Ida Skivenes used to be your average Norwegian hobby photographer, posting images of her morning runs and daily life on Instagram. But in the past few months she’s become known around the world as “@IdaFrosk, Food Artist.”
In June of 2012, Ida replicated an image she found on the internet of two slices of toast garnished to look like bears. That inspiration led to even more creative looking plates of food, eventually catching the eye of Instagram, who featured her work on their blog in January. Just 2 months later, Ida has topped 71,000 followers who can’t get enough of her clever, smile-inducing breakfast plates.
After becoming a vegetarian two years ago, Ida was forced her to consider what she eats and it gave her the opportunity to experiment with new ingredients. Her healthy creations usually take less than 15 minutes to make and she recently started writing a blog so others can learn how to make their own healthy, edible works of art.
Once the photos have been snapped, the food is thoroughly enjoyed by the artist herself, who has no children to share in all the fun. Meanwhile, the irony of a vegetarian devouring the cute faces of the creatures she’s created does not escape her. I recently spoke with Ida to find out more about her project and what’s next for @IdaFrosk.
Your food art has become incredibly popular in a very short time, can you trace all the attention you’ve received to one specific moment?
Ida: Getting recommended by the Instagram team in early January this year definitely pushed things to a whole new level of popularity, no doubt about it. Creating photos that make people become engaged and want to share your work is very important for success on Instagram. I’ve somehow managed to do this by joining creative food with word play.
You’re a Human Geographer by day, what exactly does that mean? Are your co-workers aware of your art?
Ida: I work with quality checking and analyzing foreign trade statistics, a traditional 9-to-5 office desk type of job. My co-workers didn’t know anything for a long time but when the two biggest Norwegian newspapers ran articles about my food art in January, the cat was out of the bag, so to speak. They are generally very supportive though.
Do you have any previous experience with art or making things?
Ida: I’m horrible at painting, drawing, ceramics and those types of art making so it was a bit surprising that the food art thing should work out. Perhaps it’s because I try to work with the natural shapes of the ingredients and enhance what is already there. I’ve been doing photography as a hobby for quite some time though, and have developed an eye for light, composition and color through that.
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?
Ida: My long time favorite has been a scone fox I did a while back. It worked out so much better than I could imagine at the time, and was very tasty to eat too! Scones are my favorite type of pastry, after cinnamon rolls. I have a incurable sweet tooth.
Now that you’ve become internet famous, have you thought about what you’d like to do moving forward?
Ida: Some things are already in motion. At the moment I’m working on a book and have a column in a monthly Norwegian parenting magazine. It also looks like I will contribute to a new food website that is (hopefully) launching later this Spring. I’m trying to go with the flow and see what happens along the way.
Are you tired of being interviewed yet?
Ida: Haha, to be honest, I got a bit tired of talking about myself after doing 10+ interviews (I’ve lost count now) in a very short time. But then again, I like to share my passion for creative and healthy food, so that keeps me going. Now I’ve had a little break from requests and have gotten my mojo back.
Selections from Ida’s “Art Toast Project,” including Mondrian, Picasso, Van Gogh, Magritte, & Kahlo