By Clara Olshansky
Updated June 21, 2016
Credit: © Danling Xiao / @mundane_matters

Food art has become quite the booming industry over the last couple years, but this food artist actually uses her work to make the world a better a place. Danling Xiao, a graphic designer from Sydney, makes gorgeous food sculptures and then eats the final product to raise awareness about sustainable living. Her project, Mundane Matters (@mundane_matters on Instagram), operates both on the large scale—bringing delightfully Earth-friendly sculptures to tens of thousands of Instagram users every day—and the small—holding food art workshops throughout Sydney every week.

Xiao says, "Many people think I'm just doing cute fruit art, but what I'm doing reminds us where our food comes from and helps to raise awareness about sustainable living." To that end, Xiao uses well-sourced (and often misshapen) fruits and vegetables, and always consumes the final product—as she calls it, "eat-your-own-art".

Xiao makes one sculpture a day, and currently has over 500 of them. She's been sculpting with food for three years now, but it wasn't until a year ago that she quit her day job as a graphic designer to fully pursue Mundane Matters.

Along with advocating for environmental awareness, Xiao also uses her transition from clock puncher to full-time artist as a positive model for anyone looking to make the switch. In a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, she advised that you should always place living a healthy life above pursuing your passion, that you prepare as well as you possibly can before you quit your 9-to-5, and, if you’re on the fence about quitting your job, get a loved one to audit your life to help you make the choice.

Sure enough, churning out and eating a new work of art every day, running a series of workshops, and working as an environmental advocate, Xiao has bitten off about as much as anyone can imaginably chew.