Q&A with They Draw and Cook

Brother and sister team Salli Swindell and Nate Padavick tell us about their illustrated food adventure, They Draw and Cook

When are you happiest?
Nate – During a good workout, while my endorphins are flowing and my cheesy techno dance music is blowing my eardrums out
Salli – Early morning, cats twirling around my feet, a cup of very strong coffee, a stack of magazines and books and my drawing gear. The day is so full of possibilities at that early hour!

What is the best part of your job?
Nate – When I hear news that an artist was given a commission because an art director saw their work on They Draw & Cook – that happens a lot and it re-affirms the reason we started this site
Salli – Same answer as Nate for sure! Plus my short commute to work… seven steps exactly from the kitchen to my studio

And the worst?
Nate – Doing taxes!
Salli – Listening to Nate grumble about doing taxes! Sometimes I miss the collective energy and help that comes from sitting amongst other artists in a studio

Describe your typical day
Nate – Wake up around 8am, drink coffee, check email, work for a couple hours, video-chat with Salli, go to the gym, eat lunch, work for a few more hours, buy groceries, cook dinner, work a little bit more, take a shower, download a classic movie or an episode (or three) of Family Guy, have a bowl of cereal, go to bed with a good book. I’m a creature of habit and would do the exact same things daily if it weren’t for my boyfriend and friends motivating me otherwise.
Salli – My day is a lot like Nate’s minus the Family Guy and nighttime cereal! I spend most of my day in my studio and am more of a grazer so I don’t often remember that dinner is a daily event. My younger son has been quoted as saying, “Hey Mom, how ’bout a little less drawing and a little more cooking!”

What is your greatest achievement?
Nate – Starting They Draw & Cook. Seriously, I love the art, the recipes, the community, the interaction, everything!
Salli – Most certainly They Draw & Cook career-wise. Life-wise my KIDS! Two really fun, bright and creative teenage boys

Tell us one thing you can’t live without
Nate – Healthy, fresh and seasonal food. Some people eat prepared food exclusively – I could never do that
Salli – Colour

You’re holding a fantasy dinner party – who’s coming?
Nate – No one famous. I have close friends who live all over the world. It would be fun to get them all together for a great big picnic on a mountain meadow next to a spring-fed lake with a rope swing. OK, maybe we could invite Brad Pitt but he’d have to leave Angelina and kids at home.
Salli – It would be fabulous to meet all of the wonderful artists that we’ve met through They Draw & Cook, especially if everyone brought the food they have submitted as illustrated recipes! Now THAT would be one big yummy international party!

What are your personal favourite foods to draw and cook?
Nate – I love to draw and cook fresh veggies!
Salli – I love drawing and cooking figs, pomegranates, pears, fennel, shallots, and squash… all curvy things!

What next for They Draw and Cook?
Nate and Salli – We have pages and pages of ideas and thoughts for They Draw & Cook. We love hosting contests! If anyone out there reading this would like to sponsor a contest let us know! Contests are always full of energy and super fun. Mostly we hope to find new ways to engage our fans and contributors and continue to have fun drawing and cooking! Our number one goal has always been to give artists the spotlight and showcase all of the talent around the world.

Take a look at Salli and Nate’s website here.

Comments (2)

  • Lovely interview, I sure wish I could attend that fantasy dinner party! Sounds so fab 🙂

  • aliona bereghici

    This interview makes me think again that Salli and Nate are really, really fantastic people!
    We have such a beautiful chance to be a part of interesting artists community! I’ve never made food illustration before…so TDAC was so inspiring!!


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