A viewer can be so very easily drawn into the world of illustrator and designer Johanna Kindvall. Her exquisite, black and white line drawings characterise recipes, ingredients, animals and kitchens with a simplicity that is childlike, didactic and functional. Eschewing frivolous details or fussy embellishment, her one dimensional, ascetic vision speaks of freshness, peace and tranquillity. You will not want to leave her Blog www.kokblog.johannak.com because within its calm frame of colanders, mincers, spoons, carving forks and rolling pins, the cheery, ritualistic bustle of domesticity will smoothe your furrowed brow. This Blog should be on the National Health.
Johanna achieved a Masters degree in Art and Design at the University of Gothenburg in 2003 and has worked at James Carp Design, where the focus is on architecture. She lives and works in New York City and southern Sweden. She has illustrated book covers for Jules Clancy, created icons for Stonesoup’s website, drawn a proposal for a cocktail book and has set up an online shop where fans from all over the world can buy her excellent work.
In the online shop you can see quite old-fashioned butchery drawings that would look so eye-catching in a food shop, delicatessen or restaurant: a sheep, a pig and a cow are anatomically split into separate cuts of meat with the use of dotted lines and detailed. If you ever wanted to ask your butcher for a specific joint, but were too afraid to ask in case you got it wrong, this is your educational template for assured farmyard animal loin, leg, shank, brisket and belly nomenclature.
There are also very charming ergonomic recipe drawings of how to make a flourless chocolate cake, a duck in port, a beef stew and a caramelised apple tart. For the recipes there is a central ingredient, like the duck for example, and then little dotted circles show you the added ingredients: thyme, stock, lemon, salt and pepper, parsnips, potatoes, prunes, figs and port. It’s like referring back to a 1950’s Home Economics Textbook, where sequential tasks underpin methodologies of a dish for an unsure student of the culinary arts. The use of colour is very minimal and discreet, so that little distracts the eye from the pure, utilitarian directive of her approach. Despite invoking a reassuringly retro era, Johanna’s work is bang up-to-date for the contemporary kitchen and the modern cook. There is nothing twee here.
The drawings that are available to buy measure 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm and are printed on heavy weight matte, archival, acid free paper. But I believe that the extent of Johanna’s talent is such that her work will fly off the page and the screen onto mugs, tea towels, plates, textiles and possibly even on the branding of cookery schools, food producers, restaurants and publishers. What a joy to find it, to share it and enjoy it.
Johanna Kindvall: www.johannak.com
Johanna’s Portfolio: www.portfolio.johannak.com
Johanna’s Blog: www.kokblog.johannak.com
Follow Johanna on Twitter: @kokblog