Daryna KOSSAR: “I want to show people – you can make something really enjoyable out of usual products”
5 April, 2019
Daryna Kossar, a charming Kiever, creates both tasty and nice-looking masterpieces, portraits of celebrities, architectural sites of various cities. She uses berries, pancakes, cookies, vegetable, chocolate… We met with Dasha over a cup of coffee and tried to understand the results of such food games.
Dasha, what you do with food, – is it art, game, business?
Everything started as a game, with desire to create something brilliant – something you could call “an art” (as they say: it`s a poor soldier that never wants to become a general). With time, this hobby became business. But, initially, this is my way of self-expression, my way to show my excitement from the enjoyment of life, of being, loving, caring, creating the mood. And food in this case brings many positive emotions besides fulfilling basic needs. It also plays another role here – fascinating one. “Bread and circuses!” – this is exactly my way of doing things.
How long have you been doing with food-art?
For seven years already.
When you started, could you imagine that this activity would become business?
Not much. It was all about enjoyment. When I was a child, I liked drawing, modeling from clay. My mum would take me to various art clubs and I could not simply live without the classes. But I did not like everything separately – only drawing, simply modeling… I always wanted to combine all these things.
Later on I opened cooking for myself which I adore. Then photography. I became so keen on it that I was shooting all the possible objects in my house. Once I made a phrase “Good morning” out of coffee beans, took the photo and posted it in one of social media. To my great surprise, it became the photo of a day. I received numerous compliments, sincere enthusiastic reviews and I thought that it would be good to start with the second one…I made second, then third, fourth…All of them about coffee. Later, one company which needed advertising poster asked me if I could make anything of berries. And I took this job. I started experimenting with different products and techniques and then I was making stories on plate.
What are your most favorite products for work?
I really like berries, spices are another story. All of these are “small things” which can be used to make something large-scale and impressing.
And what products don`t you want to work with at all?
I think there are no such products. Well, maybe those I have not tried to work with. I daresay, it could be durian. Every product for me is only material for work as well as paints for an artist. If the product is good-looking and I can make something esthetic of it, and what is more, if it suits my idea, then I will use it.
And what is your idea?
All my works are positive. I want to show people that they can do something enjoyable out of simple and usual products.
Who are your clients?
Generally, they are foreign companies from America and Europe. The most interesting is that in the majority cases, they are non-food companies. From famous brands, it was a pleasure for me to cooperate with Louboutin, Disneу, Bonduelle, Belgium Boys, I made cover page for single by Katy Perry.
Unfortunately, in our country people are not ready to pay for food-art, however demand for unusual creative advertising with nice organized food is growing. In the beginning, I was ready to work for free and only with Ukrainian companies – I wanted to show Ukraine to the whole world…At the same time it is pleasant that for the last two years Ukrainian media have noticed my works and showed them to national companies. And just recently I have found first Ukrainian customers – this fact makes me even happier.
How do clients find you?
My base source of earnings is via Instagram, and all my clients come with their requests from there.
Do the clients suggest their topics to you?
I am lucky: as a rule I have absolute creative freedom.
Them tell me, how do your incredible ideas appear?
I cannot explain it. When you go along the street, something comes into your mind and you already know what you will do and out of what. And then you have a little to do – to draw a sketch and specify necessary products. Here I break stereotypes about art people: despite the fact that I am artistic person, before the start I really need to bring everything into focus, from the list of products till outlined views and supposed time frames. When the plan appears on paper, I feel myself more confident and I know – everything will be as I envisioned. If all the details are in head, there is a huge temptation to change something all the time.
Dasha, which project in your food-art practice was the most difficult?
Recently, I was ordered a calendar. The customer was actively making changes and at the same time I received huge experience of getting new skills. For instance, I made water out of jelly. I put it into layers achieving the effect of waves and I really made those waves. I made mud-hut on bread, painted every detail, built-up lath fence of salt sticks.
The question our readers are interested in: what do you with the products after you use them in your works?
I give them to people near me at the moment. My sister eats most of them as she is closer than other working adults most of the time. She is 14 years old, an actively growing organism.
How do you see your future?
Well, actually I dream globally. I want my own studio. Big one. In the center of…New York. I want to cooperate with the greatest brands and create cool creative content which will allow me to attract even more clients.
Will you give master-classes?
Once, I gave a master-class in Poland, I was invited to the opening of a trade center. It was cool, I liked it. I can`t say how much this topic will be demanded by adults, but as for children it is a really great one.
An adult will be difficult to teach creating such masterpieces on plate?
There is nothing impossible for a person with intellect. Everything is possible if you want it. You can learn everything. I am self-trained. I learnt myself how to draw, take photos, cook, I learnt English.
The most difficult is idea and vision. But many of my subscribers copy my works and send them to me. That`s nice and gives more drive, because one and the same job made by another person is absolutely different job, new vision so to say. It will definitely work out. Whereas someone will need only to see and they will know how to realize it, others will need detailed instruction. When we say to enable someone to make an idea, decide which products will suit the best and how to cook, cut and then assemble, I can surely say that it is not as easy as it may seem. And this process is very time-consuming. But everything comes with practice.
Are you going to write a book?
I already have experience of cooperation as an illustrator of children`s book about healthy food. Next year, I am planning to start applicable book on food-art. To think over some ideas, shoot photo-recipes step-by-step, give lists of products and add maps/ stencils. To make it simple and clear for everyone who wants to impress their guests, set the table and cook simple but very attractive dish.
In the world, coffee-shops and cafes with original serving of dishes and drinks are getting more popular. At first glance, it is not clear if you can drink or eat food-art pieces? Or you can only make selfie with them? To your opinion, how soon this super creative food tendency will reach us?
In Ukraine, there are also many interesting restaurants and various cafes, which are as good as European and American ones. How much food-art trend will develop in our country, will depend on fulfilling the basic needs of person to get even more interested in something more amusing.
And it somebody suggested you opening such café?
I would do it. It would definitely have different creative dishes. I will open a secret, once I was thinking to open my café or integrate my works into menu of other restaurants. I even made some serving ideas to make it easy, fast for kitchen and very creative on the plate. I even realized my idea at the opening of one Kyiv restaurant, however, during one-day non-stop performance.
Dasha, I wish all your plans would definitely come true and I am very grateful for hearty talk!
Interviewed by Inna Levenets
Photos of Instagram of Daryna Kossar @darynakossar