What To Buy For Your Food Art Obsessed Friends According to an Illustrator

Artist Sinister Squids shares her favorite prints, stickers, and more here.

food art gifts
Images: Nelson Wu and Dingding Hu; Design by Grace Han for Thrillist
Images: Nelson Wu and Dingding Hu; Design by Grace Han for Thrillist

Everest Strayer-Wong has been drawing cubes of food under the moniker Sinister Squids for years. She is captivated by the crinkles of convenience store packaging, the shapes and vibrancy found in dinner and dessert, and the ways in which she can manipulate nostalgic food items—like Vita Lemon Tea, boxes of Pocky, and her grandma’s beloved strawberry pie—into perfectly compressed cubes. She has designed creative menus for restaurants and has been commissioned to paint murals like at Manhattan-based sweets shop, Stuffed Ice Cream. But mostly, she’s been cooking up food cubes.

As an independent artist herself, she knows the significance of supporting other independent artists. From coasters, to stickers, to a cuddly pancake plushy, here are the gifts Strayer-Wong recommends for your art and food fanatic friends—that she secretly wants for herself—this holiday season.

Price: $20.00

“I’m a huge fan of convenience store foods and these are such cute snack pairings in perfect little squares. I have always admired Nelson Wu’s style and I really appreciate the pixel food that he does. I love the way it's spatially-orientated; they’re just really aesthetically pleasing and I just love when artists use the polaroid canvas. It’s everything I could want for a poster series in my own home.”

Price: $3.33-$9.99

“These are such cute sticker combinations for both dog lovers and food lovers. I love the way Euge Leung draws food—and I love seeing how he incorporates Puglie in all these different foods. Whether you love avocado toast, taiyaki, or tacos, there’s a sticker for everyone. It’s so unexpected. The one with the curry fish ball is my favorite; it’s just this round pug on top of this little cup. It’s so silly, I love a good silly drawing!”

Price: $20.00

“I love the instant ramen aesthetic; the packages are always so vibrant and appetizing. This bag can allow you to carry that aesthetic wherever you go! It’s so fun and the chicken is so round and angry. It’s a super cool rendition of the spicy Samyang ramen; you know which ramen it’s referencing, but It is completely the artist’s own style.”

Price: $20.00

“I love the unique graphic designs by my friend DingDing! She’s a New York City-based artist—you may have seen her mural in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This item is a great print for hanging in your kitchen and whetting your appetite for all the noodles to come. This is a perfect gift for any noodle lover. I love her fun representation of the cooking process including the making of hot chili oil and the baijiu in the corner as well; all these elements look like they are having a party together!”

Price: $15.00 

“For starters, all of these ramens are so beautifully illustrated. They look so accurate; it really looks like you’re peering into a ramen bowl. They’re very unique coasters—it’s ideal for a ramen enthusiast who just moved into a new place and doesn’t want to ruin their furniture.”

Price: $10.00

“This is for the foodie gamer in your life. This turnip pin—inspired by Animal Crossing—is a great reminder to not forget about your digital food.” 

Price: $20.00

“I love the way this artist combined such an iconic breakfast food and reimagined it as a sea creature. All of their work intertwines marine life with food—it’s so creative. As the winter months get colder, I just want to cuddle underneath a blanket with this squishy pancake-manta ray plushie.”

Price: $9.99

“Okay, this isn’t an independent artist but I feel like Bob Ross tutorials have always been very calming and fun. This would be a great activity to do with a friend. It’s like water color therapy, but edible! And then, once you’re done with your canvas, you can put it in your hot chocolate and sit by the fire. How does your art taste? Maybe the painting on the canvas really affects the taste of the marshmallow.”

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn