[Field Notes] Drawing about food

Sometimes when we’re out in the world, we have a hard time expressing things through one channel, and try out a different language to get our point across. Interdisciplinarity and synesthetic expression are our bag here at Bait/Switch, and my ears prick up every time I hear about these principles being employed casually in daily life.

So when John (our Documentarian & Director of Social Media [and my husband]) told me that his coworker Ann Venezia had made an attempt to order ice cream using a drawing a few months ago, I got super excited. I have been meaning to interview her about the experience ever since, and I finally got the chance to do so yesterday.

Ann's dream ice cream

Ann's dream ice cream

Can you tell me what these drawings are?

They’re drawings of ice creams- different types of ice creams. One’s in a cone, and one is in a cone-bowl type thing.

And you used one of these to order ice cream.

Yeah. I like visual stuff more, so instead of explaining to them what I wanted, I thought that if I just drew what I wanted and showed them, they would get it. So, instead of just saying that I wanted vanilla ice cream with cookie dough in it, I thought that they would just get it more. First I drew what I wanted, and then drew something that I knew they were going to have.

So this first one is your dream ice cream.

Yeah, basically.

Can you describe it to me?

The base is a waffle cone bowl, with a banana, and then vanilla ice cream, and cookie dough ice cream with cookie dough... droplets? And with syrup on top- but now I don’t remember what type of syrup it was. 

Whoa, that’s serious. So there’s cookie dough in the ice cream, and cookie dough sprinkled on top of the ice cream, and then there’s syrup on top of the cookie dough. But you thought that maybe that would be beyond what they had in stock.

Yeah, I didn’t think they were going to have the waffle cone bowl.

Ann's final ice cream order

Ann's final ice cream order

So this one is a cone with vanilla ice cream and cookie dough on top of it?

Well, cookie dough ice cream first, in a cone. And then vanilla, and then cookie dough droplet things.

Like pieces of cookie dough on top?


And are those sprinkles?

No, I think those were the cookie dough. I don’t know why I didn’t put sprinkles. And I also didn’t label the syrup, and it was so long ago I just don’t remember.

I’m sure at the time it was so fresh in your mind you didn’t need labels.

Yeah, I was explaining to John. This is what I want. This is what I need.

And what happened when you brought this to the person serving the ice cream?

Well, first I asked her for what I wanted, but she didn’t really understand. And then I just showed her the picture, and she was like ‘Ah, all right.’ But she didn’t really get it. So I had to kind of walk her through it, and then as we were walking through it she kind of got it.

Is there anything else you have to say about this experience?

I mean, it worked. I didn’t think it was going to work, but she got the gist. So, I suggest it.

Do you think you would do it again?

Yeah, I think I’ll probably do it again! I’ll probably do it with other food now, not just ice cream. It would be so great- and I’ll have more of a detailed picture with like actual blueprints.

Ann at JP Licks

Ann at JP Licks

Yes, actual blueprints.


Well, when you do, let me know!

I will!

We hope you do, Ann! Follow Ann on Instagram @melodypawlick.

Lucy Valena