This page will be periodically updated from time to time, but here is the gist of how Foogos works:
Why do you make Foogos?
I’m an artist at heart, and I find myself bored to death by everyday normality. Oh, and I LOVE to eat. So why not combine food and art with the chance to make something delightfully weird? Plus, after the first few, I could see people were starting to enjoy it. But the whole idea started after a spur-of-the-moment work-related project, in which I made the map of the world out of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Where do you make Foogos?
This answer varies. Sometimes, I build these at work, which I did with the Philadelphia Phillies, Venom, the Montreal Canadiens and others. Other times, I make them in my apartment, like with the Anaheim Ducks. Mostly, I make Foogos when I visit my parents’ house because my mom has a big kitchen and all the tools I need.
How are Foogos made?
It depends on what I’m making. Sometimes I build templates and stencils. A lot of times, I’ll study and sketch a logo over and over until I get the proportions down, then do it one last time with food. In simplest terms, there are equal parts math and free hand involved.
What tools do you use?
- Knives, toothpicks and chopsticks have all been handy when it comes to laying down sauces and spreads in small doses, like with the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, or Minnesota Wild.
- Spoons are also good for allocating yogurt and tomato sauce (see: Ghostbusters or G.I. Joe).
- I use an Exacto knife to cut and shape slices of cheese, usually into lettering. (See: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hellboy.)
- And then, of course, there are the usual cooking tools like cutting boards, pots and pans on the stove, etc. You know, the kinds of stuff normal people use to eat.
Who takes the photos of the food/artwork?
Unless I state otherwise, I shoot all the photos that you ultimately see on the site. Occasionally, I’ll have my photographer co-workers Ed and Wally snap away for me, but those instances are rare.
Have you altered the images in Photoshop?
The only Photoshop work that comes into play with Foogos is after I upload photos of the work form my camera to computer, I adjust the levels to brighten the images, as they are usually a little dim. I’m no photographer, and I certainly don’t have the lighting for it.
How do you have the time to waste making Foogos?
People never question why athletes sacrifice so much time and effort to hone their craft, so why should it be different for an artist? Luckily, I’m in a great position. I work at an ad agency at night, and sometimes, it’s not too busy there. I also don’t sleep much, so I have all day to myself. And finally, I’m a health freak, so I don’t drink anymore, and the time I used to spend wasting at a bar is now more productive.
How long does it take to create Foogos?
This is the hardest question to answer because every project is different. The Ninja Turtles Pizza was close to three hours, and stands as one of the longest-running projects to date, along with the Carolina Hurricanes. Gum art takes a while, mostly because it simply requires a ton of gum chewing. (Then again, the portrait of my roommate Megan took only two days… but I think I broke my jaw.)
Other projects are lickety-split. Most of the MLB Foogos have been relatively fast and easy to create, thanks in part to the ingredients used. The average time of those pieces was probably around 30 minutes.
What do you do with the food after the Foogos are made?
First, I document the art with photographs. Once in a while, I’ll shoot a bit of video. For most of the Superhero Foogos, like Captian America, Robin and the ThunderCats, I throw everything intoa blender and make a day’s worth of smoothies. Take that, Jamba Juice!
In the case of a heavily-used ingredient like sauerkraut, which has appeared in Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers art, I’ll package the ingredients into work-specific Tupperware and store in a fridge for later. Everything else gets eaten on the spot. (I typically wear surgical gloves so as not to totally get my grubby fingers all over everything.)