by Zeenat Umer
Faiza Sherjeel – of Gateau: The Cake Phenomeon,
Your City: Doha, Qatar
What drives you?(What makes you so passionate about your work?)
Art and creativity has always been my inspiration. Being the student of English Literature, I learnt to sense realities of life and understand human feelings and emotions. During my stay at Doha I got the opportunity to take Wilton Certifications and PME Professional Diplomas in Cake Decoration. It really triggered my artistic and creative abilities. I enjoy my work of Sugar Art and Cake Decoration. I want to excel in the same.
How did you get here and how long have you been in this profession (or been doing what you do)?
Basically my urge to achieve something and stand out, got me here. Moreover, persistent support of my family, particularly my husband; appreciation and endorsement of my work by my social circle and winning of great competitions are worth mentioning milestones of my journey. Naming a few: First Position in Wilton Cake Decorating Competition, Doha, Qatar, 2015. First Position in Autism Sweets Contest by Sugar Art for Autism, 2017 (held Worldwide). For last 5 years I have been in this profession.
What has been your vision and what do you most love about your work?
My vision is to make a name for myself as a distinctive artist in Sugar Art and Cake Decoration. I also believe in passing the knowledge on and on, as Dalai Lama says, “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.”The thing I love most about my work is carving figures and moulding structures, full of life and emotions out of fondant.
What do you think is your biggest achievement throughout your professional journey?
My biggest achievement, so far, is winning the First Position in Autism Sweets Contest by Sugar Art for Autism, which was an international competition. The work was challenging as I had no prior knowledge on Autism. I had to study a lot before transforming it into Sugar Art. Based upon that research, Alhamdulillah I succeeded in portraying what I learnt about it by reproducing the sufferings of the Autistic Children through their expressions and I am very glad to be part of spreading awareness through my art; that’s the main reason I consider it by biggest achievement.
What are your current projects and what do you plan on doing in the near future?
My current project is to conduct Fondant Figure Modelling Workshop in Lahore in the first week of August, 2017 In shaAllah. It will encompass lots of figure modelling techniques. I hope, in Lahore, it will be very first venture of its kind. My subsequent plans are to conduct more workshops on Figure Modelling and Gravity Defying Cakes in different countries with a focus on Pakistan. I feel Pakistan Cake Industry needs improvement. Pakistan has great talent that need to be nurtured.
A word of advice you would like to pass on to other women struggling with their start-ups?
“Nothing will change in your life if you don’t do something DIFFERENT from what you have been doing.” Women should look for a talent within. They should learn to do something out of their humdrum lives. To make a difference, choose the path where no one has treaded before. Don’t focus on monetary benefits only or you will lose the taste of it. Just focus on where your heart takes you and then allow your passion to take the full reign of it. Never limit your dreams. I would end it by quoting the words of Yo-Yo Ma: “Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you are more willing to take risks.”