Tamily Shibaski is a self taught artist who learnt how to decorate cakes by observing her mum and watching YouTube videos. Recently, she was asked by one of her friends to make a Little J & Big Cuz themed cake for her daughter Daisy’s birthday party. Tamily told NITV that at first she had no idea what her friend was talking about.
“I had no idea who Little J & Big Cuz were until I watched the TV show and I found the story absolutely fascinating,” Tamilay said.
“I loved the artworks and the drawings that were featured in the show.”
Tamily said that she tried to find a figurine of Little J & Big Cuz to put on the top of the cake, but couldn’t find any.
“I tried to purchase from the shop a figurine of the main characters like the ones you can buy for children (in) movies like Frozen and Moana, but I struggled to find any for Little J & Big Cuz. ” Tamily thought of an alternative way of representing the two main characters, and instead of figurines she used the technique of edible image printing to bring the characters to life.
Tamily said the challenge of making the cake was coming up with ideas and ways to represent the TV series.
"As a cake decorator, you are not just expected to design the cake but are required to think creatively and bring the theme."
“As a cake decorator, you are not just expected to design the cake but are required to think creatively and bring the theme, which in this case was (Little J & Big Cuz characters) to the cake design, which can often be a challenge.”
The children’s animated television series launched on NITV last year and features some of Australia’s best actors inclduing Miranda Tapsell and Deborah Mailman, who voicethe two main characters Little J and Big Cuz. The story of Little J and Big Cuz explores the importance of culture, community and connection to country.
The series is recognised as being the first ever television series to give First Nations kids the opportunity to see themselves as relatable characters on Australia’s television screen.
Tamily’s interest and passion for cake decoration was influenced by people like her mum who turned their passion for food and baking into a business.
Their family business called ‘Shiba’s Kiosk’ is located at the entrance to Thursday Island hospital. The business has been serving food to the Torres Strait community for 22 years.
Other than working in the day at her families business and caring for her children, Tamily in her spare time works with her mum, Sariba and makes cakes on request for their local community.
“We are a mother-daughter partnership, mum bakes the cakes while I decorate them", she said.
Tamily said her favourite cakes she designs and decorates are always cultural themed cakes,
“A cultural themed cakes is one of my favourites to design because you can always be creative and importantly get to represent our Indigenous culture.”