This might surprise you, but I actually don’t like it when a client leaves the cake design completely up to me, giving me the artistic freedom to create whatever I want. I can’t speak for other artists, but I’ve found that this makes it almost impossible since there’s so much that inspires me. When the possibilities are endless–and so is your imagination–the task of narrowing it down and choosing a focus becomes very overwhelming. Instead, I like working within a conceptual framework and using my artistic eye to interpret the design in my style.
Event stylists and even the occasional client often provide an inspiration board–a collection of images intended to convey the mood of the shoot or event–and I find them immensely helpful. (I sometimes create my own inspiration boards. I’m not a graphic designer, so I copy and paste the images into Microsoft Paint. Someone more skilled would use Photoshop. There’s a board builder on Style Me Pretty, and I think some people are now using Pinterest in lieu of building boards.) Being very visual, working with inspiration boards is my favorite way to design. They usually contain a color palette, and many non-cake photos with prints, patterns, shapes, or other designs for inspiration (hence the name).
Below are several inspiration boards and the cakes they inspired. I would love to see how other cake designers would translate the images into cake. I just think it would be fascinating to see how different artists interpret same thing.