Eat Biscotti and Have Fun!

An Interview with Our Holiday Artist

Cinta Arribas, an artist who lives in northern Spain in the city of Valladolid, created the charming illustrations on biscotti tins and on the paper that wraps many of the boxes of cookies that are for sale in our cafés during the holiday season.

Cinta’s distinctive illustrations are lively. In her visual storytelling, she captures nuanced emotions in the thickness of a line, a burst of color… Cinta’s work appears everywhere from newspapers, magazines, book covers, websites, the sides of city buses, as well as ten children’s books and counting. She also recently wrote and illustrated a book for children called Coco, Where Are You?

This fall, we caught up with Cinta via video call. Check out our interview with her below.

Tatte: Hi, Cinta. What are you up to these days?

Cinta Arribas: I’m doing the last of the work on my project with Tatte. And next up, I’ll be reviewing the manuscript for a children’s book. If my artistic sensibility is a match, I’ll be the illustrator. 

Tatte: Would you be willing to talk about your artistic process? For instance, do you mostly work digitally or on paper?

Cinta: Though I use Photoshop for coloring and for quickly fixing mistakes, last year I realized that working on paper is better for me. I think more about what I’m going to do and it gets me to the essence of my work.

Tatte: Tatte cafés are often busy places. I’m wondering what role bustling cafés play or have played in your life. For instance, do you ever sketch while out enjoying a coffee or two?

Cinta: I love working at home where I can be with my dog but there are times when I find that I concentrate better when I’m working in a café. And I love the people-watching. And the coffee!

Tatte: And you have so many people in your illustrations, including the two you made for Tatte. Why do you think that is?

Cinta: How I talk about things is through the body. The small moments of life inspire me and I’m always using characters, whether they’re humans or animals, to express them.

Tatte cookie box, with illustrations of various people sitting in the window of a café

Tatte: Can you talk about those “small moments” when it comes to the illustration of people in the windows of cafes that we’re featuring on our gift boxes? 

Cinta: Christmastime is a season of deep feeling, even though we don’t all have the same beliefs or religion, and for some, it isn’t a time to be with family. I think about people whose friends have become their family and about the moments during the holiday season when we enjoy being with another person, even if it’s the stranger who is bringing you your coffee or it’s shy people who both love coffee and happen to be sitting next to each other. I drew this illustration playing with the windows as if they were vignettes from a comic book, representing different stories that could happen in a day at a Tatte bakery café. And the fish? Those are for humor and a surrealistic touch.

two cylindrical tins of biscotti, with images of people holding massive biscotti. A broken biscotti sits on top of a small cup of black coffee.

Tatte: There’s great humor in the illustration on the biscotti tin, too!

Cinta: Yes, having such small people hold tall biscotti seemed really funny to me. And there’s a holiday feeling because it’s like they are carrying presents, which in this case is biscotti. And that’s what’s in the tin. I also liked the idea of giving the people some variety because in order to see them all, you have to turn the cylinder in your hand. What the illustration is saying is, eat biscotti and have fun.

To see more of Cinta’s work, visit her website: