Interview #11: Verusca Walker
I’m a Brazilian artist who has been living in Australia for the past 12 years.
I am working with cake decoration for the past 4 years after finished Fine Artist and Baker studies.
I decided to mix both of the industries and make eatable art.
How did you first get started with cake decorating?
For my daughter’s 1st birthday I made a cake in the shape of Noah’s Ark, with all the animals and it was a great hit, so for her 2nd and 3rd birthday, I made another carved cake and then all the mothers from play group, family members and friends started asking me for cakes.
I decided to go back to school and do a Baking course but in less than 6 month I got offered a job in a major cake shop in Wollongong NSW. So since January 2009 I have been making cakes professionally.
Last year my life took another turn, when I was offered the opportunity to teach cake decorating…. so here I am now. And I must say I love what I do.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Learning to deal with greedy people. People that think “money” can buy everything. This is really being a struggle in my life.
What is the most rewarding part of cake decorating?
To see the smile on my client’s face, the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. When they take the time to write feedback and say thank you for the inspiration or for a great cake. That for me is the most rewarding feeling.
Could you give some tips to people who have just started decorating cakes or would love to start?
Practice, practice and practice. You will only learn and get confidence if you practice ;)
How did you find CakesDecor.com and what is it that keeps you coming back?
Gorgeous Raewyn came to one of my shoe classes and invited me to the group. I love the idea of being part of a community with the same passion and interest.
What’s been the biggest surprise in all of this for you?
How cake decorating became so big!!!!!!!
I never imagined that people would travel hours to come and watch one of my classes. I definitely never imagined that my name would be known all over the world. And the most amazing people respect and love what I do.
Which one of your cakes is your favourite?
I do love dark gothic cakes and my new tattoo line of cakes is my favourite.
How long have you lived in Australia Verusca?
I was born in Sao Paulo Brazil in 1973.
My mother died from cancer age 29 years old, when I was only 11 years old.
At age 24 with a degree in Secretary Bilingual I came to Australia to study English. Here I met my husband and in 2000 I got married. I worked as a cleaner for 4 years to pay for my education in Fine Arts. My major was in photography, my great passion in life and also Sculpture. My teachers used to say that I have a 3D eye and great manual skills.
You’re teaching in Brazil and Europe next year, that sounds so exciting, what are you looking forward to most?
Brazil will be very difficult. I lost my only brother, my little brother 2 months ago. He had a heart condition. I was working very hard to go back to Brazil. So I am still trying to adjust to that.
I think to go outside Australia will be good for me to have some idea what other countries are doing. How they work and what they think about my work.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy seeing the smile on my students face, the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. When they write feedback to say: Thank you for the inspiration or for a great class. That for me is the most rewarding feeling.
You’re so busy; do you get much time to create new designs?
Yes I do have time but not to the level that I would like to take my cakes yet. I am very luck that I have a great husband and a beautiful little girl. They have been very patient with me. I am really looking forward to next year. Until now I have worked like crazy. But from next year I will have more time to create and finish my book.
If you could pick just one, which would be the decorating tool you just can’t live without?
My airbrush…. I can do a lot with my hands but the airbrush brings the cake alive. It transforms a dull cake into piece of art.
You are a Cake Idol to so many people around the world…do you have a Cake Idol?
Ohhhhhh yes…. I started in this business because of Debbie Brown and I will die her fan. I love everything about her, her creative mind, her persona and the fact that she makes affordable cakes.
Verusca, you have some exciting news about who you will be teaching with next year, would you like to share with our members?
Well Scott Noble is the owner and director of Bakery Sugar Craft and Cake Boss and invited me to teach at his branches. Scott is an entrepreneur with great vision for the future cake decorating industry in Australia. He has some amazing ideas for next year and I could not be more happy and proud to be part of a company that respects the industry and the staff.
I had a dream to become an Artist but life took me to the hospitality industry. I like to believe that in some strange way I am still making art. Edibleart.
I do have a complete different outlook about life, especially when it comes to embracing every opportunity life gives to me.
I appreciate everything around me and I always make sure to help people as much I can, because life is unpredictable and very fragile.
“Life is not forever but our actions can live forever”.
Thank you Verusca for your time and Raewyn for your help with the interview ;)
- Part 10: Kristen Erich from BlissPastry
- Part 11: Verusca Walker
- Part 12: Calli from Callicious Cakes