Artist Spotlight: Valerie Valdivia

Have you ever noticed the artwork on a Bubbies jar?

We know you might be distracted by the deliciousness inside the jar, but the label of each Bubbies jar has a fun illustration on it. From Bubbie having a picnic with bears, to Bubbie turning cabbage and peppers into her famous sauerkraut, each illustration tells a story.

So who is behind these adorable labels?

Her name is Valerie Valdivia and she has been creating artwork for Bubbies Fine Foods since 2014. We wanted to take you behind the scenes and share a little bit about her!

While her artistic journey only began with Bubbies five years ago, she has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. She got serious about studying art while attending Chapman University, obtaining a degree in Graphic Design. She’s been practicing and developing her digital artwork through illustrations since then and is constantly learning new ways to improve her process (though we think it’s already perfect).

When asked what her favorite Bubbie illustration is, she mentioned her excitement for the upcoming Bubbie’s Anniversary Cookbook:

 “Mid-century cookbooks influenced the look for the artwork in this cookbook and I had fun experimenting to create a distinct, recognizable vintage looks,” she says.

(We, too, can’t wait to share our cookbook with all of our fans! You’ll have to stay tuned for more information on this…)

Here are a few other questions from our interview:

Where did you find your inspiration for the artwork on the labels?

“I devoured children’s picture books when I was growing up, and I try to capture that same feeling of wonder and coziness in the illustrations I create. Some influential children’s illustrators that come to mind include Scott Gustafson, Peter de Seve, Mary Blair, and Bill Watterson. For me, the character of Bubbie is like a combination of Indiana Jones, Amelia Earhart, and Mary Poppins. Her adventures are reminiscent of the stories we hear our grandparents tell us, and I try to illustrate the way those stories appear larger than life in our imaginations.”

What is your process for creating a new piece?

“I start by doing a lot of research and gathering photo reference. If I’m drawing say, a pastrami sandwich or a cottage in the woods I want to know how to accurately represent it so that when I stylize it and give it my illustration treatment, the picture still rings true. Then I do a pencil sketch on plain old copy paper, because I can use as many sheets as I like to arrive at a sketch I’m pleased with. I scan this sketch and use it as a guide for the digital art, which I begin by creating a “color rough” where I decide what my digital color palette will be. Finally, the digital painting begins, and I paint in Photoshop using a Cintiq tablet and a variety of different brushes to achieve the textures I’m looking for!”

Last but not least, what is your favorite Bubbies product?

“The Bread and Butter pickle chips! I have to refrain from eating them right out of the jar.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Artist Spotlight and next time you have a Bubbies jar in your hand, make sure to check out Valerie’s artwork on the side! You can also find her artwork on Bubbies headers within the website and on Bubbies Facebook.