What Is Creativity To You?

Decorating By MrsNancyB1 Updated 25 Aug 2009 , 11:49pm by lthiele

MrsNancyB1 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:57am
post #1 of 14

I am just a beginner when it comes to cake making and decorating, but I've already developed an obsession and I already have several cakes lined up to make for birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day etc.

Of course I get a sort of idea of what I would like to incorporate in a cake. For instance, I'll be making my husband's birthday cake this year, and he loves everything to do with sea life. I was brainstorming a few ideas, and then I went browsing in the gallery and found a cake that I love and put it in my favorites so that I could re-create it. I loved the colors, the design, the cute figures everything.

So if a person does this, does it mean they're not a creative cake designer? If a person were to sell a cake they recreated, is this fair? Do they get to take the credit for the 'ooohs and aaahs' that recreated cake might generate?

What are your thoughts?

13 replies
veronica720 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:07am
post #2 of 14

I have a hard time coming up with original ideas for some of my cakes, cause it seems like everytime I think of something cool I look in the gallery and someone has already done it.

But if you can 'recreate' a cake from a pic then I would think you can take credit for making it. Have you seen some of the cakes on cakewrecks that were supposed to be like another. Most didn't even come close, so if you can make it like the pic you do have talent.

terrylee Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:11am
post #3 of 14

I don't have a real creative mind on my own.....show me a picture and I can come close......I think most of us have taken ideas from the CC gallery or magizines and such and "recreated" that cake..

Mine never come out quite the same because I'm adding MY touch. Using an idea , adding your own touches or combinine ideas is still a creative cake. I think that is what CC is all about....sharing ideas and hints, seeing the balance of color and shapes on various cakes......all help to get your creative juices flowing and create your vision of that cake.

indydebi Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:29am
post #4 of 14

Of course you can take credit for creating it! You made it, didn't you! thumbs_up.gif Every painter tries to re-do a Van Gogh or a Picasso. It doesn't make them less of a painter if they duplicate one of the Masters.

diane Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:36am
post #5 of 14

there's nothing wrong getting inspiration, no matter where it comes from, i just wouldn't copy someone else's work exactly as you see it. this is where creativity comes in. take something and make it your own! icon_wink.gif

lthiele Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 9:49am
post #6 of 14

My last 2 orders, the clients have been very vague about what they want. I spent hours looking through the galleries for inspiration. Neither of them ended looking up how I first envisaged. I find this part very difficult! I dont think it means you are not creative, we all draw inspiration from different places - thank god for CC to be one of those!

MrsNancyB1 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:08pm
post #7 of 14

Thanks for all the replies!

I agree that inspiration can be drawn from cakes seen here or elsewhere, and that it's our own personal touches that make it creative.

The responses make me feel better about recreating cakes, and adding my own spin to them!

Thanks again.

Ruth0209 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:19pm
post #8 of 14

I think this is such an interesting question. When people comment on how creative I am, I used to go into my standard speech about what a good copier I am, but I'm not really very good about thinking up designs on my own, blah, blah, blah. People always argue and say that if you can copy something you see, that's creativity, too. I'm not sure I totally agree with that, but I've found that when people give you a compliment, they want you to accept it graciously, so now I just say, "Thank you!"

I don't think there's anything wrong at all with copying cakes exactly. It's not like the customer is going to see the original. I WOULDN'T do that with any cakes on my local competitors' pages, but I don't think a cake designer in another part of the country cares. And, of course, even when I try to copy exactly it usually isn't exact for a variety of reasons.

Sure you can take credit. You're the one who brought it to life in cake and icing.

__Jamie__ Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 6:17pm
post #9 of 14

Don't forget, this a whole big world outside of this site relating to cake. Google images, Flickr, theknot.com.....lots and lots of other places to get ideas from!

Ruth0209 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 6:44pm
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Don't forget, this a whole big world outside of this site relating to cake. Google images, Flickr, theknot.com.....lots and lots of other places to get ideas from!

I also like The Knot.com and other wedding sites for current wedding cake trends.

CeeTee Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:24pm
post #11 of 14

Creativity is the innate un-trainable ability to come up with a truly unique, personal spin on any given concept and bring it to life. Talent is the trainable ability to apply your skill accurately and with precision. They are mutually exclusive concepts, but because there are so many similarities people often mistake them for being the same. It's very easy to fake being creative when you have talent. The majority of cake decorators, both professional and hobbyist, are only talented and not at all creative.

Before the flames roll in, This is NOT a bad thing! In the cake decorating world, talent trumps creativity every time. A cake decorator is prized in their ability to replicate things. How well they can copy a logo using a FBCT; how accurately they replicate a flower with gumpaste; how close they get to a picture out of a magazine. Look at the majority of cakes....they are the same few concepts re-done over and over. There are a few variants here and there, usually involving color, size, or personal style prefrences, but changing the color or shape of something does not make the decorator creative. Not being creative does not cheapen one's talent in the slightest.

Depending on the situation, being creative can be a hindrance. A creative person can struggle to give their client what they want and finds it difficult to stay on task. They would rather do their own thing than meet the client's needs. You can be the most creative person in the world but it means nothing if you can't focus it. (I want to avoid spoilers, but the season opener of Project Runway this past week has the -perfect- example of this)

Being creative also does not mean that it makes you talented too. The best example I can think of is Duff. He is an incredibly creative person. However, he does not have the talent to always pull off bringing his ideas to life via cake. He often resorts to crutches (styrofoam and rice krispy treats) or the labor of talented people (his shop crew) to achieve it. I've lost track of how many threads I've seen over the years where people have praised Duff for his ideas and criticized his abilities at the same time. There are hobbyists out there (some here on CC) who have excecuted his ideas better than he did, and did so using actual cake. The reason he has suceeded is because he was smart enough to figure out how to overcome his limitations and sell them as assets.

However, there are cake decorators who are both talented and creative, and those are the ones who are the trend setters. They are the ones whose cakes can be recognized on sight as belonging to that person alone. Even of you give them something basic or do something very specific, they always find a way to inject their personality into it and make it recognizably theirs. Their cakes take on a life of their own. Collette Peters, Kerry Vincent, and Bronwen Weber are three perfect examples of this phenom.

so, um, TL;DR version: Real creativity is rare, but not needed in order to be a fantabulous cake decorator!

__Jamie__ Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:26pm
post #12 of 14

Stevie would agree with ya'

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:44pm
post #13 of 14

Back in Art School you only had to change 20% of a Picture to make it your own.

and thats not much, even a simple photo copy makes a piece of art work yours....

So get inspired, Cake Decorating is ART, so you only need to change 20%... saying that, if you come close to a cake you found, Its probably just a tad different in some ways, which makes the creation yours...

AND, the ooooh aaaahhhs, are for you, because CONGRATULATIONS, you managed to make the cake look like the picture (as much to your ability)

lthiele Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:49pm
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Don't forget, this a whole big world outside of this site relating to cake. Google images, Flickr, theknot.com.....lots and lots of other places to get ideas from!

Yep - my daughter has the prettiest sheet set on her bed and I'm planning on using that for the inspiration for her 3rd birthday cake next month!

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