Art, Food, and Existential Crises: The World of Banal Muffins

Drawing by Chris Sav

Art inspired by vegetables, talking cupcakes, and unemployment. Songs about porridge and kale. Illustrations on the disappointments of daily life. These are some of the ingredients that Brighton, England-based artist and musician Chris Sav uses on his blog, Banal Muffins.

Read, listen, and get lost in his quirky world of food, drawings, and music, which is sometimes hilarious, sometimes awkward, and always interesting.


The first time I clicked around on your blog, I was entranced. I wasn’t sure if it was a carefully orchestrated mess, or something you’ve built by accident. Why did you start this site?

Illustration by Chris Sav
Drawing by Chris Sav

While a lot of your work is unexpected, food is the constant. Why?

Illustration by Chris Sav
Drawing by Chris Sav

Some of your drawings make me laugh. Others make me sad. What’s your aim when you draw?

Illustration by Chris Sav
Drawing by Chris Sav

In your eyes, what food is the most misunderstood?

It would have to be the humble celeriac. It may look like a brain but it’s very versatile and in my opinion, quite delicious, and you can even eat it raw. My opinions about this are so strong that I even wrote a fake musical about it:

You’re in a two-person boy band with a root vegetable — Chris and the Celeriac — and sing songs about food and existential crises. How is expressing yourself through music different than art? Do you enjoy one over the other?

Sometimes I think that a drawing might make a good song — it started with an image of a guy eating rosemary leaves to spite his love interest. I thought this would make a good lyric in a song about eating various herbs to deal with unrequited love, and the whole Chris and the Celeriac thing snowballed from there. I would hear songs in the charts that were always about going out dancing, or love, and I thought, “what if there were pop songs about vegetables, or cake?” — because those are the things I really care about.

There is a satisfaction I get from recording and putting a song together, making it sound like any other boy band song, yet it’s about mashed potato. There is also a live element to Chris and the Celeriac which produces a different kind of enjoyment. It can be nerve-wracking, but there is something about the adrenaline rush and the fact that I can see the audience’s reaction — there’s an immediate satisfaction that I don’t get from drawing. I’d also say that Chris and the Celeriac comes under the umbrella of art — because if I record a dodgy harmony or hit a bum note, I can just say, “it’s meant to be like that . . . it’s art.”

Disappointman is your illustrated hero who has the power to be endlessly disappointing. I’m curious: is there anything that makes him happy?

Illustration by Chris Sav
Drawing by Chris Sav

Explore more art, writing, music, and other goodies from Chris Sav at Banal Muffins, and follow him on Twitter (@Disappointman). Hear more from his two-person boy band, Chris and the Celeriac, on Facebook and SoundCloud.

February 18, 2016Art, Comics, Food, Illustration, Interviews, Music, Personal Musings,