2010 Canadian Weblog Awards Exclusive Nominee Interview with Berendina Dykema of The Art of Baking

Berendina Dykema authors The Art of Baking, which has been nominated in the Art & Photography, Best New Weblog, and Food & Drink categories of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Why blogging?

Well, it all started when I began to visit a couple of blogs on baking. I was inspired by their photographs, writing, recipes, and most of all their hard work of sharing to the world what they love. Then I began to think to myself, I should share my passion for baking through a blog. I received a lot of encouragement and helpful advice from friends and family.

I then set off on my adventure by deciding which blogging creator I would like to choose. There were so many creator websites that I almost wanted to give up; however, I settled with Google because it seemed the simplest blog creator for a newbie to the world of blogging. Then the developing began and "The Art of Baking" was born in January of 2010.

To answer the question directly to why I'm blogging is because I love to share my creativity with others and inspire people to share as well. I love to get people excited and passionate about food, whether it is cooking or baking. The blogging world is ultimately a place to really express yourself and have fun along the way. I continue to firmly believe this and have really had a lot of fun in the process.

What got you into baking? How long have you been doing it?

I have been into baking since I was a child helping my mother bake cookies and cupcakes. It was always fun to decorate and bring my own creativity to a delicious treat. I would say that baking became a passion of mine during high school. I took several cooking courses in my senior year. They were always my favorite classes to attend, and I always learned something new. Those were the first years where I brought my passion for baking home and challenged myself with new recipes. I am now twenty years old, and my passion to bake has evolved into sharing my creativity through my blog.

Do you have a favorite baking moment?

I think all the baking I do has its favorite moments. If I had to choose, I would have to say creating and sharing the birthday cakes I have baked for family and friends. Those were the most fun in terms of creativity. It also brings a smile to my face when people feel happy, impressed, and surprised by the cakes I have made for them.

Your weblog only dates back to January this year, so it is relatively new. Has sharing your passion for baking online changed anything for you, such as what you decide to bake or how often?

Yes, ever since I launched "The Art of Baking", my passion for baking has continuously changed in very positive ways. The blogging world has given me a new-found confidence in myself that I had never felt till I shared my creativity with people. It has definitely pushed me to bake more than I ever did before and to try out new recipes that are more challenging. It continues to help improve my writing and photography skills. The saying "practice makes perfect" is certainly true.

Have you considered writing a cookbook at some point?

I have actually never thought about writing a cookbook till now, and I would actually be pretty interested in writing one sometime in my life. To share my passion for baking to those who may not be avid blog readers would be a fun journey to embark on.

If you were to give some advice to an aspiring blogger, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to stick with a topic they are extremely passionate about and express themselves in a way that feels right to them. If you choose something that you just like rather than a passion, then you will most likely lose interest pretty quickly. Also, I would tell them to have a lot of fun with it and don't be intimidated by other blogs. Just go with what you know and everything will fall into place.

What weblogs are your must-reads?

I have tons of blogs/websites I love to read, but for the ones I can think of at the top of my head would be:
Martha Stewart is one because it has many creative cooking, baking and craft ideas.
Food Network Canada, because I always trust the recipes to turn out how they are described in the recipe and the photographs.
Jenn's Baking Chamber because it's the first blog that actually influenced and inspired me to start my own blog on baking.
Joy of Baking, because it was the first baking website I started to use for recipes and they all turn out wonderfully.
Living Food Junkie is my sister's blog that began a little after mine and is inspired from sharing healthy living food recipes. She does a lot of un-baking as well.
Easy Cake Ideas has wonderfully impressive cakes, frostings, and fondants that can be done so easily.
The Random Adventures of the Rambling Artist, because it's my good friend's impressive artistic abilities shared with the world.

Berendina Dykema is a young adult living on Vancouver Island. She is new to the blogging world, starting The Art of Baking in January of 2010. Her great passions in life are food, baking, art, photography, and writing. She believes that baking is a great way to express your own creativity along with sharing the joy with others.


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.