PORT ANGELES, WASH. - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for one Port Angeles man.
And in Nathan Shields' kitchen, it’s also the most creative.
"It seems I'm using a lot of pancake batter to do art lately,” Shields said. "I've always enjoyed art and drawing so this was a natural extension.”
The illustrator and math teacher turned stay-at-home dad built a side career out of making pancake art.
Using nothing more than photos for inspiration, Shields free-pours pancake batter into shapes with shading so detailed, the results are astonishing
He records and posts his endeavors under his artistic moniker, "Saipancakes."
"My wife took a job as a nurse midwife in Saipan, an island in the Pacific, and that's where I became the full-time dad and where the pancakes were born,” Shields said.
He makes everything from animated characters to portraits of real people, whether it’s Prince and Justin Bieber or Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
"Sometimes we'll do a topic of interest to the children,” Shields said. "Sometimes I'll do something I'm more interested in, like mathematicians or perhaps zombies. Other times we'll just look up current events and take a cue from what makes today special in history… I've had a lot of fun eating Drumpf cakes lately."
Shields even provided live entertainment for the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner after-party.
It's unlikely fame, for a stay-at-home dad who prefers to live “away from it all” on the Olympic Peninsula.
"It's beautiful here, we have mountains and oceans and trails, and it's small enough that I'm not spending time in traffic,” he said, smiling.
Instead, he spends time with the people who matter most – his wife and two children, for whom he began making pancake art in the first place.
"It's definitely mostly about having fun with the kids and giving them experiences in life where they can learn that it's not necessarily whether the pancake comes out looking like what you had planned, it's how it tastes in the end and whether you tried hard,” Shields said.
Shields is available for commission work. Visit his website for more information.
Copyright 2016 KING