Welcome, again, to Connect with my Clients– an exciting series of blog posts to learn more about the Why my clients hire an artist to visually express how their business feels.

My clients are also the very people who inspire me with their talents and commitment to provide a personal, remarkable way to express their business.

Meet Catherine Haymes, the Kitchen Moxie over at Everybody’s Home For Dinner.  She’s all about primarily reconnecting with food so you can reconnect with yourself and give back more to your loved ones.

A self-trained but relaxed comida aficionada (read: tutti foodie) with her hands and heart grounded in traditional European cooking, she specialises in Italian, French, Germanic and, closest to her beating stomach, Austrian cooking. Despite her Japanese heritage, her Japanese and Oriental cooking is “too European”.


ebook - Catherine Haymes

ebook – Catherine Haymes

She released a book back in January titled “Everybody’s Home For Dinner: Be The Life You Want To Be With Food At The Heart Of It” – a book designed to fundamentally change the way you cook by putting you at the heart of it and be guided to reconnect with food at a primal level, to reconnect with yourself – and which features my artwork!

Connect with my Clients…

1)    What was your desire when you were looking for someone like me?

I’m always on the lookout for people I want in my life, and in a bid to meet new people, I met you on a 30 Day Video Challenge ran by Marissa Murgatroyd in May 2013.  I was astounded by your courage to be true to yourself and your light – you have this je ne se quois that just draws people in.  Kindness, playfulness, a gently pure white light that illuminates all the other colours – that’s you alright.  I kept in touch with you ever since, and it’s been wonderful!

2)    What were your specific reasons for hiring an artist above other services, or ways of adding images to your brand?

In November last year I had just written my book, “Everybody’s Home For Dinner”, and it occurred to me that I wanted to bring the essence of it to life – it was just a 20,000 word bundle of words at this point, and food is multi-sensual, so I wanted to bring forward the visual dimension to help spur more of it to life.

I was part-inspired by the artwork to Marcella Hazan’s excellent book “The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” – it was a collection of very simple, hand-drawn illustrations of vegetables like tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines – and I knew I wanted something along those lines, but also different to reflect and embody the spirit of my book.

Now, I’m no artist – I can’t draw or paint, I even struggle to doodle!  So I knew that I needed an artist to help me bring my ideas to life.

There were a handful of artists I was thinking of contacting, all of them wonderful at their work, but I chose to work with you because of your ability to empathise with the spirit within each business and creation.  I treat my business as if it was another person whom I’m working with to create the things that want to exist in this world.  I also treat each creation as another person to bring them to life too.  Lisa is sensitive to all of these spirits, or essences, unlike any other artist, and I could just sense that she could bring them to life.

3)    What 4 words would you write to describe yourself as a female entrepreneur?

Free Range Meetup 040712059 copyWholesome – I look at the bigger picture of where cooking fits into everyone’s lives and want everyone to be the life they want to be with food at the heart of it.  Having a full heart and (comfortably) full stomach are good starting points to living a good life, I believe.

 Seeker – I seek knowledge and understanding in cooking and my work:

What are the minimum ingredients and techniques required to make a sponge?

What is the ultimate herb and spice combination required to make a goulash?  (2 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tbsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp marjoram, and potentially up to 1 tsp of caraway seeds, particularly for vegetable goulashes but not always for meat goulashes. *wink*)

Why are there so many books that focus on food and diets but rarely on cooking and what it means to cook?

Why are there so many cookbooks with recipes that don’t indicate how it’s meant to look, taste, smell, feel, sound, at various stages of cooking, so that we know we’re on the right track?

These are the kinds of questions I ask myself a lot and which inform a lot of the work I do.

Practical Philosophy: I believe that when we stop for a few moments to think about what we really want in our lives, it makes it much easier set about and focus on getting those things.  After all, you wouldn’t rush in and make a cake if you didn’t know what kind of cake you wanted and needed to make – so why do we rush in and build a life we didn’t particularly want, or worse, fit our needs?

4)    How does your business feel?

Come to my home and step into the warmth.  Wipe your shoes on the doormat and replace them with some comfy, fluffy slippers.  Walk through the vanilla ice-cream coloured hallway into the kitchen.  The kettle’s on.  Please, take a seat at my Kitchen Table, and feel free to raid the cupboards and nibble on cake, cookies or carrots, whatever takes your fancy.  Grab a mug of tea or coffee (or something stronger if it’s one of *those* days!) and let’s talk.

Let’s talk about what you think and feel about food.

Let’s talk about what you think and feel about yourself.

Let’s talk about all the problems and troubles you’re having making time for cooking when you have a bazillion other things to worry about.

Let go of any judgment that you and everyone else might have about your thoughts and feelings about you, cooking and food – judgment redirects your thoughts and feelings away from your real reasons for thinking and feeling the way you do.  That is counter-productive, because the redirection will rarely land you in the place you want to be…joyful, happy, peaceful, wholesome, ecstatic, alive, radiant, full, love…

And it reduces the chances of eating damn good food.

So instead, let’s talk about the place you want food to be in your life and the lives of the people you love.

Let’s talk about your beliefs and hopes around cooking for yourself and the people you love more often.

Let’s work on building it together.

5)    I invite you to comment on my process for creating custom-crafted artwork.

From the moment I sent off the request I felt comfortable – it was so easy to work with you because there was not only the explanations on paper but also the Skype call to talk to you about the ideas I had, which was really useful to clarify the details that I couldn’t work out on my own.  What I really loved was how it felt like you had just opened a window into my mind and saw the illustrations I was imagining, and just plucked them from my mind straight onto paper.  As soon as I saw the illustrations, I instantly connected with them, “Oh yes, that’s it!  Exactly what I was dreaming of!”

6)    What can custom crafted images do for your brand and services?

It helps to instantly create the resonance with your audience that would otherwise take you several sentences to build.  It helps to instantly create the feelings that you want your audience to feel. It creates the space and defines the safe container of what you and each service is about.

Best of all, because it is custom crafted to your specific requirements, it’s unique to you and differentiates you from everyone else who’s using stock imagery, even if the imagery was bought somewhere.  When people land on your pages, they will instantly know it is you and your work they are going to play in and not someone else.

7)    Where do you think unique artwork can be used in a female business?

ebook - Catherine Haymes

ebook – Catherine Haymes

I used unique artwork to help define the space and boundaries for my book with a front cover and a recurring background image that represents the book philosophies of simplicity, whole-heartedness and homeliness: a carrot, an onion and a stick of celery – the ingredients for making an Italian soffrito, which forms the base of many traditional Italian dishes.

I also used it to beautifully illustrate a metaphor around the Inner Foodie Tree: we all have one, and it informs how you cook far beyond the typical cooking equation (your skills + a recipe = the dish du jour).  It takes into account your thoughts and feelings around food, cooking and, most importantly, yourself.  It shows the effect of using all of your senses and how the quality of ingredients supports cooking.  It helps explain the relative importance of each part to cooking.

Aside from those, I think that unique artwork can be used to describe the indescribable when no words can do justice to it.  I also think that unique artwork is a great alternative to photographs because it can bring a softer quality to the business – in my case, more homely and handmade.

Unique artwork is invaluable when you want your audience to be guided by their imagination too.  Photographs are real (mostly – let’s not get into the Photoshop debate!).  Art is a dream brought to life when it’s fixed to a surface (tweetable).  Using art and words, you can set the background and prompts for the dreams you want your audience to have in a much more fluid way than what can be achieved through photographs and words.

8)    What advice would you give someone who is considering hiring an artist or illustrator?

Know what you want beforehand – it saves you and the artist of illustrator time and makes it more likely for the collaboration to be a success.

What feels like “something’s missing”?  What would be better represented or explained in a picture or illustration?  Where does your business feel that there is something it wants to show you and your audience that so far hasn’t been shown by your words, or photos?

Then map it out as far as you can – daydream, fantasize, what does it look like?  What does it represent?  How does it feel when you see it in your mind’s eye?  Build the pictures you want.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you should hire someone you get along with and who you think and feel will bring your imagination to life.  For me, that is Lisa.


Thank you Catherine for answering my questions, in order to help prospective clients feel more informed about Lisa McLoughlin Art.  Very much appreciated…

If you would like to see how I can visually help you with your business needs, then do connect with me here .

If you enjoyed reading about Catherine’s journey and would like to find out more about her new book then do pay a visit to her online home here. You will not be disappointed!