Food art pairings

I’ve talked before about personal side projects and how they can lead to paid work, doing the kind of things you most enjoy. Here’s a top example from last year.

Pantone lemon lime

Food Art Pairings is a project by Minneapolis-based designer and illustrator David Schwen.

David had the idea of making individual Pantone chips out of household objects — sponges, cardboard, and so on. But while finishing off a poster design, he’d taped two Pantone chips together to see how they looked next to one another.

“Instantly I thought of how people pair food together, and that was that. Pantone pairings.

“Once I had the idea figured out, I spent time thinking up different pairings. It became pretty easy and was a lot of fun. I was creating a new pairing almost every day for about a month straight, setting them up on a white background in my studio.

David Schwen office
Inside David’s studio

Pantone ketchup mustard

Pantone bread butter

“Obviously some were easier than others to photograph. Probably the hardest one to capture has also been the best seller: Milk & Cookies.”

Pantone milk cookie

I asked David if he’d share how much he earned on the back of the project.

“It’s not easy to put a finger on the amount, but it’s brought me a lot of attention. A lot of other projects have come about from people seeing it, and Instagram ran a feature on me and the project, which brought a lot of followers to my profile.

“That’s why I create these personal projects. Not only do I really enjoy them, but by constantly making content, you stay top-of-mind with the creative audience. It’s very important to stay relevant, with how fast things are created and forgotten about in this industry.”

Pantone bacon eggs

Pantone peanut butter jelly

Pantone burger fries

Pantone chips salsa

Pantone pancakes syrup

View more of David Schwen’s work on his website: