Finding your voice..it is what makes for good design

The design business is about breaking the boundaries and defying the norm.  No one wants “boring” design. In order to stand out in this business, you need to have a voice, one that shows in your work. What do you hate? What inspires you? What would you do that is different from everyone else? It’s the challenge that makes us work harder. We strive every day to find our…voice and shout it out in our design! If you are a writer, a painter, a chef, an architect, an interior designer,  fashion designer, a garden designer…or any other type of artist/designer, it applies!

If someone just wants flowers, they can swing by the grocery store and pick up a boring flower bouquet.  But if you are sending a gift, and you want your gift to show care, pizzazz, and the passion of floral design then you use a floral designer. Find a designer that has a style that you love, one that you trust to listen to your wishes and carry out your requests, but on the other side, give them some creative freedom to make something beautiful for you.

I’ve been struck twice this week by the struggle of sharing our voice & giving our customer what they want.  A customer came in the store, and said “  Wow, I love your style!”  I was working on a memorial piece that a person ordered off my website, so in effect I had to design by the photo.  I was surprised when the customer said  “my style”  because it was not “my style” at all.  I call it a design by numbers. (remember paint by number art?)  Just looking at a picture and making the design is not really designing to me.  I did change it up a bit for the person, by adding their favorite flowers and adding some custom colors to it. I do it because some people want to know exactly what their flowers are going to look like before they order them.  I use my website for reference, just to get a sense of what my customer likes and does not like, then I suggest they leave it up to the designer.

I was telling one of our designers the other day, that I thought the wedding bouquet she was working on was too structured and too tight for what the bride wanted. The bride was asking for a casual garden look.  Her response was “I don’t like garden arrangements, because they look messy and unkempt to me.”  I was reminded again that this was not her style, so she was struggling with doing what the bride wanted.

It’s what makes our job as floral designers so difficult; we have to allow our voice to shine through in our work while meeting the expectations of our customers at the same time. It’s a tough balancing act and  then to complicate matters, we need to stay on top of new trends, colors, and new styles and find our own signatures that make people want to come to us for flowers.  My style is bold and bright colors and lots of texture.  I love unusual flowers, and I do not like filler weedy looking flowers. I am an artist, a nature lover, and a gardener (hence why I hate weeds J) My other designer is young and loves modern and stylized, tropical, and anything unusual.  She is an artist, a painter, and a musician, very urban.  The wilder and crazier the design the more she likes it.  We’re different, but we balance each other out pretty well.

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