All images © Kushino Terrace

Years before the era of Instagram and food bloggers, the self-taught artist Itsuo Kobayashi was memorializing every meal he ate. Using a combination of illustration, collage and text descriptions, Kobayashi has been creating a food diary of the last 30 years of his life.

Born in 1962, Kobayashi worked in the food industry for close to 3 decades, moving around from soba shop to cafeteria. A heavy drinker, Kobayashi developed alcoholic polyneuritis at the age of 46. But despite his health problems, Kobayashi has continued his artistic endeavors, which he began when he was 18, and to-date has produced over 1000 illustrations.

Each work is often a combination of collage, illustration and text that, together, forms a distinct memory for Kobayashi. The artist makes sure to include the date, price detailed ingredients and a short emotional response. In the seafood bowl pictured above from September 18, 2011, Kobayashi explains that he splurged on an expensive 900-yen bowl but that the soft and delicious squid made it worth it.

Itsuo Kobayashi is represented by Kushino Terrace, a Hiroshima-based art gallery founded by curator Nobumasa Kushino, whose mission is to represent outsider artists. His works can be purchased through the gallery.