Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In Love with Floral Art

I just got back from the AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) National Symposium in Chicago, where hundreds of floral designers & artists from around the world gathered to share ideas, trade secrets, new trends and inspirations. It was certainly a life changing experience to me! Now I have a different perspective for what I should be doing in the next ten, twenty, and perhaps thirty years. I am constantly searching within myself trying to find my own nitch in life. And I think I have just found it! I want to merge my passions together - architecture, fine arts and floral arts.

Above: Trump Tower & John Hancock building.
There were many talented best-of-the-best designers from Europe, Asia and the US at the Symposium and the shows they put together were simply phenomenal! Each show had a specific theme intergrating culture, fashion, architecture, fine arts and cinema with floral art. I was stunned by their talents and passion for floral design. And I had the greatest opportunity to work with prominent Belgian designers Ivan Poelman and Moniek Vanden Berghe to prepare for their shows and demonstration workshops. The experience was extremely valuable and I got to see how the art pieces were put together before they went on stage.
Japanese Canadian Floral designer, lecturer & author, Hitomi Gilliam AIFD, was there at the Symposium too. Here's Koko and I with Hitomi.
Ivan Poelman's show was about fashion and floral art. Here are some images from the show. I helped with the orchid shawl on the right directly below and the rose hat. Holly, my mentor and adviser, was wearing the shawl we made at the fashion show. :)
Here are some beautiful floral art pieces by Japanese Floral Master Yutaka Jimbo AIFD. Patterns on the traditional kimono (Japanese dress) were all petalworks!!

I also got 60 pounds of books! Fabulous books by European designers that I simply could not resist!!! I hope these wonderful designs will lead me to more inspirations that will eventually benefit my clients.
Highlight of the Symposium is that I was also there with several other former floral design schoolmates to join for the SAIFD design competition. I won a small award for my Napkin Ring Decor. But I am thrilled and extremely proud of my dear friend and roommate Kokoro Akaya, for she won the 1st place for the overall competition!! Go Koko!!

Here's my table. The one on the left below is my Bridal Bouquet design, the one on the right is my Sweet Heart Table design.
My friends and I had the time to squeeze in some site-seeing. Here we were at the Taste Chicago Food Festival at the Buckingham Fountain.

Overall this Symposium was a remarkable and unforgettable experience to me. I am sure it was to all of us there. Everyone was so eager to learn and to share ideas. The goal of the AIFD committee was to provide educational programs to floral design professionals in the industry so that we are not just good, but be the best in what we are doing. Special thanks to those who make this Symposium possible!

Below is my favoriate show of all, by David Marsteller AIFD. He did a magnificient job intergrating architecture & sculpture with floral art.

Lastly, I would like to share with you two quotes I picked up from the Symposium -
Newly awarded Fellow of AIFD, Richard Salvaggio AIFD, said at the award ceremony, "An idea is no good if you don't teach it to someone else."

and Mark Twain wrote,
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails."

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