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Let's Have a Pikunikku! by DRE illustrations

Montreal, QC, CA

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If I were to go on a PIKUNIKKU (Japanese romanization of the word picnic), I would vouch for a nice long hike underneath the sakura blossoms in March. There would be nothing more fitting than an ornate and delicately welcoming Japanese bento box, along with some seasonal mandarins. The "ben" in "bentou" comes from the word convenience, which shows in the cute and compact shapes of each food item. While I was growing up, I was fascinated by the creative ways people would dress up common ingredients, such as cutting up hot dogs into octopus shapes, or the "onigiri"- rice balls "molded" into different forms with a variety of seasonings. Now I can make my bento boxes however I want, but for this illustration I wished to satisfy my childhood fantasy with the picture perfect vegetables and octopus hot dogs, with full on Japanese headband and silly octopus face.