Postmates animates your brain on certain foods using six unique visual styles

Angela Kirkwood, Laurie Rowan and Shynola are among nine creatives enlisted by Nexus Design Studio for the shorts, part of a multimedia campaign from Mother.

27 September 2023


Much like everyone’s favourite scene in Ratatouille, where Remy takes a combo bite of cheese and strawberry, Postmates has released six short films that show what your brain looks like after eating different foods. In fact, these films go a step further, showing entire scenes based on the full-body experiences food can trigger, “from euphoria to comfort to even a kind of pleasurable pain”, says Postmates ECD David Kim.

Mother LA collaborated with Nexus Design Studio to commission the nine artists and animators behind the series of films. Each short works with a different visual style, taking inspiration from a particular food item sold by local merchants across Los Angeles, and Austin. For example, the illustrator and animator Angela Kirkwood takes on donuts with character design reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy, while Laurie Rowan uses 3D CGI with 2D embellishments to recreate the experience of drinking boba.

Directing team Shynola worked across two films. Soup Dumplings features a character who floats to the sky in a steam geyser of broth and BBQ uses a bespoke animation technique to simulate the feel of a celluloid scratch film. “The animation frames were organised into ‘contact sheets’ and printed onto paper,” a press release explains. “Each one was painstakingly scratched onto sheets of acetate Shynola had prepared with acrylic spray, and then every acetate was fed into a high-resolution scanner and recompiled into animation.”

Angela Kirkwood: Donuts (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

Veronica Solomon and Gustaf Holtenäs delivered the fiery clay animation for Nashville hot chicken. Meanwhile, Lina Reidarsdotter Källström and Louise Silfversparre of Double Up Studio depict “the luxurious feeling you get when eating really good sushi” for Sushi.

“It was a perfect design challenge to communicate the sensation of food through stories across different animated styles,” says Harry Butt, Nexus Design Studio creative director. “Some experiences are universal, for example, what the heat of spicy food feels like, but capturing how a sugar rush feels means different things to different people. We went incredibly specific in the aim of delivering something everyone can relate to.”

Postmates and Mother bought in creatives @domenicaaq and @itsbridgettebitch to present artistic takes on how food makes them feel on TikTok. Artists Akiko Stehrenberger and Jen Stark have painted OOH murals representing Nashville hot chicken and boba across Los Angeles, which passersby can find in the following locations: Cafe Carrera in West Hollywood, the corner of Santa Monica Blvd & Wilton Place in Hollywood, the corner of East 8th Ave and S. Los Angeles Street near the Fashion District in Downtown LA.

Laurie Rowan: Boba (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

Veronica Solomon / Gustaf Holtenäs: Howlin (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

Shynola: Soup Dumplings (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

Lina Reidarsdotter Källström / Louise Silfversparre (Double Up Studio): Sushi (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

Shynola: BBQ (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

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Angela Kirkwood: Donuts (Copyright © Postmates, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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