As you can see Foodscapes are artworks created from healthy food. They’re fun for adults and kids.
Foodscapes were first developed in 2007 by a graphic designer here in Owatonna, Minnesota; she had done a lot of work for LZX in the past. The first scenes, while cute, were really pretty basic. You can see from the picture on the right; it's like looking at early editions of favorite cartoon characters or comics. The early Foodscapes sparked an interest in staff and customers. So we got a little more complex and intricate with the next batch of scenes.
We’ve come to realize that there are two types of Foodscapes. First there are the super stars that we use in the Learning ZoneXpress products. They seem simple and easy to make, but it’s an illusion. It's pretty difficult to create high quality Foodscapes. The characters are glued, sticky-tacked and pinned together; dowels and skewers hold things up and multiple photos are taken as the scene is constructed so the food looks the freshest. (Remember the food tends to die and wilt as time passes - and we definitely use real fruits and vegetables.) Lots of the fruits and vegetables are cleaned up with Windex to make them shiny. Wires might be adding to make it so the characters can be put in a certain pose or position.
The amount of food that the food stylists work from is pretty remarkable. We have a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (lots of unusual produce from the Asian markets too) because we can’t run to the store during the shoot, so we bring the store to the photo studio.
Each scene takes about five or six hours to construct and build, depending on the complexity of the scene. Staffing for a shoot includes, two food stylists, an art director, the photographer and sometimes we bring in an assistant. It’s a lot of work – but it’s worth it. The video below gives some idea of what happens during a shoot:
There’s another kind of Foodscape we enjoy too – the pared (or "peared") down version that someone without professional training could attempt. Early next week we hope to share information on the home grown Foodscapes – including some instructions on how you can create them at home!