The importance of floral design
I believe in the importance of finding the deeper colors and hidden rooms of your soul. One of the reasons why I fell in love with floral design is that it creates space for just that kind of work. It is kinesthetic, engaging your body with your mind and your senses. And because it is creative, it reveals preferences and beliefs you hold subconsciously and puts them on display in the piece you design.
An artist friend of mine once endowed this truth to me: Art has a self-donating quality to it. Through observing an artist’s work, you learn something about her. Why not do the same with your own work, returning, again and again, to be attentive to the person you are, releasing and receiving her through the design process?
Choosing botanicals as a medium was radically important for me. As a mountain-raised artist, much of who I am is found and reflected in the natural world. Even within florals, there are so many avenues, directions, tastes, industries to choose from. I’ve discovered that giving yourself the freedom to work within a few limitations helps you boil down this meditative journey and enables you to experience each season or challenge you enter more fully.
Like scheduling your week, with structure you find the freedom to engage deeply and without distraction each activity of life, eliminating worry about what you’ve missed or if there will be enough time for the next thing. Limiting yourself to the true ‘yeses’ of your heart gives you the ability to really delve into these things and give your attention to them.
Designing means you make decisions, following those true yeses to abandon the lesser ones. In a time where both inspiration and comparison are accessible to you at every moment through social media, it is important in developing your style and hearing your spirit clearly to work without judgment on yourself to produce the ‘best’ thing.
Each choice narrows and specifies a bouquet. The strength of anything is that it speaks clearly about something specific – that it evokes a strong feeling or asks a direct question. Each time you say yes to something, you are saying no to endless other options. You follow the path each choice lays out (knowing you can always go back and change direction if something seems wrong).
By staying within some boundaries, though, and eliminating the noise and opinions of the rest of the world, you can pay more attention to the choices you make. Doing this, you engage your heart, your inspirations, your purposes, your wild affections that seem unlikely or even surprise you. The meditative nature of working with your hands allows your mind to tap into these things even without your conscious-self knowing it, and it exposes an internal strength and compass that help guide the way you live and design if you take care to find and cultivate it.
If you make efforts not to mimic, but follow your instincts without interrogating them, you will have an insight to yourself when you step back from a bouquet. You can trace the lines back to their origins and ask what truths are tied to the blooms, the colors, the space, the arrangement, the choices you made, what you like, what it reveals in you.
This is a lifestyle choice as much as a career and artistic choice. It’s an opportunity to be still, be present, and rediscover that ‘why’ of your career in flowers. Let design be a meditative rather than methodical act. Put on a peaceful spirit and enjoy playing with the beautiful things that cover the ground. If you let it, floral design can be part of a meditative journey of receiving yourself through nature and art. See what you discover!