I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels if the world was about to end, ‘Alpacalypse’ style would be the way to go! Amy Crabtree’s fantastic and super vibrant designs have been lighting up popular events since 2011. We go behind the scenes and discuss the leap of Amy’s work; from a web based gallery to an online store bursting with creativity!
“I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, and at first Cakes with Faces was just an online gallery of my artwork, which is inspired by Japanese kawaii design – and food! The aim of my artwork is to make cute designs to make people smile.” If you’ve seen Amy’s website, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear. There’s a huge range of merchandise for you to purchase from lime watches & bubblegum keychains to babygrows and t-shirt designs featuring ‘Cakezilla’ & the ever popular ‘Alpacalypse’!
At Hyper Japan this year we noticed a number of visitors wearing the t-shirt and you can’t help but smile. It’s such a fun design and Amy is aware of the Alpaca army that seems to be forming! “The Alpacalypse has been really popular – it’s definitely taking over! My favourite is ‘All the Best Stuff is from Japan’, because it’s true, right?I love Japan and tried to fit as many awesome things as I could into the design: vending machines, sushi, bonsai, the shinkansen, ninjas, ramen and Godzilla!”
Amy’s passion for all things Japanese has seen her range explode and a year ago, Amy quit her day job to run ‘Cakes with Faces’ full time! “Every time I saw cute things in shops I’d think “I could do that!”. In the end I decided to go for it, and started the online shop almost four years ago, with just a small range of t-shirts and prints.”
One of Amy’s earliest designs was the ‘I’ll give you pain au chocolat’ which is still a popular selling item today as Amy explains: “It’s so funny to see peoples’ reactions to it at shows – they range from “that’s terrible!” to “that’s genius!”. Someone even made me a crocheted croissant, just like the one in my design!”
‘Cakes with Faces’ showcased Amy’s designs at Comic Con back in 2011. Being able to meet and interact with her online shop customers made the long and tiring days all worthwhile! “We didn’t really know what we were doing, but you just have to go for it! It was the first time I’d really seen people’s reactions to my designs & I learn something from every event. ‘Cakes with Faces’ started with one tiny table in the Comic Village – it’s grown every time and now we have a whole booth! Shows are completely exhausting (they always seem to involve getting up at 5am!) and a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!”
Somehow between attending Comic Con, Hyper Japan, designing new merchandise and maintaining her online shop, (we’re exhausted just listing those!) Amy also shares her love and passion for Japanese culture on YouTube. There’s a whole selection of fascinating vlogs on there which also feature Amy’s recent visit to Japan.
You may have noticed we love our snacks and treats at Kakkoii Club and we were amazed to find out about all the different popcorn flavours they have at Tokyo Disney! (including jalapeno & cheese?! Yes, we’d love to try that too!!) ‘Cakes with Faces’ will be at the upcoming Hyper Japan Christmas Market in November, so make sure you head on over and say hi!