Joonie Tan is an artist whose canvas explores the exotic world of baking. She is a cake artist at the Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts in Bengaluru.
Originally from Malaysia, she has been living in India for the past 10 years. Though she says she hasn’t kept an exact count, she has approximately decorated more than 5,000 cakes with her creativity and taught the art to more than 1,500 students.
However, Joonie’s career didn’t start in the baking industry. In fact she quit her job in marketing to turn to baking and art.
When Joonie worked as a marketing manager for a property company in Malaysia they sent her to Hyderabad in 2009 to set up its marketing office. Here, she met Chef Vinesh Johny, the Founder of Lavonne who she married recently.
After her time in Hyderabad, when Joonie went back home to Malaysia, she realised she wasn’t interested in her 9-5 job anymore and so on a whim, she enrolled in a cake baking course in 2011. However, Joonie was not a novice when it came to baking.
She started learning to bake from her aunt since she was four and used to help her out whenever she baked something.
When I went for the baking class I realised I had a knack for it and started baking part time and after work at night I started taking orders and slowly things started picking up.
In 2012 she resigned from her full-time job. Around the same time Chef Vigesh was setting up Lavonne and invited her to come to India and help him with the pastry art department.
Cake decoration is Joonie’s forte and as a cake artist she combines her love for baking and art. “It is a match made in heaven.”
(Video produced and directed by Aishik Purkait and edited and shot by Shlok Bhatt)
“I love doing what I do and I come to work everyday to enjoy creating art with cakes. People say if you find your passion and follow it then you don’t feel like going to work.”
It's this passion that keeps her driven.
It’s not that she doesn’t see failure in her line of work, but that doesn’t limit her. “Yes, when I am not able to execute a design, it bothers me a bit but practise makes one perfect, so I keep practising!”
Also feedback pushes her to strive further in her field of work. “Great feedback from clients, especially when they express happiness and appreciation for my work keeps me motivated,"
So what does it really take to excel in the field of baking? One needs skills and as Joonie adds,
Financial skills, people management skills, social skills, entrepreneurial skills are very important!
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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