When food stylist Anna Keville Joyce’s pet bird died, she mourned for its loss in a tangible way. She utilized her professional creative skills to aid in the healing process, and the results are beautiful. A Tribute to Budgie is a series of elegant birds comprised of food and arranged on plates. Joyce came up with the images and crafted the illustrations while photographer Agustín Nieto documented the series.
Joyce uses food in inventive ways, and we see crushed-up Fruit Loops cereal in the body of a flamingo and carefully-peeled carrots that act as feathers for the other birds. Surrounding each plate are the foods that were manipulated in the production of the series. Seeing the raw materials of these intricate illustrations makes you appreciate Joyce’s handiwork even more.
In an interview with the website First We Feast, Joyce explains that she begins an illustration by gathering references of interesting food details. Afterwards, she creates a sketch and purchases ingredients based on what she thinks will work for a particular piece. Joyce tends to buy more than she uses, because like a painter, she needs a palette with options. From there, she starts with the longest-lasting ingredient and works backwards to the most delicate until she completes the incredible pieces we see here.