaran

HYDERABAD: An illustrator is making the ordinary look extraordinary, especially food. Next time you have a meal, you will certainly think about Shubhashree Sangameswaran’s illustrations.

Tea, muffins, bread and popsicles — everything finds a place in her watercolour world. In one illustration, by drawing multi-hued fruits and vegetables, she urges you to ‘eat the rainbow’. A couple of years ago, she raised the bar to talk about the environment too, which led to her initiative ‘Let’s Talk Trash’. Through her website, The Hungry Palette, she is inviting people to be part of her food trails, travels and eco-conscious living.In an Etsy Art Collective held in the city recently, Shubhashree talked to the audience about sustainable living and how little things can go a long way in reducing our daily carbon footprints. We caught up with her to know more about her journey.

The beginning

My journey started with the desire to do something that was not ‘work’. I was employed in the IT sector before and had attended a weekend watercolours workshop with my friend.

But it was a 100-day challenge to sketch that made me believe in my abilities as an illustrator. I sketched for 122 days straight and realised that it gave me a window to do something for myself.

After my office and taking care of a daughter who was nine months old, I loved to journal with illustrations and small notes.

The first project came about when a friend asked me to make an illustration for her baking studio in Kondapur. I made illustrations of a few recipes that she taught, and they are still hanging at that place.

Let’s talk trash

I came across the zero-waste movement three years ago and it was great to be among people who are making small changes every day to save the earth.

While interacting with them, I realised we used to have many eco-friendly practices like carrying a cloth grocery bag and others. Through my illustrations, I tried to draw attention to a few of those.

That is how my ‘Let’s Talk Trash’ project took wings, which is a collection of my illustrations on what can be done to move towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

I  then followed it up with Let’s Talk Trash: The Kids’ Activity Book, extending the same concept. In this book, there are illustrations to teach toddlers a few basics — what are landfills, the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable, wet and dry waste — and fun activities like a board game titled ‘Are you a waste warrior?’.

Now, through workshops, I teach visual journaling on themes including sustainability, travelling and food. Visual journaling helps people to be mindful and create something of their own every day.  

Celebrating art and crafts

An Etsy Collective event held at Klimom Farm Cafe recently saw various artistes and artisans came together to showcase their art.

Etsy helps sellers ranging from home decor, craft suppliers, freelancers, etc. to run a business online. Illustrator Shubhashree Sangameswaran talked to the participants about the nitty-gritty of setting up a shop online.

Jaya Tulsi, a freelance photographer, conducted a skill-enabling workshop on product photography.

Other highlights of the event included a photo booth set up with a Polaroid camera allowing attendees to have fun while on a break, followed by a DIY workshop of painting fridge magnets.
— Shikha Duggal

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The New Indian Express