Alissa Teo, aka TikTok user @friedriceart, is no stranger to playing with her food. Over the last year, Alissa, who has 2.4 million TikTok followers, has created nearly 200 pieces of rice art inspired by her favorite Disney characters, superheroes, celebrities, and even the Olympic Games. "A lot of my inspiration comes from my father who impacted me greatly growing up," she told POPSUGAR via email. "When he was alive, he always reminded me to enjoy the three F's in life: food, fun, and fellowship. And that's what a lot of my art pieces are based upon — food that I like, things I think are fun, and art pieces that start a conversation with others from all around the world, aka fellowship with others."
"Art comes in so many different shapes and forms, and it is the artist that gives it life. Who would have thought using something such as rice could create such beautiful art!"
Alissa, who's currently expecting her third child, always had a passion for creating. But it was her youngest son who inspired her to go off the beaten path of acrylic paints and digital art on TikTok and try something new. "Back in September of 2020, my youngest son had some health concerns and I decided to quit my job to stay home with my kids," she said. Around this time, Alissa saw videos of people tossing rice into the air on social media and decided to put her own artistic spin on the trend by using the materials she had at home. "I was already creating fun rice sensory bins for my 2-year-old at home . . . It was definitely lots of trial and error when I first started!"
To create her art, Alissa begins by coloring the rice, sketching the picture out, and layering the rice, while being mindful of the weight distribution on the board. From there, it's all about the toss up and redoing the piece if necessary, which can take up to a few days. While she loves all of her art pieces equally, Alissa's FriedRiceArt logo, which features a smiling bowl of rice on a paint palette with a pair of chopsticks, holds a special place in her heart. "Art comes in so many different shapes and forms, and it is the artist that gives it life," she said. "Who would have thought using something such as rice could create such beautiful art!"
With only seconds in the air before the colorful bits of rice fall back onto the board and create a mess on the floor, it's easy to blink and accidentally miss the finished product. But Alissa captures it all on video, so check out her re-creations of Baby Yoda, Queen Elsa, Bad Bunny, and more ahead.