May 04, 2011

Sweet Talk with Kate Sullivan

By: Amy Atlas, in Behind The Scenes

super kid cake1 Sweet Talk with Kate Sullivan

Last week, I posted about the event that we were doing for the Ronald McDonald House in conjunction with the organization Icing Smiles.  We became involved through Kate Sullivan from LovinSullivanCakes.  As you know from yesterday’s post, I have been thinking a lot this week about heroes.  A hero is  a person who has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model.  Kate is just one of those people {scroll down to see why, but if you know her, you know why}.  If you ever see one of her cakes, you KNOW it is one of her cakes.  She combines her love of designing with her obsession with chocolate.  Kate worked for over 15 years as the Director of Photography for magazines such as Parenting, Family Life and Money.  She left to follow her passion and started LovinSullivanCakes.

Each and every cake is different except for one thing, they all have an unbridled attention to detail.  We have always been a fan of Kate’s and have used her cakes for many of our tables, including this one.  You are about to find out that best part about her though is that her heart is just as big as her sweet tooth.

LWren cake1 Sweet Talk with Kate Sullivan

1)  HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE CAKE BUSINESS?

Almost 20 years ago, I stumbled across a cake decorating book and had a kind of love-at-first-sight reaction.  I loved my job, but wanted to do something really hands-on.  I love the smells, textures, tastes and look of cake, and how something about cake can take us back to that first birthday cake we remember as children. There’s something magical for me about being a small part of special and milestone celebrations in life.

2)  YOUR CAKES HAVE AN INCREDIBLE DESIGN ELEMENT.  DID YOU STUDY DESIGN?

Before I was a cake designer, I was a Magazine Director of Photography. Working with amazing photographers and Art Directors, I got to live in this world defined by rich design.  Design, and color and patterns have always been one of the things that gets me out of bed in the morning, (and often keeps me up at night).

3)  WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Everything. There’s this whir, this in-sync energy that you can feel sometimes with people who are very in touch with who they are and what they can accomplish, I always want a piece of that when I feel it.  I’m so inspired by the powerful and spirited people I know.  As for creatively: I find ideas in all these little details everyday, if I’m paying attention— in nature, architecture, a dress, a stage-set, a lampshade or a truck-stop.

4)  DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE CAKE THAT YOU CREATED?

The book cake was for a teacher appreciation event.  I thought a book that comes to life would be a great metaphor.  Whenever I spend any length of time at school I can’t help but to marvel over how amazing the teachers are, how do they do it? The cake is inspired by the artist Su Blackwell who makes cut paper sculptures. Its hard to pick a favorite cake, and this may not be the best cake, but there is something in the quiet storytelling of it that I love.

book cake Sweet Talk with Kate Sullivan

5)  HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH ICING SMILES?

I got a email from Tracy Quisenberry, the founder of Icing Smiles entitled, “Cake for critically ill child at Sloan Kettering 6/22″.  It was a really lovely email, but she had me at the subject line.  Yes, of course! Tracy had presented me with this huge opportunity to take something I knew how to do, and have it make some small difference for a beautiful boy, very far from the comforts of home and friends and family and on his 9th birthday. Here is the link to a story about Ben from Kate’s blog.

6)  DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I once did a cake for a music legend I’d had a crush on since I was a kid (I can’t say who).  I got to do something big and fun and challenging and over the top. —And he loved it, and he kissed me, twice!

7)  WHO IS YOUR HERO?

I thought about this for a while, Oprah?, My Grandmother? (who, I’m not kidding one bit when I say, neeever told a lie, not even a white one, no matter what the cost)— but I would have to say it’s my husband and son. Before I met my husband he was my hero artist.  The only thing I owned of any real value was a piece of his art-work.  And now, eleven years later, he’s my hero because he puts up with me and my little foibles, and he’s there for his family on everything that really matters. He has this great ability to balance grace and brilliance with super goofy silliness.

My son, he’s a true bundle of love and joy (and Jedi magic).

Check back with us next week to see the pictures from The Ronald McDonald House event.

 

pixel Sweet Talk with Kate Sullivan
  • Melissa

    I love Kate’s work. She is an amazing artist.

  • charra

    She has been a favorite from, well, even before I knew who was making those magnificent cakes! A true designer in every sense. Yay Kate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/spaceshipsandlaserbeams Stephanie @ Spaceships and Laser Beams

    Wow. That book cake is spectacular!

    • http://spotlightdrama.com Kristen

      I agree! Lovelovelove the book.

  • http://www.GwynnWassonDesigns.com Gwynn {Gwynn Wasson Designs}

    The cake book is stunning!! It truly sweeps you up into the world of imagination. And it is so unbelievably fabulous that she donates her time and talent for charity. I can only imagine the joy that her creations bring those children.

  • http://www.everydayobsession.blogspot.com Mandy

    So beautiful!

  • Cindy

    I’ve been a fan of Kate’s since her show on Food Network about starting her business. There she was designing amazing cakes and actually working on them while her son was on her back in the carrier! She exemplified how you can mix art, work and motherhood all in one graceful package. I adore her cakes – she continually amazes.

  • http://puertabella.blogspot.com susan@pocacosa

    I love her work too-especially her pupcakes & pup pops on Martha Stewart a few weeks ago!

  • http://www.kimberlydavisphotography.com Kimberly Davis

    Wow, talk about talent! The book cake is possibly the most interesting cake I have ever seen! Definitely thinking outside the box!