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Lizzie Darden Plays With Food

by Matt Crump

Avocadonut by @lizzie_darden

Artist Lizzie Darden is a master of visual puns, often using food to tell a joke, and has captured the attention of accounts like @candyminimal, @meetkvell, and @shopbando. "Food makes for great visual pun subjects because it’s so relatable," she says. According to Lizzie, the perfect puns are the ones "that make you think a little bit. When it clicks, it's so much more rewarding."


Chilly Peppers by @lizzie_darden

Her slick, minimalist visuals paired with a consistent pastel color palette elevate puns from cheesy one-liners to sophisticated art. But it's not just the imagery that make Lizzie's work so unique—it's also the brisk, perfectly written captions. "I was certain I wanted to be a creative writer, and I guess I never really lost that desire," Lizzie says.

Pepper Mint by @lizzie_darden

When brainstorming concepts, Lizzie starts with a specific food and uses word association to figure out what puns she can make. "Sometimes a pun comes along easily out of thin air, other times I have to hit up the rhyme dictionary or Google search idioms. If I know I want to make a pun out of a certain food I obsess over it until I come up with something," she says.

Discoconut by @lizzie_darden

Once she's come up with the concept, she goes shopping, which can get a bit awkward: "Whenever I go to the grocery store I have an insane-looking shopping basket. Oranges, bandaids, ice cream cones but no ice cream, googly eyes, bags and bags of jelly beans. I've gotten some strange looks from cashiers when I'm shopping for puns."

Blood Orange by @lizzie_darden

Eyes Cream by @lizzie_darden

Lizzie says creativity is the ability to take an ordinary object and spin it into something extraordinary. And for Lizzie, that creativity is always on. She keeps a notepad nearby so she can jot down ideas when when inspiration strikes. Even when she's zoned out and binge-watching House on Netflix, random thoughts will pop up that she needs to get on paper. "If anyone read the list I’m sure it would look like absolute nonsense, but it makes sense to me," says Lizzie.

Watermelon by @lizzie_darden 

Creativity is paramount in Lizzie's life and helped her break out of her shell: "It’s a way to show the world who you really are ... I was a very shy kid but coming into my own as an artist helped me to open up and grow into my personality."

Follow Lizzie at @lizzie_darden on Instagram, and learn more about her work at

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  • Tom Windeknecht on

    As a lover of puns myself, I truly appreciate Lizzie’s work. She has such a creative and fun mind!

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