I wrote a post last year detailing my design goals for 2013, and wrote a mid-year check in on my progress. Of course like any good New Year’s resolution, my goals were not all met. Nevertheless, I’m setting new goals for this coming year, with the same hope as last year that if I put them all on paper, I’ll be more likely realize them. So, here they are. My 2014 design goals.
1. Play with texture. There was a time when fondant was the only icing for me. I loved it’s perfect appearance, its smooth, porcelain-like texture, and its clean, almost sterile finish. Once I discovered fondant, I never thought I’d go never go back to buttercream. Ever. And while I still love the look of fondant, lately I’ve begun to really appreciate the rich, organic, and imperfect, look of buttercream. What I think I like most about it is just what fondant lacks: texture. So this year, I hope to incorporate more texture into my cakes. For fondant-covered cakes, that might mean ruffles, geometric shapes, or even something new that I haven’t yet discovered. For buttercream cakes, that might mean a rustic finish, a horizontal or vertical swipe, or detailed piping. Either way, 2014 will hopefully include lots and lots of texture.
2. Branch out. Without getting too specific, this is a little foreshadowing into what I hope this year holds for me. I’m getting a new website, and with it the ability to sell online. I hope to expand my horizons into other areas of design.
3. Lighten up. This is left over from last year when I wrote that “I really like cakes that look airy and light, but I always find my cakes are heavy handed. This year, I plan to work with colors, designs, and materials that give my cakes a sense of weightlessness.” Not sure how I’ll accomplish this one, but I’m thinking that maybe incorporating some vertical sugar flower arrangements will help.
4. That elusive Juliet rose. I definitely got a little closer this year to creating realistic-looking Juliet roses when we made them for the cake below, but they still need work. I love the gentle folds of the Juliet rose, and the seemingly endless paper-thin petals. It’s a look I just haven’t been able to capture in sugar. Maybe 2014 will be the year.
5. Learn design software. I love working with graphic designers, but it irks me that I can’t do the design work myself. I have a good eye and usually know exactly what I want, but without knowing Photoshop or Illustrator, I can’t execute it. This year, I’d like to learn either Photoshop, Illustrator, or both. This is my new logo that my graphic designer, Samantha, made.
6. Revisit piping. I started my cake design career long before fondant was popular in the U.S., and I was pretty good at piped borders, flowers, and designs. My skills have weakened considerably, but I’d like to start piping more. It was something I really enjoyed, and a technique I think would pair nicely with my first goal, add texture to my cakes, above.
That’s it. Six goals. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, and Happy New Year to you.