If Nothing Else, I'm Honing My Brainwashing Techniques ...

Decorating By emiyeric Updated 3 Mar 2011 , 6:45pm by joanmary

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emiyeric Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:10pm
post #1 of 8

So, my usual complaint: I'm a hobbyist, I offer to make cakes for my friends' special occasions, and then I end up having a wiggle my way out of making the exact same cake I've done 43 times before because they saw a picture of it and little Jimmy wants "THAT CAKE, EXACTLY THAT SAME CAKE". For the record, I HATE repeating cakes. I have no need to develop an easy design and repeat it because this is not a business venture for me, I really like experimenting with new techniques (or at least new approaches to techniques, or new looks) with each of my cakes, and it's really just a creative outlet for me. And I've moaned about this before, and had people (very appropriately!) tell me that I shouldn't have to do what my friends ask for because they are not paying customers and this is a gift ... and I get all that, but it's hard sometimes icon_smile.gif.
Case in point! A good friend of ours calls me yesterday with her highschool son sitting next to her, both so incredibly excited and ebullient, telling me how much they appreciate my offer to make his graduation cake in a couple of months, and how they saw the PERFECT cake for it (which, naturally, is the same cake that everybody has done a million times; very pretty/cute, but nothing new or daring or innovative in any way). I have some AWESOME ideas that I've run by them, but I just don't think they can visualize it and they just don't get the awesomness of it, hehe icon_wink.gif. They just kind of have this blank silence, and try to reconcile my idea with theirs, basically taking the wrong (ie NON-UNIQUE) elements out of my idea to make it fit into theirs.

Reminds of that sitcom a long time ago where the painter is forced to work for an advertising company and refuses to make his artistic rendition of a dog look like it's smiling. He pleads with his boss to please "Give the dog some dignity!". The boss sighs, and concedes, "Okay, give the dog his dignity ... and give him a hat."

So they're all pumped about this dumb blah cake ... *sigh* ... so I figure I still have a couple of months during which to make some quick little sketches for them to see how much cooler my ideas would be, how much more appropriate for the occasion, and to work on them and brainwash them a little into thinking it was exactly what he wanted in the first place icon_wink.gif. Thanks for the venting space! icon_smile.gif

7 replies
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emiyeric Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:10pm
post #2 of 8

By the way, special happy caker smile to anybody who can name that sitcom icon_wink.gif ...

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VaBelle Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:24pm
post #3 of 8

I'm a hobbyist and new to cake decorating. I enjoy making cakes for other people so I can learn and any time I've offered up, but I always have the opposite problem. No one has given me any ideas of what they want. I usually have to pull teeth just to get flavors. I'm making a cake for my nephew's birthday in a couple of weeks and I did get a Batman theme from them. Flavor-wise, they just said no chocolate.

When you offer to make a cake for someone, just tell them you'll surprise them and do what you want.

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BillieH Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:32pm
post #4 of 8

After looking at your cakes, and than discovering I've had one of your cakes in my favs for some time now. All I can say is their foolish for not letting you unleash your artistic abilities! LOL If I was to order from you, you could so have your way with my cake any day! (LOL that sounds kinda dirty.)

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AmysCakesNCandies Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:37pm
post #5 of 8

I find that most people have a very hard time visualizing a new design or trusting your experience, thats why I've made the same (or similar) wedding cake dozens of times. Most people just want to point at a picture and say "thats what i want" Hopefully the sketch will help.

I do this professionally so the customer gets what they ask for, but mt friends and family whio get "gift" cakes from me get what I give them. I tell them to give me thier theme/ colors etc and thats it, i decide the design. I look at it as a chance to try new things and they don't complain because they are getting a free cake.

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emiyeric Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:24pm
post #6 of 8

I know ... 20 lashes with a wet noodle for letting people have input on free cakes, but it's not even like I'm actively asking them for their opinions. They just get genuinely excited and start spewing requests (and they're not even hard requests, they're mostly very considerate and sweet ... just dull as anything icon_wink.gif ).

BillieH, that's hysterical! You made me laugh out loud! icon_smile.gif Thanks for the sweet comments.

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Aurora_333 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:38pm
post #7 of 8

Emiyeric I'm not saying that you have this problem, but this is the problem I have. I have difficulty communicating verbally what I see in my head. When I try to tell people what I am envisioning they just look at me blankly or like heck No. So I draw sketches(not even good ones). That really seems to help. If they are family, I get a color scheme and the design is all me. They know that though and are ok with it. Good Luck I know your cake will be great.

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joanmary Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:45pm
post #8 of 8

So, what was the show?

I, too, am a hobbyist (not, however, of your caliber), but I figure it is a free cake and will take only their theme and suggestions, but I get the final say.

My friend said butterflies for her granddaughter this year and I can't wait to try gelatin!!

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