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March 04, 2021
A picture paints a thousand words… or more, in the case of food art Instagrammer, a stylish mother of two and an incredibly creative pharmacist Clara Lee. Our fave food artist —and a regular Disney Family contributor—has a colourful, kawaii aesthetic and eye for detail that has captured the hearts 💕 of many, us included.
Clara chatted with us about everything from how she got started in the creative world of food styling, what fashion means to her to what is the best thing about being a mom.
Favourite food? Sushi
Can’t live without? My kids
Essential recipe ingredients? Bananas and almond milk
What’s your most-used emoji? 💕
Favourite Disney character? Winnie the Pooh
What app do you always use? Instagram
What’s the weirdest thing you own? A stuffed animal collection
What song have you had on repeat lately? Be Alright by Dean Lewis
Favourite piece of clothing? My blush tulle skirt
Favourite snack? Firm green grapes
What is the best way to spend a weekend? With my family outdoors
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To slow down time when I’m with my family but speed it up when I’m at work
Hiii Clara. Thank you so much for chatting with us. To start things off, tell us a bit about yourself. 🙂
I’m a mom of 2 kids, trying my best to balance family life with my full-time job as a pharmacist. I was born in Korea but we immigrated to Canada when I was 2 years old. I actually have a twin sister, but we don’t look alike, and an older brother. My creative thinking started early because we had no toys growing up. I didn’t own any nice clothes, never ate fancy meals, and we never had a birthday party. Our meals were usually canned soup or a sugary cereal. My parents were always working or travelling the world, so they were never around for us. We were raised by my great-grandmother who couldn’t speak English or cook, but she made me feel so loved and always cheered me on. It’s my upbringing that made me who I am today.
Could you briefly describe your Instagram account — what’s your focus and the reason you started it? Do you see this as a business, a hobby or something in between?
I started my account 5 years ago after I had my kids. It started out as a hobby to post my family trips and all the crafting and baking I did for their birthday parties. It evolved into incorporating everything I love including matching outfits and food art. I love posting happy, cute images. I started collaborating with a handful of companies in the past year, so my account has now turned into something in between.
We are absolutely obsessed with your kawaii food art. Where do you get your inspiration for your content?
I love scrolling through kawaii images on the internet and transforming them into food. I’m also inspired by so many incredibly talented Instagram accounts, who have turned into great friends and my biggest supporters.
We also noticed some scrumptious Disney themed snacks on your Instagram feed. How did you become a Disney Family Contributor?
I connected with a friend on Instagram who works as a contributor for Disney Family. She gave me their contact info and I was hired after they saw my account.
What are 2 of your favourite posts that you’ve ever done and why?
That’s tough because I have a lot of favourite ones. It would probably be my first project with Disney Family which was an Easter craft because it was a big turning point for me. I also love the twinning posts with my daughter because it’s the only time she looks like me. I think she looks like my husband.
We love your food images but we also adore the pictures of your beautiful family. One of the captions reads: “The most magical day of my life was the day I became a mother.” What’s been your favourite aspect of motherhood?
Their unconditional love and being able to give them all the things that I missed out on.
Can we also take a minute to properly appreciate your vibrant style! WE LOVE IT! What does fashion mean to you and what are some of your favourite fashion brands and/or fashion designers?
Fashion represents my personality, my love for cute things, and my success in life. Bright colours and anything with bows or pom poms always catches my eye. Clothing uplifts me and makes me happy. I like to mix designer shoes & purses like Gucci and Chanel with affordable clothing. A lot of my wardrobe is purchased online.
How does a typical day in your life look like?
If it’s a work day, I don’t have much free time other than getting my kids ready for school in the morning and brainstorming creative ideas. On my days off, I try to prepare a cute snack for them before they come home. My son is autistic and my daughter has learning difficulties, so they both need my support. I don’t actually cook, except for my kids’ meals, so that makes my life much easier. My husband or my in-laws cook for me. I’m very lucky and grateful to have them in my life.
What is the best piece of advice that you were ever given?
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Do you have a favourite quote or words to live by?
If you can dream it, you can do it.
And lastly, what are you going to do once you’re done with this interview?
Continue organizing my closet!
For endless inspiration, adorable food creations and family pics that will make you go awww, follow Clara on Instagram @clarasham22. 👀
WHAT IS SMARTBITE COLLECTIVE? Smartbite Collective shines a spotlight on changemakers in our community that live according to Smartbite principles. We started Smartbite Snacks because we want to live our lives on our own terms while creating a positive change around us. We don't wait for things to happen, we get up and happen to things. Roadblocks don't discourage us, they fuel us. We believe that life is what you make it, how you impact it and also how you look at it – rice cakes are just rice but wine is just grapes. To us simplicity, boldness, kindness and giving a shit (yes, we said it) are everything and when we meet someone who embodies all of the above, you bet we'll ask tons of questions.
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