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December 2022: On Making Art and Calling it That

This past weekend (and the weekend before, actually), I made a cake that I got emotionally attached to. When the customer left with it, I felt this sense of loss at not having it in front of me anymore. I felt like I didn’t get to spend enough time with it before it went away? I just wanted to sit with it at the table and be next to it for a little while longer. Weird? Probably. But it had me wondering if that’s how artists feel about their art? Don’t get me wrong - this does not make me regret making art out of something that is meant to be destroyed and consumed. I actually love that part. I love that cake gets smashed and messy once you slice into it. It becomes a whole different iteration of the same piece of art, going from something presentable that we look at to something decadent that we interact with. It continues to evolve as we cut into it, losing it shape and becoming increasingly difficult to slice as we remove more of it. The final iteration reveals crumbs, streaks of buttercream on the plate, and delightful, childlike joy amongst friends.

The few times I’ve felt emotionally attached to the cake design itself were times when I was trying something new. Introducing color to the buttercream, making tiered cake, making a.. beehive?.. shaped cake. They were all cakes that made me feel like I was really exploring and refining my artistic style. I get pretty fired up from the uncertainty of trying new things and, being a student of The Youtúbe, have big “just figure it out” energy.

I guess what I’m learning here is that these cakes really do feel like an artistic expression. My creativity cup is feeling full these days, in a way that is both satisfying and also surprising. It’s been a while since I’ve continually felt so grounded by creating that it caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to feel so fulfilled creatively by cake.

I still feel pretty imposter-y around the word artist. I can’t imagine I’m alone there. But there’s something about right now - maybe it’s a renewed sense of confidence, maybe it's that I’ve recently let go of a few things to make room for new things - that makes me feel grounded in this cake life. I have to attribute part of that to having found an artistic medium that I love.

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