Royal Icing Cookie Artist Marta Torres is clearly a member of the hall of fame of international cookie artists. Her outstanding cookie creations reach not only 39,400 followers on Instagram and 35,000 fans on Facebook. Marta Torres teaches cookie art in 30 countries and helped over 1,500 students around the world to improve their skills in cookie decorating. But did you know that this great cookie journey and the major success of Marta is actually the result of a major crisis in her life? Be encouraged to make always the best from the worst situations and read the motivational story of this international cookie artist and inspirational women.
Who is Marta Torres?
Marta Torres is a “Royal Icing Cookie Artist”. She loves coloured royal icing, dimensional piping and has a passion for sharing. When I discovered the cookies of Marta Torres the first time on social media, it was love at first sight for her great work. I admire Marta’s breathtaking cookie creations and her level of perfection I could never reach myself. I had this gut feeling that there must be a special person behind this awsome cookies. So I reached out to find out more about Marta Torres and to write a story about her for my blog goldbergfancycookies.com.
Mastering an art, is a matter of constante practice, study and passion.Marta Torres
Marta Torres was born in Lisbon (Portugal, European Union), the city where she lives today. Her childhood was very lively having a huge family with 8 brothers and sisters. Marta also has her own family living abroad. Whenever it is possible during her class trips, Marta takes the opportunity to see her grandkids.
In the past, Marta was used to live in different countries for 20 years: Brazil, Hong Kong – China, Japan and Spain. This multicultural experience gave her new skills and values and shaped her to be the person Marta is today.
How it all started: The crisis brought cookies
A few years ago Marta moved back to the Iberian Peninsula. Due to the economy crisis, she found herself unemployed and her husband on an early retirement. All the projects she had were suddenly shutdown by the crisis. The insecurity of this life changing situation gave Marta a very hard time and she felt a bit lost.
In 2013 by accident, Marta Torres found cookies, or better said they found her! Actually Marta’s background is the banking and consulting industries. She knew nothing about royal icing or cookies but Marta started to taught herself.
Marta’s daughter lives in the USA where cookies are very popular. She made the connection between Marta and cookies. Marta confesses it wasn’t love at first sight. However, she gave herself six months to practice and see whether it could be something that she liked. After those six months Marta entered a contest and she won! This event changed her life.
Teaching cookie decorating
One year later Marta received her first invitation to teach abroad. She could hardly believe it! Suddenly she was sharing her art with students from all over the world.
Today Marta Torres is an internationaly very demanded cookie artist and teaches in 30 countries and helped over 1,500 students around world to improve their cookie decorating skills. Marta’s home country Portugal is famous for its gastronomy, including its conventual sweets, and of course “Pasteis de Belém”, the most amazing pastries and that are known overseas as egg tarts. But Cookie decorating art was not part of the culture in Portugal. Marta was one of the first bringing it to Portugal. Nowadays she gets more and more students in Portugal wanting to learn from Marta. Most of the attendees are either teachers or they sale cakes and want to complement the cakes with matching cookies.
Competing in cake shows might sound intimidating, but Marta always challenges her students to do so. She says this is the period when we grow the most, when we challenge ourselves like no other, when we look for perfection, when we master the skills. Nobody will be the same after competing. You will realise that you are more capable and skilled than you thought. At the end it was just being afraid that refrained people from being at their best.
As a judge, an advice, stick to the rules, if you need advice or have doubts, contact and ask any question you may have. Do your best and relax!Marat Torres
Marta works hard for her success. The teaching days are very intense and long. When teaching Marta Torres works about 17 hours a day, starting at 4:30 a.m. However she admits when we do what we like the most, everything is so enjoyable and pleasant.
When Marta started, she could have never imagined that she has talent and skills for cookie decorating and now, her cookie journey brought her so far.
You want to become a student? Then check Marta Torres’s website for classes and events: https://marta-torres.pt/events-classes/
Baking–related backround of Marta Torres
Baking, French pastries, Portuguese traditional sweets and bread from around the world were what Marta used to stick with. She took Professional Bread Courses at CIA and ICE, both in New York, USA. Her background on bread studies helped her to understand and choose the best flours, understand protein, ratio butter to flour, temperatures of ingredients etc. All this helped her to make a better “canvas” for her cookies. This is also covered on her classes: Everything matters for better results.
Any form of decoration with sugar was completely unknown to Marta. Royal icing wasn’t part of her life or even culture. She did try many, many recipes and didn’t like them. But then one day she got what she was looking for. It was the perfect combination of sugar type, and egg protein.
Marta had no previous experience on this art form. This lack of knowledge at the beginnning made her challenge herself in order to accomplish what she had in mind. During the trial periods, which Marta calls “growing periods”, every single step and every adversity helped her to find new ways and to improve her technique and cookies.
The magic happens when having a perfect recipe and manipulating it according to what you have in mind.Marta Torres
It was when Marta started to like to create her little cookies, when she started to see that what she was envisioning could be done. This cookie gave her a new life, and Marta is very thankful to have a life like that.
The keys to mastering the art of cookie decorating
Marta was not an artist before but she always had – what she calls – a sense for beauty. Leaving the corporate world, in her case, was not an option. It was hard, to be unemployed. Marta felt lost. She had no purpose in life, but cookies literally rescued her. The crisis of the economy led her to this major success.
Marta Torres ended up doing what she like the most: Sharing her art and her techniques together with her experience. She wants to empower her students and to make them believe in themselves, showing them the way for a sweet and happy life with this cookie art.
I guess my passion with my self-discipline and willingness to share brought me here and made who I am.Marta Torres
The role of social media
Social Media is the way Marta uses to show her work and get people to know where she will be teaching throughout the year.
On social media it is key to be very assertive and active. It’s a bit time consuming but Marta gets pleasure not just showing her own work, but seeing the work of others as well, liking and commenting, being proactive in groups, giving support and cheering up.
It’s a virtual family we create.Marta Torres
Getting others to know her work through social media gave her the honour of being:
- Winner 2016 EAGA Awards on “Most Inspirational Royal Icing Artist” (Hong Kong),
- Finalist at the 2015 Cake Masters Magazine Awards (AKA Cookie Oscars) (UK),
- Finalist Peoples Choice Awards 2017 (USA) triple Finalist in Collaboration Category for 4 years in a row, having participating in 3 out of the 4 Finalist Collaborations.
- Judge and Invited teacher in Cake shows around world namely the prestigious Cake International, Birmingham-UK, Cake Show Istanbul, Milan-Italy, Orlando-USA, Hong Kong, etc.
In Portugal Marta Torres was invited for a TV program to show her art. She was really into her beginning and the feedback she got was incredible.
A Portuguese magazine made a Special Edition just on her work. Marta Torres feels honoured for such invitations.
Marta’s fantastic cookies have been published in several foreign magazines. Apart from teaching, Marta likes to participate in international collaborations. That gives her the opportunity of creating even more challenging creative works than those for the classes.
Future plans of Marta Torres
Marta loves and enjoys sharing her art. As long as people want to learn from her and she stays passionated about it, she will do what she loves the most.
Marta would love as well to create her own studio in the future, where she could create everything that is stored in her head, and being able to bring people from around world to meet her and work closer.
Marta often gets the feedback from people saying that she is an inspiration for them. Marta then feels honoured and humbled with it, others want to be like her. Her advice is:
Work for excellence, not for success, the rest will come naturally. Don’t compare yourself to others, we are all different, just keep going, learning and mastering your skills. We all are unique!Marta Torres
Social media profiles and website of Marta Torres
To be inspired by the latest cookie creations, please follow Marta Torres on her social media profiles and visit her website for classes and events.
Thank you very much for the interview, Marta!
More articles in English on my blog: www.goldbergfancycookies.com/blog/category/english
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