Featured Artist: plate.to.paper / Victoria Moey

Hi lovelies! In the month of February, I am really excited to interview Victoria Moey, or @plate.to.paper as our Featured Artist of the month. Victoria is a Singapore based illustrator and graphic designer that makes gorgeous food illustrations, which often evoke nostalgia or leave you feeling really hungry!

Let's jump in!

Hi there! Please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Victoria Moey. I’m a Singaporean artist who paints a lot of food, and is also old enough to start seeing SK-II ads on YouTube now. Thanks for having me!

It's our pleasure! You run the popular Instagram account, @plate.to.paper where you illustrate food. How did this start?

To be honest I never really considered food illustration a “thing” in itself until two years ago or so. I’d been working as a graphic designer all this time so I’ve always seen artwork as something to be created to fulfil a brief. At that time I was working in a design agency, but instead of designing, I was asked to create the paintings for a new line of biscuits that Julie’s was releasing. I enjoyed the process so much that I just started painting the food around me, and that’s how Plate to Paper started. 

Victoria's illustration for Julie's, a popular biscuit brand in Singapore and Malaysia.

Watercolour work on delicious looking sandwiches!

How did you get into your craft? Was there a pivotal moment that helped you decide on your path?

I’ve always been doing work with my hands, whether it was drawing, painting, sewing or making model kits with my brothers. By a small miracle I got poached into the Media Club in secondary school, and I always say that that was the pivotal moment because it cemented my path going into art and design. Since then, I’ve been a moderately popular manga-style artist (by early 2000s standards). I got my diploma at Temasek Polytechnic and my degree in Australia. I then came back to Singapore to try and make my living as a graphic designer. This led to the event I mentioned earlier, and here I am today. It was the first assignment I took that didn’t feel like “work”.

Painting isn’t my only path now though, I wear a number of different hats. Painting, designing, videography and film, even leather craft. I get bored easily so this is my way of productively combining my interests and skills.

One of Victoria's creative hobbies, leather craft.

Could you describe your art style and process, and reason behind your choice of medium?

At the moment, I’m pretty much painting my subjects as I see them in real life, as boring as it sounds. This is just my way of appreciating design details of the subject I’m painting. As for choosing watercolour as my medium, it was the thing I had easiest access to at the time. Acrylics can be really frustrating, and gouache was intimidating for me, though I’m beginning to really enjoy it now. 

On the subject of style, having come from a design background, constraining myself to one particular style is something I’m not precious about. I’ll have a go at anything. Experimentation is what keeps the art fun for me; my style is still a work in progress.

Illustration of Dahfa dried fish strips, a common snack found in Singapore and often mistaken as 'dried cuttlefish'.
Kushiyaki, Japanese grilled skewers. Mmm...can you smell them?

One of Victoria's cheery experiments with gouache.

Are there any memorable moments online? What is it like to be an Instagram artist? What are your favourite things about it?

I was conversing with a client (@decadenttreats_ng) from Nigeria late last year. She had found me on Instagram (among all the other great food artists out there, talk about a miracle). I showed her the Julie’s packaging I’d done. The next day she sent me a photo of the exact product in her local supermarket. It had made its way from Malaysia and Singapore all the way to Nigeria!

Social media can be a double-edged sword, but Instagram has been a great tool to connect with fellow artists, make new friends and connect with old ones. As much as I’m trying to limit my time on it, it’s also given me more motivation to go out and “have a life”, it’s a bit ironic.

Who and what are some of your art inspirations or influences?

I’ve always admired the work of Holly Exley (@hollyexley_illustration), a British illustrator who does a lot of food and wildlife illustrations. Her style is vibrant and crisp, with a graphic quality. I also greatly enjoy the works of Tuan Nini (@tuannini) and Justine Wong (@patternsandportraits). They paint their subjects with great sensitivity, while retaining their liveliness.

How does an idea for your art come about? How do you stay inspired?

Luckily in Singapore we live in a food paradise. There’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to food. I’ll paint something if it’s artistically amusing, or if it’s connected to my own experiences.

Travelling is also a great source of material! 

I was in Oji, Japan during New Year's Eve. There was a parade near the Inari Shrine and locals dressed in fox themed costumes. The atmosphere was amazing! I bought some cute fox mascot senbei when I was there, and later illustrated it.

Fox Senbei from Oji, Japan. Senbei is a type of Japanese rice cracker snack.

Victoria's illustration of the cute senbei she bought!

I’ve also made it a point this year to visit the Botanic Gardens a few times a week. I’ve always loved flowers, so this was a great chance for me to reconnect with that. It’s been nothing short of inspiring. I might start my first botanical paintings soon!

One of the many beautiful flowers spotted on Victoria's adventures in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

What are some projects that you are currently excited to work on? Could you share more about them with us?

Currently I’m painting my own childhood snacks. Of course, this is nothing new in the Singapore scene, and some would call the subject overdone, including me. I’m doing this more for myself than anyone else, but I’m glad that there are many people who seem to enjoy them. I find the design sense of the past really interesting, and painting the snacks allows me to really observe them properly, and give them a ‘second life’. Younger me just ate them without a care for design, haha!

A collection of illustrated childhood snacks from Singapore, including Hello Panda, Super Ring and Pola Snack.

How about telling us about one of your favourite past projects or commissions, and why you found it fun or memorable?

I think my project with Decadent Treats last year was really something special. To give an idea physical form, and watching it change the lives of not just my client, but the people around her; it really gave me a sense of pride. I never get tired of seeing the packaging work in her stories. I also get really hungry, because her cakes look so good!

Watercolour style obi strips for client's cake packaging.

What is one thing you wish people knew about artists? 

I can only really speak for myself, but people should know that an artist’s time is worth as much as anyone else’s. Paying for artistic work seems to be an afterthought for a lot of people. For example, they are more than happy to pay for a T-shirt to be printed, but aren’t usually as keen to pay the artist who designed it, weird isn’t it? There is a cost to everything, whether it’s in consumables like paper and paint, or in wear and tear of equipment, so I hope more people can understand that, and not baulk at the thought of having to pay for art.

Do you have any advice for artists, especially for those in Singapore?

I’ve talked to other artist friends, and they tell me this; people respond better to their art when they sense a true sincere passion for the subject. I’ve experienced this too. So my advice is to find what’s not necessarily just popular or trendy, but something you can really put your heart into. It will give you the motivation to keep going and hone your craft. 

Thank you so much for your time, Victoria!

Thank you for having me!


Do check out Victoria's wonderful art in the links below! You can view her works, including her paintings of Ghibli food or her mouthwatering work on Japanese cuisine. Also follow her on Instagram and participate in her sticker giveaways, and stay tuned for more news on her store!

Victoria Moey / plate.to.paper
Instagram: @plate.to.paper
Website: https://www.vicmoey.com
Facecbook: Vic Moey Illustration

I hope you've enjoyed February's interview! Till next time!