I first stumbled upon my first vision of Josue Luciano’s cake decorating skills while browsing a Pokemon Fan Group on Facebook. It’s one thing to build a giant diorama out of cake which a lot of baking shows do, and another to perfectly nail the essence of a particular character or design by making an inspired by design of your own. Josue’s cakes are what I would call a perfect artistic expression of pop culture in it’s finest form.
He creates cake designs from anything from drag queen fashion to Pokemon to X-Men and having followed him on Instagram and seeing the side by sides of all of his work I can tell you that they are fantastic. Here have a look for yourself!
I was able to catch up with Josue and ask him a little about his cake baking and artistry career. He is really someone you will definitely want to keep your eye on!
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What got you into baking?
I was born and raised in the coast of Puerto Rico. I was a very creative kid, always doing some kind of crafts, painting or drawing cartoon characters. I also enjoyed baking and decorating cakes with my cousins when I would stay with them for summer break. The cakes weren’t always pretty but we always had fun making them. I started college for Psychology but after two years I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to turn into a career. I thought of going to pastry school back in Puerto Rico, knowing it was something I always enjoyed, but instead I moved to Florida in 2015 to be closer to family. I got a job at a supermarket in the produce section until a cake decorator position was posted in the bakery department and I decided to apply. I wasn’t trained or anything like it, they pretty much gave me the tools and said “have fun”. I was surprisingly good at it since the beginning and I was having so much fun that I obsessed over it. I started watching tutorials and looking at pictures of cakes all day, everyday, and after many sleepless nights I officially got the position. It’s been almost four years and now I live in Pittsburgh where I am the cake decorator and supervisor of the cake department at a local bakery.
When did you first decide to try out “inspired by” cakes?
I did my first “inspired by” cake on January of this year. I am a huge fan of the show RuPaul’s Drag Race, and around that time All Stars 4 was airing. A drag queen named Monét X Change served an “angelic white” runway look that I loved so much that I decided to do a cake inspired by it just for fun. I took a picture and posted it on social media where all I got were compliments and good feedback so I kept doing them.
What are some of your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspirations are drag queens like Yvie Oddly, Kim Chi and RuPaul. I’m also very inspired by Pokemons and all superheroes but specially the X-Men.
Do you have any goals for your cakes? What would be the ultimate crossover cake for you?
I love my job so my main goal is to become one of the best cake decorators out there and keep sharing my art. Also, thanks to the “inspired by” cakes I’ve gotten the chance to connect with many drag queens, drag, superhero and Pokemon fans from all over the world which has been pretty exciting.
The ultimate crossover for me would be a Game Of Thrones inspired cake. A lot of people have asked me about it but I haven’t made one yet. I love the show but I feel intimidated because the characters are very detailed and I don’t wanna disappoint any hardcore fan haha.
Do you have any other creative outlets? Other nerdy hobbies?
I enjoy tie dying, designing and hand painting shirts for myself, but I am always down to do anything that involves arts and crafts.I also enjoy playing volleyball which I’ve been doing for 15 years.
What were some of your favorite cartoons or shows growing up?
Growing up I always enjoyed watching The X-Men, Avatar The Last Airbender, Dexter’s Laboratory, Pokemon, Teen Titans and Dragon Ball Z.
What are some of your favorite shows now?
My favorite shows now are RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bob’s Burgers and Broad City.
Who is your favorite superhero?
If I had to choose a favorite superhero it would be Beast Boy. I’ve always liked animals so I think it would be amazing to have the ability of transforming myself into any animal I want, plus I look good in green.
How can we follow your work on social media?
You can find me on Instagram as @jou.king,
my official Drag Cakes Page @dragcakes,
and Grandview Bakery on Facebook for those in the Pittsburgh area.
What do you think of these awesome cakes? Tell us in the comments! And Follow Josue Luciano to keep up with his cake posts!