Do You Have A Style?

Decorating By catlharper Updated 14 Mar 2011 , 3:09pm by BCo

catlharper Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:45pm
post #1 of 44

Doing some web reading and noticed that a lot of the really big cake designers all have an identifiable style. You can look at a Margaret Braun cake or a Sylvia Weinstock flower filled cake or even a Ron Ben Israel cake and know who designed it...do YOU have a certain style?

In looking in my gallery I wouldn't say that I do have a particular style and was wondering if that is necessary in order to grow the business? I know a lot of the designers that I admire on here do have a certain style so...just curious!

Cat

43 replies
AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 9:04pm
post #2 of 44

I don't think a style is neccesary, most of the time your customer will dictate that. I think everyone has a certain aesthetic that they personaly prefer. I prefer clean, tailored cakes and when I make demonstation cakes that is the direction I tend to go, but if my customer wants a whimsical cake well that is what they will get. If you are world renouned (sp?) and have a style that you are know for (like Ron Ben Israel) then customers who prefer that style (and can afford you) will come to you. For most of us that are not at that level, the best way to grow our bussiness it to cater to our customers taste and offer a wide range of styles without our abilities.

Coral3 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 10:35pm
post #3 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlharper

Doing some web reading and noticed that a lot of the really big cake designers all have an identifiable style. You can look at a Margaret Braun cake or a Sylvia Weinstock flower filled cake or even a Ron Ben Israel cake and know who designed it...do YOU have a certain style?

In looking in my gallery I wouldn't say that I do have a particular style and was wondering if that is necessary in order to grow the business? I know a lot of the designers that I admire on here do have a certain style so...just curious!

Cat




Perhaps it's something others would notice more than you yourself would? Just looking at your album on here I can see a definite colour theme...I notice an understated/subtle use of colour (favouring earthier tones, yellows, greens and blues) throughout most of your cakes which could be part of your personal cake style.

sillywabbitz Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 10:55pm
post #4 of 44

I wish I had a styleicon_smile.gif To me the style shows personal creativity. I have a hard time coming up with original cake designs ...I'm working really really hard to not search the CC galleries for ideas and just start thinking of what would look good on a cake but it's not easy when you see so many beautiful inspirations on here. If I had to choose a style guru, I'd pick Colette Peters...I'm a whimsical person through and throughicon_smile.gif

debbief Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 11:38pm
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

I wish I had a styleicon_smile.gif To me the style shows personal creativity. I have a hard time coming up with original cake designs ...I'm working really really hard to not search the CC galleries for ideas and just start thinking of what would look good on a cake but it's not easy when you see so many beautiful inspirations on here.




I have this exact same problem. I am getting better at taking a design and putting my own spin on it but I have a really hard time actually coming up with the desgin on my own.

I also think it's hard to develope an actual style when people request a cake and they want a specific theme. I just did a "Twilight" cake (1st of two for same b-day girl) and found it really hard to be creative icon_sad.gif

cakeflake80 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 4:32am
post #6 of 44

My style is definitely cutesy/girly. As most have already said, the customer determines what cake I make, but if I had to choose all of my cakes would be pink, frilly, and loaded with flowers lol! I cringe when I get an order for a boys birthday cake or a weird carved cake. I just don't feel I execute the designs as well as when I can just let loose and make a cake 'pretty'.

catlharper Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 5:50am
post #7 of 44

[quote="Coral3Perhaps it's something others would notice more than you yourself would? Just looking at your album on here I can see a definite colour theme...I notice an understated/subtle use of colour (favouring earthier tones, yellows, greens and blues) throughout most of your cakes which could be part of your personal cake style.[/quote]

Interesting...you are right...I never looked at it that way before. I'm sitting here looking at my demo cakes and seeing what you saw...none of them are really bright or excessively colorful but rather muted, more natural tones. Interesting...hmmmm...what's really funny is that I dress in bright and colorful tones! LOL!

Thanx...you gave me something to think about...

Cat

scp1127 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:58am
post #8 of 44

catlharper, I can see your style too. In fact, when I looked at your photos, I recognized several cupcake pictures that I saved in my favorites. I really like the way you decorate. It is more subtle and I'm sure that is what draws me to your pictures.

catlharper Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 3:36pm
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

catlharper, I can see your style too. In fact, when I looked at your photos, I recognized several cupcake pictures that I saved in my favorites. I really like the way you decorate. It is more subtle and I'm sure that is what draws me to your pictures.




Thank you...I look at my photos and think "wow, I'm all over the place" but looking thru ya'll's eyes I can see a pattern I never noticed before. Are you all looking at your gallery now and wondering? LOL!

Cat

michel30014 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:05pm
post #10 of 44

Thank you...I look at my photos and think "wow, I'm all over the place" but looking thru ya'll's eyes I can see a pattern I never noticed before. Are you all looking at your gallery now and wondering? LOL!

Cat[/quote]


Actually, yes now I am. I know I"m not the whimsical kind but I can't exactly put my finger on what my style is?????? I like the cutesy, girly stuff but...... idk. I wish I knew!!!

Coral3 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:13pm
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlharper

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

catlharper, I can see your style too. In fact, when I looked at your photos, I recognized several cupcake pictures that I saved in my favorites. I really like the way you decorate. It is more subtle and I'm sure that is what draws me to your pictures.



Thank you...I look at my photos and think "wow, I'm all over the place" but looking thru ya'll's eyes I can see a pattern I never noticed before. Are you all looking at your gallery now and wondering? LOL!Cat




Yes I did have a 'Hmm, what would other people see?' look at my own cakes - I like colour so my cakes make pretty heavy use of it...I'm sure some people would probably look at my album and think 'gaudy' icon_biggrin.gif - and possibly 'childish', because I guess many of my cakes & figurines have a 'cartoonified' look. So 'gaudy' 'childish' and 'cartoonified' ...LOL, that doesn't sound so good! icon_rolleyes.gif

WykdGud Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:31pm
post #12 of 44

I like to call my style "anti-perfectionism".

Heh.

bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:35pm
post #13 of 44

I like lots of different cake "styles" but some appeal more to me than others. I didn't really notice my own "style" until after several years I saw certain things stand out that I tend to like to do on cakes (that I didn't realize until that point.) But the most important thing in any cake style is to HAVE FUN doing it!! icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 9:45pm
post #14 of 44

I don't think I really have a style...hm....I like balanced colors and sometimes I stay more reserved with my designs instead of crazy...but sometimes its hard to have a "style" when you are filling orders placed by other people. hahaha.

I think if I were to have my own "style" I would be considered traditional and balanced and conservative....with good colors and balance, but not too much risk-taking for those awesome one-of-a-kind designs. haha. I also like to throw in a little "fun" into my work...I tend to only like to do designs that I am interested in personally.

I don't have any one particular thing I do though I don't think....

artscallion Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 10:20pm
post #15 of 44

I was a fine arts major in college. One of the first things they do, once you've gone through the core skills of a couple years learning your basic technical and design skills, they pretty much force you to find your "style" before they'll let you move on. Almost everybody is confused by this, or resists it, or both. It can be a huge struggle for most people to find their style.

I personally wanted to try all kinds of things all the time and not be limited by one style. I couldn't see the purpose of it. A particularly insightful professor eventually got me to understand that having a style is the only way you can grow artistically. If you're constantly switching from one style to another, you're not growing, you're just constantly changing from one thing to another.

He told me to look at it like a garden. You can jump from plant to plant, exploring all kinds of different things, but you'll always stay at ground level with a shallow, superficial view of all the different flowers. However, if you stay focused on one plant, you're forced to discover more and deeper things about it.

Same with creative things. You can make a thousand different cakes in all kinds of styles and learn them all to a certain shallow level that it takes to get them done. Or you can focus of one style of decorating that can grow and evolve into something amazing over time.

Look at any of the big cakers mentioned in this thread. You don't get to make cakes like Ben-Israel by flitting around, always trying something new. You get their by focusing and learning to develop your art through a particular style you've found.

A little esoteric for a Wednesday Eve, I know. But I hope this helped someone.

artscallion Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 10:27pm
post #16 of 44

Also, I think it depends on if you want to be a cake decorator or a cake designer. With a cake decorator, it's not as important to have a style and you can still be successful. A designer probably will do better if they have a style.

But in any event it is important. How can you expect people to clamor for "one of her cakes" if there's nothing about your cakes that makes them identifiable as yours?

debbief Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 10:43pm
post #17 of 44

Ok I've tried a couple times today to just go look at my gallery and identify my style. I'm just all over the board. Maybe because I'm still learning and I'm interested in so many different techniques.

But again, if people didn't request specific themed cakes, I think I could be forced to find an actual style of my own.

I guess I can say what I want my style to be...pretty, clean, sharp, elegant...but I like whimsical sometimes too...there we go with all over the board again.

But artscallion you've really made me want my own style!

Kitagrl Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 10:47pm
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Also, I think it depends on if you want to be a cake decorator or a cake designer. With a cake decorator, it's not as important to have a style and you can still be successful. A designer probably will do better if they have a style.

But in any event it is important. How can you expect people to clamor for "one of her cakes" if there's nothing about your cakes that makes them identifiable as yours?




I think sometimes its hard to cross over.... I know for me, people have only just this year started asking for the few cakes that I, myself, have designed. Usually people want me to make them a cake that THEY dreamed up.

I guess for now my "style" is to interpret what is in the customer's mind, and come as close to that as possible in real life. hahaha.

artscallion Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:40pm
post #19 of 44

Kitagirl, it is hard to cross over. My professors had to drag me kicking and screaming the whole way.

And you can do what a customer asks for and still maintain your style. As you hint at, seeing the customers request through the filter of your style is how your style grows and develops. Style doesn't mean making the same type of thing over and over, it means being to take any type of cake, put it through your style filter/creative process and end up with something completely new that no one has done before. That's what make the greats rise to the top. They're creating something new that only they can create. Others can copy it. But only they can create it.

catlharper Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:56pm
post #20 of 44

Actually, yes now I am. I know I"m not the whimsical kind but I can't exactly put my finger on what my style is?????? I like the cutesy, girly stuff but...... idk. I wish I knew!!![/quote]

I think your style is to be found in the bright colors you use. I like color but in looking at my stuff it's very subdued compared to yours. The "tone" of your cakes are more playful, mine seem very conservative. So, yes, "girly" but colorful...definitely colorful.

Cat

catlharper Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:58pm
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Kitagirl, it is hard to cross over. My professors had to drag me kicking and screaming the whole way.

And you can do what a customer asks for and still maintain your style. As you hint at, seeing the customers request through the filter of your style is how your style grows and develops. Style doesn't mean making the same type of thing over and over, it means being to take any type of cake, put it through your style filter/creative process and end up with something completely new that no one has done before. That's what make the greats rise to the top. They're creating something new that only they can create. Others can copy it. But only they can create it.




I REALLY like that thought. I like the idea that I'm putting my stamp on something, even if it's not my original design!

cakeandpartygirl Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 11:58pm
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I was a fine arts major in college. One of the first things they do, once you've gone through the core skills of a couple years learning your basic technical and design skills, they pretty much force you to find your "style" before they'll let you move on. Almost everybody is confused by this, or resists it, or both. It can be a huge struggle for most people to find their style.

I personally wanted to try all kinds of things all the time and not be limited by one style. I couldn't see the purpose of it. A particularly insightful professor eventually got me to understand that having a style is the only way you can grow artistically. If you're constantly switching from one style to another, you're not growing, you're just constantly changing from one thing to another.

He told me to look at it like a garden. You can jump from plant to plant, exploring all kinds of different things, but you'll always stay at ground level with a shallow, superficial view of all the different flowers. However, if you stay focused on one plant, you're forced to discover more and deeper things about it.

Same with creative things. You can make a thousand different cakes in all kinds of styles and learn them all to a certain shallow level that it takes to get them done. Or you can focus of one style of decorating that can grow and evolve into something amazing over time.

Look at any of the big cakers mentioned in this thread. You don't get to make cakes like Ben-Israel by flitting around, always trying something new. You get their by focusing and learning to develop your art through a particular style you've found.

A little esoteric for a Wednesday Eve, I know. But I hope this helped someone.




good info!! thumbs_up.gif But I am still jumping around cause it's so exciting to me icon_lol.gif

Kaylani Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 2:16am
post #23 of 44

People have touched on this, but I think customers coming in with pictures printed off the internet is a huge part of the problem.

Somedays I think my head will pop off if I see one more Pink Cake Box picture. icon_cry.gif lol!

bobwonderbuns Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 2:30am
post #24 of 44

My favorite is that I am trying for a style -- there are certain kinds of cakes I gravitate toward and some I really don't like and even won't do. People KNOW this and then come to me with a grocery store style saying "I just want this..." (not my style) and it's hard to politely say "then go the grocery store!" icon_biggrin.gif

Coral3 Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 3:18am
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I was a fine arts major in college. One of the first things they do, once you've gone through the core skills of a couple years learning your basic technical and design skills, they pretty much force you to find your "style" before they'll let you move on. Almost everybody is confused by this, or resists it, or both. It can be a huge struggle for most people to find their style.

I personally wanted to try all kinds of things all the time and not be limited by one style. I couldn't see the purpose of it. A particularly insightful professor eventually got me to understand that having a style is the only way you can grow artistically. If you're constantly switching from one style to another, you're not growing, you're just constantly changing from one thing to another.

He told me to look at it like a garden. You can jump from plant to plant, exploring all kinds of different things, but you'll always stay at ground level with a shallow, superficial view of all the different flowers. However, if you stay focused on one plant, you're forced to discover more and deeper things about it.

Same with creative things. You can make a thousand different cakes in all kinds of styles and learn them all to a certain shallow level that it takes to get them done. Or you can focus of one style of decorating that can grow and evolve into something amazing over time.

Look at any of the big cakers mentioned in this thread. You don't get to make cakes like Ben-Israel by flitting around, always trying something new. You get their by focusing and learning to develop your art through a particular style you've found.

A little esoteric for a Wednesday Eve, I know. But I hope this helped someone.




Interesting thoughts Artscallion. Makes so much sense.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 3:37am
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylani

People have touched on this, but I think customers coming in with pictures printed off the internet is a huge part of the problem.

Somedays I think my head will pop off if I see one more Pink Cake Box picture. icon_cry.gif lol!




I know right icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

platinumlady Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 3:45am
post #27 of 44

I can start to see my "style" in my favorite photos saved. I have yet to be able to put every aspect of it into practice or works because of the number of cakes I've made When I look on my computer at my cakes I can kinda see it trying to form...but I know I gotta keep practicing to get there. I think once I'm able to perfect the art a little more then I will post more pics here. However, everything that artscallion said makes total sense.

sillywabbitz Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 3:57am
post #28 of 44

Artscallion,
Thank you for your post. It really got me thinking about what I love in cakes and the style I want to follow. I know I'm whimsical but that doesn't mean it can't be clean. I know I'm completely in love with harlequin patterns on virtually any cake and that kind of lends it to my style. I really appreciate your professors words and you sharing them with us. I think I'm going to try and focus on my style now...that will help me stop just copying other designs. As a hobbyist no one brings me pics so I'm on my own.

Thanks again...for some reason this really made my cake day!

michel30014 Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 1:39pm
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

Artscallion,
Thank you for your post. It really got me thinking about what I love in cakes and the style I want to follow.

I really appreciate your professors words and you sharing them with us. I think I'm going to try and focus on my style now...that will help me stop just copying other designs. As a hobbyist no one brings me pics so I'm on my own.

Thanks again...for some reason this really made my cake day!








I totally agree with this post! Artscallion, you really gave us cakers something to think about! I can see now that my "style" is colorful and playful thanks to Cat. Thank you Cat! Thanks to those who posted. I've enjoyed reading this thread immensely. icon_wink.gif

Herekittykitty Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 4:42pm
post #30 of 44

This is a really interesting topic.

Based on what I save and come up with, I would say my style is bright, fun and tells a story. I like to do, and save, cakes that are more 'scenes' than just pretty. When I have to do a cake that is simple and "pretty" I struggle, but if I can depict a scene or really follow a theme, I do much better. Maybe it's just because I'm not very creative and flowers scare me. I do love bright colors too, can't seem to do a muted cake to save my life. icon_wink.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%