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This article was written on 25 Feb 2015, and is filled under Food and Drink.

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Miss Cakehead: Creative director

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Do not confuse Miss Cakehead with a baker. Whilst she may do plenty of work for the food and drink industry, she’s actually the one with the big ideas, keeping a host of incredible cake-makers, chefs, set builders and artists up her sleeve to bring them to life. As a creative director, brands come to her when they want to capture the public’s imagination, whether she’s building tepees out of twiglets or educating kids about STDs with ‘infected’ cupcakes. 

I asked Miss Cakehead to describe what it’s like living, breathing and sometimes eating creativity as part of her job.

 
OM: Can you describe an average day at work?

MC: I honestly can’t as it varies massively depending on which project I am working. It will always involve a LOT of Diet Coke and removal of cats from in front of the Mac at least 10 times. This weekend, for example, I was creating tepees out of ½ ton of Twiglets for a Camp Twiglet installation at The Big Feastival and trying to figure out how much bee pollen you can put in a helium filled balloon before it stops floating… and that was a fairly dull ‘to do’ list compared to some days.

OM: Have you always wanted to be an Creative Director?

MC: I have always wanted to do ‘ideas’ – but it was only in the last 7 years that I knew what the job title for that actually was. I could never have a ‘normal’ job now and count my lucky stars every day.

OM: What was the hardest part about becoming an Creative Director?

MC: The first big break – working on extreme projects there is a fine line between creativity and insanity. As you can imagine it’s a battle to be taken seriously at first when you are talking about things such as screen printing in your own blood. It’s easy to prove you can come up with great ideas but until you have the big break, it’s harder to show that you can also support this with solid PR strategy that will deliver results the client wants.

OM: And what’s the best part of the job?

MC: Seeing ideas that came from my crazy brain come to life. I remember thinking about a human butchery selling hand shaped meat and how it should be staffed by amputees for Resident Evil- seeing that madness from my brain actually come to life was an amazing experience.

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OM: Do you feel you’re treated differently in your industry because you’re a woman?

MC: Sometimes yes and it really pisses me off – it doesn’t happen a lot but when it does, notably it is not by my clients but by other creative directors. Maybe they can’t compute that just because I wear high heels (is there a law I don’t know about which means you have to wear Converse if you are a CD?) I do still know what I’m talking about. I just wear more and more ridiculous shoes.

OM: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given? And what other advice would you give to anyone looking to become an Creative Director ? What qualifications and experience do you need?

MC: Best piece of advice ever was “fuck them” – and it was iced onto a cupcake.

The message here is to believe in your own ideas and always follow your gut instinct. The Depressed Cake Shop is a perfect example of this – it’s a global hit going from strength to strength and has changed so many lives. I was told time and time again that no one would buy grey cakes, I knew I was right and people would. Without the ‘fuck them’ mentality The Depressed Cake Shop would never have happened.

You need to live and breathe creativity rather than look towards qualifications and experience. It was my now closed blog Cakehead Loves Evil (7 million views +) and my writing with Trendhunter.com (33 million views +) that led me on the path to becoming a CD.

Act as if you already have the job… share things that inspire you and thoughts on other campaigns. Always be true to yourself and don’t suck up to big brands or be afraid to say what you think.

And don’t be afraid to swap careers at any stage in your life.

OM: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in the workplace or in your career?

MC: Believing that I might need to ‘grow up’ and have a more sensible job – that was always going to be a non-starter. Now with my company thriving, I realize how wrong I was – doing crazy extreme things is a sensible job!

OM: What does success mean to you?

MC: I always judge my projects on the public reaction – installations such as the Black Ink Florist for The Kraken Rum or Blood Filled Swimming pool for Resident Evil Revelations became so much more than just PR stunts and I am incredibly proud of that.
Hearing Michael C Hall talking about my Dexter cake concept on Jimmy Kimmel’s show also blew my mind- I was so happy for the cake maker Annabel de Vetten !

Other things – such as filming with Nigel Slater for his new cake series, or being talked about on The Jonathon Ross show also help me realize I am not longer just “titting about” doing fun things but up there with the big players delivering incredible, creative content. I am hyper-critical of myself so it’s hard to ever really feel as if I am successful.

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OM: What’s your feminist wish for the future?

MC: That career choices are made solely on what you feel passionate about – your sex not coming into the equation at all. I also want to burn every set of ‘Jenga for girls’ (it’s pink) in the world.

Tweet Miss Cakehead here.

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