Design Links: Salli S. Swindell, Sarah Ferone & Ohn Mar Win

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Editor’s Note: This is part 32 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the previous part in the series, featuring Scott Reinhard, Amalia Pica & Lisa Smith.

We’re rebooting this week with the fabulous work of …

Salli S. Swindell

Salli, along with her brother, Nate Padavick, are the founders of They Draw and Cook and They Draw and Travel. Two fabulously successful websites that encourage artists from around the world to participate by sending in illustrated recipes and/or maps, depending which site you’re on. I love Salli’s enthusiasm and warmth (which comes through in her work), and her illustration style is so fun and colorful. I always love seeing what Salli is up to on social media. She makes everything look so easy, but I know it isn’t.


Earlier this year, Salli decided to participate in The Great Discontent’s 100 Day Project by Elle Luna. She drew a pineapple a day for 100 days. The creative liberties she took with her pineapples was exciting to witness every day and always made me look forward to see what she would come up with the next day.


Over the past few years, Salli has been working on a visual food dictionary. To date, she’s created more than 750 food icons, like these. She used a cohesive color palette to keep the icons consistent. I can’t wait to see what she does with these!

Salli Swindell is inspired by …

Sarah Ferone

Sarah started submitting recipes to They Draw & Cook a few years ago and I fell in love with her textural and carefree style. Everything she creates feels like a light beautiful breeze has just swept by! After meeting her at an illustration conference I loved her work even more because she is such a delightful and wonderful person. I like when an artist’s vibe resonates with their art. I admire her sense of storytelling with her editorial pieces. Although her images have a serene simplicity about them it’s obvious that she knows how to draw really well and carefully decides what to keep and what to leave out.

Her food illustrations have enough information to be recognizable but are not overly complicated. I think Sarah’s illustrations have a lovely emotional quality and are much more enticing than the real food itself.


Sarah recently launched a Kickstarter project for a deck of illustrated Cocktail Hour Playing Cards. The project reached its goal. I don’t back many projects but I did back this one because I WANT these cards! The promotional photos she created were so well composed. They will be available in January 2017.

Sarah Ferone is inspired by …

Ohn Mar Win

I first discovered her beautiful illustration work on They Draw and Cook, and was instantly drawn to the joy and care infused in her art. Ohn’s illustrated recipes on the site have such an elegant yet playful feel, and I love how she balances hand-drawn and digital elements. While food illustration is how I came to know her, she also works on surface design, editorial projects, and illustrated maps. It’s so great to follow her on social media as well to catch her daily sketches and periscopes where she’ll share work-in-progress, and every so often answer questions about her illustration and insights into the industry.


These “Autumn Vegetables” are one the first illustrations that I came across from Ohn Mar, and have since been one of my favorites. I love how she captures their natural shapes and textures, and each vegetable looks like a jewel on the page.


I can only imagine how incredible it was to work with Front Street Foods at the Toronto Union Street Station on this huge banner and see your work at that scale. To cover the 80 x 9-foot banner, she used a pattern of different food iconography, hand-lettering, and the company’s logo interspersed throughout. Her illustrations add a lot of color and cheer to this urban, outdoor space.

Tune in next time to see where the links take us!

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