Considered one of my favourite issues about writing for PRINT is discovering artists working with mediums and in design worlds that I’d by no means thought-about. Nothing beats coming upon a inventive who takes one thing from one context and makes use of it to develop a uniquely magnificent creative model or standpoint. Stylist and baker Alana Jones-Mann is a quintessential instance of 1 such artist whose startling cake designs stun with their magnificence and meticulous crafting.
Jones-Mann is an LA-based stylist and utterly self-taught baker who initially turned to baking as an escape from her nine-to-five advertising job when she lived in New York. Although she has a background in artwork and design from attending the New Faculty in New York, Jones-Mann lets her innate inventive eye information her in growing her cake design aesthetic.
Fully captivated by her desserts, I needed to study extra! Jones-Mann’s responses to my questions are beneath, providing a window into her journey and love of buttercream.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Colourful, retro-inspired, and tactile.
Daring colours, poppy patterns, and vibrant designs are so clear to your standpoint as a baker. The place does your affinity for this look come from?
I’ve at all times been closely influenced by the ’60s and ’70s relating to all areas of my private design preferences— particularly my model and inside preferences. These preferences began displaying in my cake designs very early on and got here out an increasing number of as I turned extra snug in my very own adorning model as an artist.
I by no means felt snug or fulfilled replicating different designs that existed and observed on the time there was a lot room for innovation in cake design.
You’re a self-described “stylist and designer, with an intense ardour for crafting and baking.” When did you first begin combining your stylist/designer abilities with baking?
As quickly as I had the basics of the cake-making course of down and was snug with adorning fundamentals, I observed my private design influences rapidly began coming by way of. It was necessary for me to seek out my very own model of cake adorning and let my private model shine by way of. I by no means felt snug or fulfilled replicating different designs that existed and observed on the time there was a lot room for innovation in cake design.
What’s your origin story as a baker? Why do you get pleasure from baking a lot?
Baking wasn’t one thing I sought out; it was a enjoyable ardour I had that magically was a job. At first, I used to be in a busy advertising job and located baking was not solely a inventive outlet I might experiment with on the weekends however a really calming, meditative expertise that introduced me again into alignment. I rapidly turned obsessive about the adorning course of— each for a way inventive it allowed me to be and the way it made me really feel mentally. Nonetheless, to at the present time, I at all times discover the adorning course of to be extremely calming.
What makes cake completely different from different craft mediums? What are the most important struggles you face working with cake?
I really like buttercream as a medium— it may be utilized in some ways and yield probably the most intricate particulars. After all, since it’s buttercream and a cake I’m working with, there are limitations by way of the time and temperature. However I don’t see that as a limitation and extra as a enjoyable problem.
As soon as I sit down with my buttercream palette, I don’t actually know what’s going to occur— I simply begin piping and go from there.
What’s a typical course of like for executing certainly one of your desserts? They’re so intricate, I’d need to think about you intend out the whole lot step-by-step.
Individuals typically assume I plan out my cake designs, however I by no means do! The vast majority of my desserts are piped freehand, by no means with a selected design in thoughts. I believe that makes my cake designs really feel natural and permits the patterns to actually circulate. As soon as I sit down with my buttercream palette, I don’t know what’s going to occur— I begin piping and go from there. Attending to work like that is extremely releasing and makes for a really meditative course of whereas adorning.
Do you could have a favourite cake you’ve created?
It’s too arduous to choose a favourite, however the needlepoint model I’ve not too long ago been experimenting with is my favourite model in the meanwhile. It feels new and thrilling and permits for a special course of.