Hi, all! As you've probably noticed by now, spring has sprung early here on Cookie Connection with the posting of our March 2022 site art! Isn't it just fabulous?! Doesn't it just make you yearn for a leisurely stroll in the park?! Well, you can thank the lovely @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. for those yearnings! This art came from a post she made back in May 2020, which you can see here, and our Site Art Stylist @Icingsugarkeks (aka Gabi) put her usual spin on it. If you linger long enough on the banner below, you'll see a surprise creature come buzzing into the scene! I'll pause for a sec so you can feast your eyes on this banner and also the backdrop, both of which will grace our site through the end of March:
Now, for those new to the site, Ryoko isn't a first-time site artist or a cookie neophtye. No, no, no . . . quite to the contrary, she's been featured at least two times already (though I've lost count), and she's probably the site's all-time biggest contributor to our challenges, having not skipped a one until very recently. Through these challenges, she earned quite the reputation for being a storyteller, which spurred us to chat with her four years ago about how she "writes" stories with cookies. (You can read that chat transcript here.) We also did an in-depth Cookier Close-up interview with Ryoko in 2016, which will give you more of her history.
Because that Close-up was a very long time ago, and Ryoko has had some recent life changes, I am planning to do an updated Cookier Close-up with her this spring, but only after completing the one for @Lorena's Sweets (now underway) and another for @Evelindecora, our February 2022 site artist. In the meantime, check out Ryoko's updated bio below to hear about the turns her life has taken. I certainly hope her next life turn will allow more time for cookie decorating. I have truly missed seeing her work on this site and the ingenuity she brought to every single one of her challenge entries.
Not long after retiring early from her trading company in 2014, Ryoko found some iced cookies on the internet, which led her, mesmerized, to Cookie Connection and Julia's YouTube channel. At that time, cookie decorating was very new for those in Japan, but Ryoko was fortunate to discover a newly minted instructor from Japan Salonaise Association (JSA), and so Ryoko attended her class. The following year, some of Ryoko's cookies were chosen for a cookie book published by JSA.
After looking at pretty cookies on Cookie Connection long enough, Ryoko finally decided to post her own cookies in 2015 (beginning with this one). She also grew very interested in the Practice Bakes Perfect challenges, and, soon after her first post, became one of the challenge's most fervent participants. What she likes most about the challenges are sharing her ideas, talking with other cookiers, and seeing the amazing entries by brilliant artists.
In 2021, her early retirement unexpectedly ended when she went back to work to support her father's company as its Executive Director. Now, every day, she tries to figure out how to cut her workload so she can decorate cookies again.
To learn more about Ryoko's cookie work, please visit her Cookie Connection portfolio.
All cookies and photos by Ryoko Hayashi.
Last but not least, for those of you who are wondering how to get featured, it's easy! Simply read these posts here and here. Remember: Site artists not only get their work featured prominently for a full month, but they also get profiled in a forum post and in an in-depth Cookier Close-up interview. All considered, it's a lot of great free PR in exchange for photo sharing! When preparing your site art, please bear in mind that I already have artwork through June 2022, so I am specifically looking for art for July 2022 and beyond. Please also remember that @Icingsugarkeks, our Site Art Stylist, is available to help you get your photos in the right format, so do not hesitate to contact her if you need assistance! You can send her a PM right here on Cookie Connection by clicking on her name (in pink) above.