Cakes with Faces is a brand of colourful t-shirts, cushions, watches and accessories run by UK graphic artist Amy Crabtree.
To start with, Cakes with Faces was just an online collection of my artwork. I love drawing cute characters - always very colourful, influenced by Japanese culture and kawaii (cute) design. I wanted to do something with my artwork, so in 2011 I created a range of just five t-shirts and started the online shop, as well as booking my first stall at London Comic Con. It's grown from there, and last year I quit my day job to run Cakes with Faces full time.
I love designing new things, and now there are watches, cushions, babygrows, a comic book about how to make sushi and even a chopping board! My aim is to make people smile, and make every day a bit more colourful with fun designs.
Cakes with Faces was part of the Small Business Saturday 100, nominated for three NEO Awards and featured on BBC Radio. As part of Small Business Saturday I showed my designs to George Osborne, who said I'm "the most colourful person who's been at Downing Street"!
The Alpacalypse is coming...
As well as comic cons, I exhibit at Hyper Japan, a show about Japanese culture. I'm a big fan of Japan and Tokyo is one of my favourite places. At the moment alpacas are popular in Japanese kawaii culture, particularly among fans of colourful Harajuku and lolita fashion.
Lolita is a fashion subculture based on wearing cute dresses with bows and frills, and dressing like a doll. Plushie alpacas are a fashion accessory, and at Hyper Japan there are stalls selling mountains of fluffy pastel-coloured alpacas, as well as alpaca purses, bags and keyrings. These pastel rainbow-coloured alpacas don't look much like the real thing, but they're really popular!
Last time our stand was opposite one of these stalls at Hyper Japan, so I had a wall of fluffy alpacas staring at me for the whole weekend! That's where the idea for my Alpacalypse design came from - they're adorable but what if their cute faces hid darker intentions? And puns are a lot of fun!
To start off with it was just a drawing, but so many people asked for it to be a t-shirt that we just had to get it made. I'd love to know what people in the real alpaca community think of it, and if you know about the craze for Japanese kawaii alpacas?
The Alpacalypse design is available from www.cakeswithfaces.co.uk as a hoodie, t-shirt and ladies v-neck, as well as a pink alpaca vest and I'm designing some more alpaca-themed goodies for later this year! You can see more of my artwork on my website, as well as Facebook www.facebook.com/cakeswithfaces and Twitter @cakeswithfaces . If you're interested in Japanese culture, check out my YouTube series "All the Best Stuff is from Japan" on www.youtube.com/cakeswithfaces