Tell me about yourself.
My name is Isabel Tamargo (Isa for friends) and I was born in Madrid, Spain. A few years after, I moved to Ronda, a beautiful town in Málaga and I lived there with my parents and my little brother for 20 years. Finally, I met my couple and we moved to Bilbao, Vasque Country, in the north of Spain. I love to travel but I hate the moves haha 😀
What is your background and how did you get into the world of creative pastry?
I really love creative pastry, but I admit I’ve always dreamed of being a good director and screenwriter. I signed up at University’s Cinema and Journalism Department in Málaga and then I studied Psychology. One of my biggest hobbies is sculpture, I love to make pieces in polymer clay too. I think It’s a great mix: Cinema, Psychology, Sculpture and Creative Pastry 🙂
If you weren’t making cakes, what do you think you would be doing?
If I wasn’t making cakes I think I’d be writing scripts and making shorts. I am a crazy Movie Buff, so I’m sure I would be watching movies and series all time and I’d have created a Cinema blog 🙂 With all courses and collabs I haven’t so much time now, but I try to watch 2-4 movies per week with my couple 🙂
How and why did you choose the name “Tartas Imposibles”?
Since first time I knew creative pastry I dreamed in doing cakes that don’t look like cakes, you know, crazy pieces with structure, realistic elements and human busts… so we were searching a name that was original and funny. We had two names: Tartas Imposibles and Tartas Increibles… Finally we chose the first one 🙂 Then I wrote the slogan and I liked but I never use it:
“No hay tarta imposible ni reto que no se pueda conseguir con trabajo e ilusión.” “There is no impossible cake nor challenge that can’t be successful with persistence and hope.”
You are an expert in 3D modeling and cakes. What would you recommend to someone who wants to start specializing in that area?
Thanks so much for your compliment! 😉 The best advice in this area is being constant, a bit stubborn and doing what you love and makes you happy. I started at the bottom working in a little bakery, I had to make a lot of very basic cakes and I didn’t enjoy so much, but one day I decided to quit my job and make more complicated pieces at home. So the best advice is: have fun while you make cakes and be very demanding in your work 🙂
How is your work creative process? Where do you get your design inspirations from?
I usually make sketches of all my works. Sometimes I make my own designs, sometimes I love to surf sites like Pinterest, DeviantArt, CGTalk,… It’s a great way to find inspiration but I always try to make something different and not just to clone another artist’s ideas. In my courses it’s totally different, all my workshop pieces are 100% original, I think this is very important and we have to value more that thing. An existing desing is more commercial but you have to remember that it isn’t yours.
You are part of most cake collaborations around the world. How many collaborations have you been involved with? What do you look for in a collaboration?
I have to admit, I’m a collab crazy!! haha 😀 This week I’ve finished 5 pieces, last one is for “Sugar art for Autism” and this is my 13th collaboration (I’m very happy to have been there with you).
When I join a new collab, I always search an idea that allows me to improve new techniques and do my best. There are a lot of themes but social awareness collabs are very important. All collaborations are a great challenge for me and I love all of them. In these events you can make bigger and more complicated projects and the most important, you can talk and meet a lot of cake designers who are currently great friends.
What has been the collaboration you like best and why?
It’s very complicated to choose one, but people who meet me know I love halloween and movies, so my favourites are “Sugar Spooks” (this was my first collab) and Be My Valentine: movie nights. In this I was admin too with Hajnalka Mayor and it was an amazing experience, all pieces were stunning!! I loved to have been part of it and we had fun a lot. I hope we can make the third for next year 🙂
What has been the collaboration that gave you more headaches? What went wrong?
Be My Valentine: movie nights! is the winner! I had problems with the rose because it was the first time I worked in a complex sugar flower, but finally I could finish it at time. I was working on my piece and making collab video too and It was a little bit stressful. In addition, Peeta Mellark didn’t help me, he suffered an accident and thrown himself a couple of times in the process haha…
Still talking about collaborations, tell me about the internacional public collaboration, “Sweet Summer”, which you’re hosting.
Sweet Summer is an idea that my couple and I have been turning it over in our heads a few weeks ago. After lunch we always have a cup of coffe with a good Carcassonne round, but sometimes we talk and think about new challenges. With Sweet Summer I was looking for a project for everyone, an international and public collab where every people could join us and make a piece. Collabs are always so restrictive but I know there are a lot of great cake designers and amateurs who make incredible works, so this could be a great change to share their art. I’m so excited and so so happy, because this is the first collab I admin alone and we’re more than 300 members. I’m sure it will be amazing, fingers crossed! Can’t wait to see your piece Carla 😉
What is the inspiration behind this collaboration?
There is no inspiration behind this collaboration. I’ve only just searching a theme which was funny and easy for everyone and with a reveal time between 4 and 6 months… And summer was just perfect!! ♥
What has been the best highlight in your career to date?
My best highlight in my career is without no doubt being able to meet and talk with people I admire. I started in this sweet world two years ago with a little facebook page with 10 likes and now we have 13.000! This is crazy!! I have met a lot of cake designers last year and they’re incredible!! It’s like if you are a newbie director and you could meet and talk with Spielberg or Tarantino! I’m really happy. 🙂
Can you tell me about your all time favorite cakes and what is on the top of your bucket list of cakes yet to do?
I love to make sculptures and bust cakes but one of my favourite works is Smaug Cake. I made this piece for my son’s birthday and he didn’t know nothing. I remember we put the soundtrack of The Lord of The Rings and he entered into the hall with a blindfold. When he removed it, he was crazy haha 🙂
Well, in my bucket list I have a project I’d love to make again, it’s Gordon Ramsey bust cake. You know I couldn’t participate last year in Cake International Birmingham fest, because my piece was broken during shipping. I’m sure I could make a better Gordon bust now, I just need time to start him again.
Who amongst the current crop of cake designers/artists inspires you?
I have two kind of artists in my inspiration list:
Hyper-realistic sculptors like Ron Mueck and Jamie Salmon. Their works are stunning, I hope I can make something like that in the future, It would be a dream!
And cake designers who inspire me could be Avalon Yarnes, Lizzo Marek, Karen Portaleo, Hajnalka Mayor, Calli Hopper, Zoe Fox, Natalie Sideserf, Heidi Dahlenburg …and many more! I love all their amazing works.
Do you have any advices or tips to our readers?
It’s important to have special care for details (training your spactial vision and working every angle) manage your time and of course, if you’re doing a realistic bust cake apply finishes with natural light if it’s possible.
At last, what are your plans for 2016?
I hope to continue surprising you with new cakes and workshops but I have some little secret projects in which we’re working now, for Spanish people and international too 😉 Stay tuned! ♥
Thanks so much Carla for this interview, It’s such an honor for me!! Big kisses for you!
Personal Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/isabeltartasimposibles