Cake Collaborations are hot property. Today cake artists, from all corners of the globe, unite to create edible works of art. Inspired by a singular theme, these groups of artists overcome countless obstacles to work together and do what all sugar artists do best –create edible art. One such artist is Cecile Beaud; a talented figure sculptor, Cecile is a regular fixture on the collaboration scene. Sought after for her incredible skills, her unique sculpting ability allows her to convey motion, emotional, and realism through edible media. Despite being an incredible artist, as a French national, Cecile still struggles to overcome the language barrier, as is the case for many international artists, in a collaboration scene organized largely by Americans.
Zawadi Parizek– our guest blogger and curator for the upcoming Cirque du Soleil inspired issue talks with Cecile about her involvement in the Cirque des Gateux collaboration and the unique challenges collaborations present.
Cecile Beaud started working with cakes in 2012 after seeing a friend’s creation on Facebook. She was intrigued by what she saw, her curiosity led her to the local cake supply store where she purchased some sugar-paste to see if it was something she would enjoy working with. Today, Cecile is one of the most instantly recognizable sugar artists in the cake community. Her signature style showcases graceful figurines and expressive models. Creating sugar art through modeling has become how she expresses her thoughts and feelings; it is an extension of who she is. Cecile considers modeling to be an art form, it is not only something she practices herself but something she enjoys to share with others through teaching and collaboration. “I love the feeling that modeling is ephemeral”, she adds, “knowing that each piece will serve a purpose and then be gone.”
Exploring the Theme
Social Media is the way that most sugar artists connect with one another, sharing their work on their personal pages and of course socializing in cake groups. Facebook has always been a way for Cecile to share her work and to connect with others. It is through Facebook that Cecile found a home with like minded individuals and before long invitations to join various collaboration groups started to pour in. When asked to join her very first online cake collaboration, Sugar Skulls, she recalls feeling very excited and proud. “I was so excited to join Sugar Skulls and particularly to express myself through the horror theme”, says Cecile. Cecile relished the challenge of creating an art piece according to a chosen theme, allowing her to create without restriction. “The hardest part,” she notes, “is keeping these collaborations a secret, however I loved it when the figures were ready to be revealed online”.
The most obvious challenge presented, and one that most international artists face is the language barrier. “Not speaking the primary language can make it very hard to find the important information, such as due dates and print requirements.” Cecile reflects. One thing that she is thankful for is when administrators take the time to translate their instructions into multiple languages, something that was prevalent in the recent “UNSA – Be Team Red collaboration group”. That group which was primarily made up of international artists featured all instructions and directions in the native languages of all the members. Cecile notes that she is learning English and she loves the opportunity to practice her new skills.
A Home Away from Home
Initially collaborations were seen as a way to share and connect but as they have grown in popularity they have transformed into sugar social events. Every collaboration coordinates a grand reveal, looking to be bigger and better than the one before. Collaborations have allowed artists to connect with new people and grown their audience. “They make it possible to meet and connect with people all over the world,” says Cecile, “in terms of my job as a sugar artist, meeting new friends through social media and growing my audience has allowed me to keep doing what I love, which is teaching.” Cecile’s greatest passion is clearly her art and having the ability to share her passion with others, she adds, “Collaborations are so rewarding, we have a common intent, a common goal, to make people dream.”
Cecile’s amazing Cirque des Gateux collaboration piece can be seen in our upcoming Cirque du Soleil inspired issue. For more from this exciting collaboration don’t forget to subscribe to American Cake Decorating magazine.
About the Author
Zawadi Parizek is owner of Honey Bunny Bake Shop, a Chicago based custom cake business and the founder of the United Nations of Sugar Art (UNSA) An international charity of sugar artists dedicated to affecting global change and raising awareness for international causes. A keen writer and blogger, Zawadi is an active member of the cake community and regular collaboration organizer.