Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted January 2nd by Design Splat in Artists, Illustrators

Happy New Year to all of Design Splat’s readers! We have been quiet over the festive period eating too many mince pies but we are now back bringing you some more amazing designers! Today we have the face behind Cakes with Faces – Amy Crabtree. We hope you enjoy the interview and come back again next week to see what we have in store for you!


Today we welcome Amy from Cakes with Faces to Design Splat!

Hi Amy thanks for giving us a couple of minutes of your time! To get the readers started tell us a bit about what you do:

I create graphic art and illustration, mainly cute character designs influenced by Japanese kawaii. Recently I’ve opened an online shop featuring my artwork on t-shirts and prints.

How did you get into creating art and Illustration?

I taught myself Photoshop for my work as a graphic designer, then moved on to Illustrator and spent my spare time learning vector illustration, which made it possible to achieve the clean, graphic artwork I wanted, with bold, flat colour and chunky outlines.

When creating art/illustrations, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

My drawings are often characters I’ve been thinking about, so any planning I do is in my head while doing other things. While that’s important, I concentrate much more on creating the artwork itself – that’s when I’ll sit down and put in the time.

Do you create your pieces by hand or with the use of the computer? Or both?

I always sketch by hand first, to get the proportions right. Then I scan in and use my scribbles as a guide, working over them on the PC. I like the clean look of vectors, but it’s easier to be more creative and develop ideas when sketching by hand. Although all my Cakes with Faces artwork is digital, I do love painting and drawing- if I start drooling over art supplies in a shop I can be gone for several hours.

Where do you get inspiration for your art work?

A lot of my drawings are based on food – which shows what I think about all the time! I’m also inspired by everything ultra-modern, cute and quirky from Tokyo, including design, fashion and of course manga and anime.

Where did the idea for Cakes with Faces come from?

After I’d been working in my current style for a few years, my portfolio was mounting up on my hard drive and I wanted to do something with it. I decided to create a website as a collection of my artwork. I called it Cakes with Faces because at the time a lot of my drawings were cakes with faces. It’s only in the past few months that I’ve taken it a step further by starting to sell my artwork on t-shirts and prints – something I’d been thinking about for a long time!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope Cakes with Faces will become more established and well known, so I can expand my range of t-shirts and become a regular on the convention circuit. It would be great to put on a gallery show or have an art book, and I’d love to design a pair of trainers or a watch.

What’s the dream ambition?

I’d love to have a whole apparel empire, and a range of blindbox toys.

Does fame attract you?

When I was little I wanted to be a famous actress – that hasn’t happened but I think there’s room for one more superstar graphic artist!

How do you rate yourself as a designer?

I hope I’m always improving…  

What makes a good artist/illustrator?

You need to have an individual style that you enjoy – it’s better to create what inspires you than chase trends.

Do you think the design Industry is difficult to get into? Are you worried about the amount of competition?

There’ll always be a lot of competition so you have to just go for it! Hopefully there are as many different styles of art and design as there are people of different tastes.

Do you have qualifications in design? How important do you think qualifications are for designers?

I studied art at school, but my degree is in English literature. Both my parents went to art college, so I think it’s in the blood! Imagination and enthusiasm are more important than qualifications, as well as taking the time to practise.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way and how do you overcome them?

The hardest part for me is finding the time for my artwork, when working full time as well. You don’t always feel like looking at a computer screen after staring at one all day at work. But when you want to finish your projects, it’s not hard to find the motivation.

What do you think it takes to become successful in the design industry?

Working really really hard.

Three words to describe yourself?

Strawberry ribbon flash!

Hobbies and Interests?

Apart from artwork, I’ve always loved reading, and can’t help judging a book by its cover (I’m a sucker for coloured page edges). I’m teaching myself Japanese and hope to watch anime without the subtitles one day.

Favourite illustrator/artist?

My graphic artist idol is Tokidoki (Simone Legno). I love the style of his colourful, Japanese-influenced characters.

Tools of the trade?

I couldn’t work without my graphics tablet. It’s a fairly low-end model but does everything I need it to!

Best and worst piece of work?

My own favourite is Bakery Jealousy, which shows the hierarchy of the cakes from the tarts at the bottom to the fancy cupcake at the top. I’m also proud of my comic book stories, because they took ages! It must take so long to write a whole comic book – maybe one day…

My worst work doesn’t make it out of the sketchbook, and if it’s really bad it goes in the recycling bin.

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Look at your work in the mirror for a fresh perspective – you can often see what’s wrong with it straight away.

Contact Details:

Links of websites:


Facebook Link:


Here is some of the Cakes with Faces collection:

Comments are closed.

© 2009-2012 | Showcasing Young and New Design Talent