Thursday, 24 October 2013

Interview with Raine Boyd: Tiny Creative Chefs


Something special today. You might know Raine as the woman behind limetreefruits.com. I love her work, in particular the beautiful printables that she passes on to the Filofax and planner community for free. When I learned that she was launching a new product combining cookery and crafts for kids, I signed up immediately. I asked her if I could interview her and help more people find out about it. (By the way, this isn't code for "She asked me to publicise her stuff for a kickback" - I really did approach her and asked if I could do this. And no kickbacks are involved, I just really want to help her succeed and for my readers to know about this cool product.) Read to the end for a discount code.

So here's the interview.

1. Who is Raine Boyd? Please seize the opportunity to use the third person unashamedly and let people see what you look like.

Raine Boyd is a reawakened artist + illustrator transforming humdrum day-to-day routines into enjoyable, fun, exciting and nurturing activities. Currently living in the Caribbean, over the weekends she has been sipping coconut water by the beach in search of the perfect “flat” wave to start surfing lessons with her cats. {the odds!}. During the week she has been making functional eye-candy art and releasing it to the world. You can find her musings, artwork and Filofax printable planners, calendars, desktop wallpapers, and all around helpful tools at limetreefruits.com.

2.  Tell me about Tiny Creative Chefs. What gave you the idea and how did you
develop it?

Since I was a kid I wanted to illustrate children’s books and children’s cookbooks because I grew up surrounded by them. The recipes in the cookbooks were all so easy and yummy to make (I always loved food too!) and the illustrations were the icing on the cake. About a year ago before TCC’s release I realized that I could really start illustrating recipes on my own. I didn’t need to wait for a special “something” to happen to get started. I illustrated the first recipe and even gave a sneak peak to my subscribers at that time. :) Then my husband and I decided to move out of the country and the project got delayed but never forgotten. :D I have a Filofax specifically for “Projects & Ideas”. In it I have specific tabs for each project where I break down each stage of development into sections (and more tabs!) where I write notes, questions, procedures and such. Since we decided to move out of the country I had to delay TCC’s release by A LOT! We moved into a temporary place before reaching the Caribbean and so I didn’t have my studio all set up and things were messy. I was not able to paint much but during that time I learnt a lot about all the technicalities of making a project like this come to life completely online and TCC’s designated section of my Filofax got filled quickly. The timing worked out perfectly at the end. As soon as we settled into the new place and my studio *ahem* dining area/studio was functional, I started illustrating and implementing it all. A few more months of intensive labor and love and Tiny Creative Chefs was released to the world! :)


3. What did cooking mean to you when you were growing up?

It mostly meant fun times with my mom. :D She wasn’t a big fan of cooking and during the week she would cook mostly on her own. So I knew it was “us girls” time for fun when she would ask me to grab one of my books and bring it to the kitchen. ;)

4. Is the chef character you? Is it based on someone in particular?

That’s an awesome question that I didn’t think about! :D The chef from the website itself came to me as I was sketching it. He appeared also on an earlier version of a printable menu planner and kept showing up again when I was drafting the main buttons and layouts. In the recipes, there is a character that shows up twice and she is such a doll! ♥ She is the same sweetheart that popped into my pages the very first time I attempted to illustrate a children’s book many years ago. I guess those little guys are insistent. They wanted to be heard and come to life. :)

5. Where do the recipes come from? How about some hints on what we can expect in the coming weeks?

All of them were recipes I used to make with my mom. Some of them I adapted and twisted over the years, others are exactly the same. I have such a sweet tooth and if it was up to me the recipes would all be desserts. :D I selected the recipes on my best behavior adding salty snacks and sweets into the mix! ;) 

6. What about art? When did you learn you could draw these fabulous creations? 

I had drawn/painted most of my life. You see, doodling is what kids do naturally, especially in a household with TWO fulltime artists! :D My parents were very good at supporting and encouraging me to polish those skills throughout my entire childhood and early teens. However they – unfortunately – excelled at incorporating and being a personification of the “starving artist” myth. In an effort to avoid that “curse” in my life {as I saw it at the time}, I took a break from art for almost 15 years. A little over a year ago, I finally allowed myself to explore and experiment with art again. And it has been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! {of course, right? How wouldn’t it be? ;) } I have been working hard not only to perfect my skills but especially to overcome internal challenges and change my expectations of what an artist is supposed to be and how he/she is supposed to live a creative life. Today I am on a mission to clear out those old beliefs and step into a free and empowered Artist Life. Art can bring me abundance or not. It all depends on me. :)

7. How challenging is it to draw/paint specifically for kids? 

I LOVE illustrating for kids! It is my favorite style and it comes so naturally and fluent to me! That is probably because I spent most of my childhood devouring comics and children’s illustrated books. I could be dragged anywhere and everywhere without a complaint as long as I had my stash of comics handy. :D They worked like a babysitter for me. Sometimes I see stories as a comic strip. If I only could draw/paint as fast the events unfold in my mind. :)))

8. My nearly-11-year-old is planning to use one of the kits for a special night at his Scouts group. Some of the Scouts will work on making the food, while others make the decorations and prepare the table. I think they'll have a great time. How do you hope people will use the sets? 

My goal is the interaction between parents and children. It was such an important experience of my upbringing that I dearly want more families to experience moments like this away from the TV/computer; just having fun creating without concerns about the end product. The process is the fun and important part, you know? :)  
And I LOVE that idea of a huge group effort as well! TCC can definitely be used as a way to empower children to cater and host their own parties. As a group, they can cook and decorate the whole thing on their own! Such a blast!  
They can even create a guest-book and have friends and family sign it, taking pictures throughout the process and afterwards creating an album and adding stories of each recipe in it or even journaling about the party. SO many possibilities to work with those recipes and create lifelong memories! 

9. What are your plans to extend the project? Can we expect themed one-off packs for Halloween, Christmas and so on? Further seasons? A book? 

Ray you totally read my mind! I am definitely planning on creating seasonal and holiday themed ones, hopefully next year! And for future development….. My mind is always bubbling with ideas. I can’t spill all the beans just yet because most of them are in the very early stages and depend greatly on how this first round develops. :) 

10. How can people reading this get on board? 

Anyone that follows my blog knows I am a talker and I am always giving hints here and there about next steps and that I always make a huge splash when something new and exciting is about to happen. So definitely stay tuned to my blog! ;) For more info about Tiny Creative Chefs you can hop over to tinycreativechefs.com and get to know me better, my blog is limetreefruits.com.



I'm a fan of everything Raine does, and Tiny Creative Chefs is such a wonderful project. I hope you'll look into it further, sign up (use the code "mylifeallinoneplace"  in the shopping cart to get 30% off) and enjoy some quality kitchen time with your kids.
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