Instagram has proven to be a game-changer for a statistician-turned-food-artist. Ida Skivenes, 30, is a former government employee in Norway who turned into a deliciously successful Instagrammer and author of the book “Eat Your Art Out.”
She is known for her creative yet simplistic designs of plated food that has launched her newly found career as a food artist.
Her first-ever post on Instagram was that of a fox and bear made out of toast, jam and fruits in June 2012.
Speaking at the Pecha Kucha talk in February 2014, Skivenes retold the story behind her start on the photo-sharing app:
“I posted it on my newly started Instagram account that was really small at the time and I got some really good feedback. So I thought why not try out some more ideas of my own and that’s when I discovered my hidden talent — playing with food.”
Using only a few ingredients and her imagination, the Instagrammer began making simple pictures of animals and planes.
However, she soon realized she could create even more complex images including monuments, imagery from fairytales, and book covers.
She recalled during her talk:
“I did this in my Oslo kitchen all on my own; then all of a sudden people started to talk about it, they left comments on my Instagram and then bloggers picked up on it, digital media sites, traditional media, and then it kept on spiraling attention wise.”
Her big break came in January 2013 as she described how she gained over 10,000 Instagram followers in one day:
“It really exploded January 2013 when Instagram recommended my account and a lot of other media sources picked up on it. It has spread all over the world from Norway to South Africa.”
TV reporters began requesting invitations to breakfast with Skivenes and she even made a live guest appearance on Skype with “BBC Breakfast.”
Skivenes now makes a living as a food artist writing for columns in magazines and collaborating on projects with companies.
A few of her assignments included toast inspired by fashion for Vogue and a campaign for food recycling in Oslo.
During her speech she said Instagram has been a game-changer for her as she went from “being Ida social scientist working in statistics in Norway, to being Ida full-time food artist doing crazy things with food in about less than a year.”
Skivenes has quit her full-time job at the official bureau of statistics in Norway in order to make more food art for her 280,000 followers on Instagram.
Her book “Eat Your Art Out” is available in seven different languages including Norwegian, English, German, French, Dutch, Russian and Korean.