` Exploring creativity with food stylist and creative director Anna Keville Joyce - Directory

Exploring creativity with food stylist and creative director Anna Keville Joyce

In the spirit of celebrating creativity, we ask talented individuals around the globe to fill our q&a on whats and hows of their creative process. This episode is dedicated to Anna Keville Joyce, Buenos Aires and NYC based food stylist charmed by conceptual food art and creative direction. 

How would you describe what you do?

I’m asked to define my job/role/title often. But the truth is, it’s always evolving. Just like life, or no? In recent years I’ve learnt to embrace my deepest essence as an Artist and to playfully and joyfully apply that to all areas of work and expression — film, photography, direction, installation, events, birthday gifts, a good conversation. Being an Artist is a way of existing.

I like to work with things that are alive (food, plants, liquids…) and things that are beautiful (…everything, if you pay attention!). My work generally emphasizes conceptual thinking and unexpected viewpoints, both literally and figuratively.

I would say I’m a companion of Nature — she takes care of me, I take of her. We work together.

How did you get started?

My background is in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and Graphic Design. I quickly learned that I’m not designed for an office or computer-forward lifestyle. I then transitioned into Food Styling, which evolved into Conceptual Food Art and Creative Direction in its many forms. Now I just like to create — the wilder the better — and I’m grateful to have dynamic projects and marvelous people to collaborate with.

A strength or skill you value most:

Genuine curiosity.

One of your favourite projects you’ve worked on:

I love my projects. All of them.

A while back I worked on a personal experimental project called BARE/LY with my beautiful friend and colleague Mechi Lopez. We affectionately called this a “micro-short”, which is elegant code for it’s-super-expensive-to-film-personal-work-in-high-quality. The film is about visually exploring a point of anxiety — a honeycomb drip, an oversized bubble, a thin-rimmed glass. It’s one of a 3-part conceptual micro-short series based on adverbs: BARE/LY, CLEAR/LY, and OVER/LY. For now we just have the one, BARE/LY.

I love this project, I love working with Mechi, and I love the tone of blue that leaves you questioning if it’s really blue, or purple, or blue again. I hope we can create the other two films.

Which phase of the creative process thrills you the most?

When through investigation, meditation, focus and curiosity, you discovery the perfect synthesis of idea/concept/material, and you know it’s right because you feel it in your body. Embodied creativity.

What sparks your imagination?

New information. New perspectives. New somatic experience. A good night’s sleep.

3 things you need to get into your creative comfort zone:

I think creativity, at least for me, generally lies on the edge of comfort zones. So I would say: being just outside of my comfort zone.

Do you keep to a particular daily routine to let your creative juices flow?

I don’t do hardly anything in a truly daily way, but some habits I find encouraging to a creative life are: Sitting in a dark room in silence and conscious receptivity. Lemon water. Stretching to keep my articulations and emotions open. Morning pages (ie, longhand, stream of consciousness writing).

A book, movie, exhibition, podcast you recently found inspiring:

Right now I’m reading Collapse: Philosophical Research and Development Volume VII, and Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. Two very different paths of insight into deep human nature. Fascinating.


Anna Keville Joyce
 is a Stylist & Director based out of Buenos Aires and NYC with a background in Food Styling, Design, and Anthropology. Throughout her career she has participated in a wide variety of creative projects worldwide and has also been featured in numerous publications and art exhibitions. Her conceptual flare, attention to detail, and keen sense of composition has allowed her to gain a broad international client list. She has the pleasure of collaborating on increasingly creative and dynamic projects.  Her work can be seen at www.akjfoodstyling.com and followed @annakevillejoyce.

Continue reading