Today FluffyGhost is super lucky to be hosting an awesome interview with Amy Crabtree creator & designer of Cakes With Faces.
(Amy Crabtree from Cakes With Faces at the Manchester MCM Expo.)
Amy is a talented up and coming illustrator who designs some of the kawaiiest illustrations on T-shirts and prints. Like moi she shares an undying passion for cute food with faces so how could I not want to interview her! It would be madness I say…Madness!!
1.When did you first discover your love for kawaii and Japanese culture?
Originally from when I started watching anime…Then the more I discovered about Japanese culture, the more I liked – from the Fruits fashion books and Kera magazine, to crazy vending machines, j-pop, sushi and all the flavour’s of Kitkats they have! I went to Tokyo on holiday two years ago and can’t wait to go back. It was so great to visit Harajuku, Akihabara, Shinjuku and all the amazing places I’d heard about. One of the things I liked most was how respectful people are to each other, and how well you’re treated in shops and restaurants, but you’re not allowed to tip!
2. What a lit your passion for “food with faces”?
Everything’s cuter when it has a face, and I guess I just think about food too much! Creating characters is more fun than just drawing still life objects.
(Illustrations courtesy of Cakes With Faces.)
3. Does your artwork reflect your personal style/home décor? (Are you as much of a kawaii nut in real life as your artwork portrays?)
I’d love to dress like a Harajuku girl every day, I’m not that extreme but I do like to be colourful! I’ve had my hair most colours, at the moment it’s turquoise: And I’m running out of room for my anime figures so time to put up some more shelves… My favourites are my K-On figures and a Miku Hatsune from Tokyo.
4. What essentially made you want to go into the graphics industry?
When your creative you have to let it out! I have been drawing in my current style for a while and started thinking it was shame to keep them all locked up on my PC; so I started my website, which was just a gallery at first. I’ve been wanting to have a line of t-shirts for a long time, so finally I just decided to go for it! Now I’m dreaming about blindboxes…
5. Are they any brands that have inspired you in your work?
I’m a big fan of Tokidoki I love his characters: The Cactus Friends, Donutella, Unicornos, and I’m looking forward to the Punkstar frenzies later this year. Also Lunartik (Matt JOnes), Bryan Lee O’Malley, Jon Burgerman – he did an art show with a pizza theme, how awesome is that?!
(Amy Crabtree behind her Cakes With Faces Stall at Manchester MCM Expo.)
6. What design programs do you use?
I always draw by hand first, and then use Illustrator to work it up. I love the clean look of vectors and the idea that your drawing could be billboard-size and not pixelate!
7. Any tips for aspiring designers just starting out?
A graphics tablet is essential, mine is really basic but I couldn’t do without it. And for Illustrator, learn to tame the pen tool and away you go! The Pathfinder tools are also really useful to add and subtract shapes. My best art tip is to do “Flip horizontal” or look at it in a mirror, which makes the errors really obvious; like if it’s out of proportion or the whole thing’s leaning to the right!
8. I love your Savage Pie design, what influenced you when you created this?
Savage Pie is something beyond a traditional cupcake with a face. Where does the face go on a slice of pie? That gave me the idea for the big teeth, and I think it’s always more interesting to have a bit of a story, or a hint of dark in with the cute. If I was the cream sitting next to that pie I’d be pretty scared!
9. What product (Or products.) are you most proud of and would recommend to my readers?
As your readers are Japan-fans I’d recommend my “All the best stuff is from Japan” t-shirt:
(You can pick up this T-shirt here.)
It’s really colourful, and comes in ladies’ and guys’ sizes. I wanted to create a design with more on it than my other t-shirts, so I thought of all the things I like that are from Japan and crammed as many as I could onto it!
You might also like my “Cuter with Cat Ears” t-shirt, which glows in the dark!
(Find this kawaii T-shirt here.)
10. Is Cake With Faces doing any more events this year?
I’ll be doing MCM Expo London in October, which is going to be absolutely huge this time, Thought Bubble in Leeds in November and my favourite event, Hyper Japan Christmas! Cons are exhausting but I love meeting everyone and seeing all the amazing cosplayers.
Its been excellent having you here, do you have any other designs/ideas in the pipeline currently?
“I’d like to have a go at making plushies, and have an idea for a small comic-style book later that will hopefully be ready later this year. I quite like the idea of a colour-in t-shirt that comes with fabric crayons – what do you think?”
Plushes always go down a storm in my eye’s especially if there kawaii!
As for the T-shirt I think that sounds like great fun and definitely would give you an original edge amongst your products!
Is there anything you would like to add or share?
“Thanks for featuring me on Fluffy Ghost!
I’m always doing new drawings so keep an eye on my Facebook or Twitter @cakeswithfaces. I promise never to make boring posts about what I’m having for dinner. (Unless it’s sushi…)”
There we have it folks an amazing interview from the ever awesome Amy Crabtree. Be sure to stop by her website here or even better go visit her at some of her events!
Thank you so much for taking your time to share your experience’s and adorable illustrations here Amy. FluffyGhost wishes you all the luck in the world for your future products and voyages. We hope to all see you soon.
Take care all!