I was recently asked to do an illustration for a magazine article on food poisoning. The idea being that it is easy to think that only low grade produce such as van burgers and greasy kebabs are the only foods that carry harmful bacteria and viruses. 

Of course the best quality foods can be equally as dangerous if prepared or stored badly and we needed to illustrate this. The chosen concept was to show a delicious plate of food placed next to a menu which lists some rather dreadful food poisons such as Norovirus and Listeria.

It was an interesting project and for me this was a great opportunity to buy some pretty top nosh and get it all on expenses, which indeed I did.

I produced a few initial drawings to get it all working well and once the concept was approved I got on with the illustration. Generally things went okay. The strawberries however were a challenge as at first they just looked like meatballs, but with a bit of push and shove I got there in the end and I was rather pleased with the result and more importantly so was the client.

Oh how they laughed!

The initial brief called for oysters to be shown on the plate. I bought six and sketched up a few. The client soon abandoned them as they would not fit with the other foods chosen. ‘Fantastic’ I thought, so I promptly ate them.

Three hours later I was brutally sick and spent the evening with my head in the loo.  It reminded me of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected and much amusement was had by all at my expense. I didn’t miss the deadline though.

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