EUNICE martin LIM
Growing up in Malaysia with an academic background in Food Tech, we first heard about Eunice Martin Lim and her exciting world of food photography when she was selected as Malaysia's top food influencer. Besides her mouthwatering shots of food across the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur, it was her colourful still life series that caught our eye. We caught up with the food stylist and photographer about her stylistic vision, homage to Malaysian food and the capital's growing creative scene.
“I’m your typical wallflower who loves to spend her time alone and undisturbed. I graduated in Food Tech but I’ve spent my years after graduation busying myself with food photography and styling. So I moved myself from being a wallflower in my room at home, to being a wallflower in the office.” What got this food tech graduate into photography? “While I was studying in college, there was a lot of free time on hand. I had just discovered the beauty of flat-lays and decided to give it a shot myself. That started the journey of learning how to manipulate a DSLR, training my eyes for angles and exposing myself to other creatives internationally to increase my exposure. There honestly were no epiphanies or moments of sudden realisation, it was a gradual process of growing into the process, so to speak.”
Lim grew up in an environment where she was given the freedom to do whatever tickled her fancy and states that “till this day, my dad is my hero for his support and unconditional belief in my abilities”. 2017 has also been a big year for Lim as she won Malaysia’s top food influencer of the year. “Whenever I am able to capture food in its best form, colour and pattern, it makes me feel really, really satisfied to catch that. You’ve probably heard of the term “food porn”, food photography and styling is something I love because I enjoy that process of making food look extremely delectable and hearing people say my photos make them hungry is strangely satisfying”, says Lim on what is special to her about food photography. With Malaysia being known to have some of the most delicious variety of food, we were curious about what would be her dream cuisine to shoot; “I’ve always had a keen interest to do a creative series with French food as it is not so well-known in Malaysia just yet. It would be cool to be able to introduce French cuisine to local Malaysians in a fun and interesting manner.”
"As Gary Vaynerchuk says, find something you really, really, really want to do for the rest of your life. And, DO IT. Never give up on what you are passionate about, but make sure you work doubly as hard too. There’s no free lunch."
We fell in love with her colourful still life project and asked Lim about the creative process that was involved; “I don’t have an elaborate creative process because most of my ideas come and go fleetingly. So I try to make my mind available to these short and quiet moments, I latch onto one idea and experiment with it. My still life series was actually borne from a rainy afternoon and a bath of colourful paper around me. I thought to myself, let’s try something different, and there you have it. I get inspired the most when I have free time away from projects and clients, as long as I’m not stressed I am quite happy to sit in a corner by myself and chase some ideas down. Of course, I make sure I have the right playlist running in the background too!". Lim also created a series that features some popular local Malaysian snacks; "Well I'm pretty sure everyone has their own nostalgic memories, so I wanted to create something which every Malaysian can relate to and what's a better medium to use than food? So I carefully picked a few snacks which I grew up eating because I think that brings back a lot of memories. Nothing was planned during the shoot, I just got the ingredients and let my heart guide me through the rest of the shoot. Most often than not, I only get inspirations while I'm in the midst of shooting... It took me about two weeks to come out with the whole series and I almost gave up half way, but I've set my mind to at least nine or 12 squares to post on Instagram, so I kept trying and experimenting with different coloured papers, the placement of the subject and voila, It turns out pretty liberated and fun in style. On hindsight, I'm very proud to finish what I've started. Kuala Lumpur is an amazing melting pot of culture and food. You can literally get anything and everything in town and there’s a special Malaysian twist to it all. The creative scene for the past 2-3 years has been picking up through both public and private endeavours. You’d never be able to see so many literary and music festivals, art exhibitions and projects if you were here just maybe five years ago. Now, it’s considered cool to be an artist.”