Friday, April 3, 2009

My Poppy's Life

I am trying to be a better blogger and post messages more frequently, but my busy schedule is hindering me...I know you must think, yeah whatever, excuses.

So this morning I want to tell you a little bit about my life and things I've been working on.

If you read the about section of my website(by the way, I've been working on a new website, it's been months since last December, again I was busy so it won't be ready until a bit later...), you know a little about my background. But let me elaborate more here.

Being an only child in the family, my mom invested alot of money and time helping me to define my interest at a young age. She sent me to private art courses since I was little and I learnt oil painting, watercolor, pastels, charcoals, pencil sketching, sculpture, and Chinese brush painting. When I was in elementary school I won some drawing awards; and my high school student work was once displayed at the old de Young Museum and the Dublin Gallery. At that point, I thought I would become an artist for life. My high school art teacher encouraged me to move forward and challenged me with more competitions and I began taking some courses at Academy of Art and California College of Arts & Craft (today's CCA). But my Dad had a traditional thinking that it is difficult for full time artist to make a living, so he "redirected" me to the field of architecture. To be honest, it was not my first choice but I wanted to please my Dad and with a 3 year scholarship from the American Architectural Foundation, I went to Berkeley majoring in architecture.

When I was at Cal, I studied abroad to France. I stayed with a French family and studied architecture in Lyon for 6 months. Immediately after graduation, I worked at a prominent architectural firm in San Francisco, building hospitals. My first assignment was the replacement project of the Laguna Honda Hospital. Soon after I started this job, I knew it was not what I wanted to do for life. In 2003, I discovered another interest outside of architecture. My best friend asked me to do her wedding flowers and decor. It awakened my resting creative genes! I had so much fun and had decided to explore more about this new hobby. I began taking floral design classes at the City College of San Francisco and interned under other local floral designers. Meanwhile, more friends and family asked me to help out at weddings with floral decor. I started building a floral portfolio and by all means, it was much more interesting than my architectural portfolio!

Then I got married and had my first child in 2006. During my maternity leave, my boss urged me to get back to work, that's when I made a very important decision of my life - I quitted and decided to launch a floral design business of my own. It was not an easy decision but with all the encourgement from my husband and friends, assuring that I will do well in this field with my passion and sense for creative designs. And that was the official launching of Poppy's Petalworks. My husband picked this name for my business because Icelandtic poppy is my all time favorite blossom. I love its papery texture as well as its vibrant colors. Have you seen how an Icelandtic poppy bursts out of its shell within a short period of time? And just like the Forrest Gump chocolate theory, you never know what (Poppy color) you are going to get. That's what life and Poppy's Petalworks is about - come unexpected, filled with colorful surprises.

You think it wraps the story? Not yet. In 2008, I attended the American Institute of Floral Designers' (AIFD) national symposium in Chicago for the first time and it was truly an amazing experience. Came back fully inspired, I had a much clearer direction of what I want to become - a floral artist! I am a big adirmer of international floral masters such as Moniek Vanden Berghe, Geert Pattyn, Daniel Ost & Elly Lin. This may be the farthest dream, but they are my career goal. One day I want to have a floral gallery of my own with weekly exhibitions, host some workshops and teach some lectures.

With this well defined goal, I am working hard to follow my dream. This year, I will challenge myself to pursue the AIFD floral design accreditation in July. Meanwhile I am working on submission of my floral art work to an international floral art publication in September. I am also interested in participating at the inspiring Bouquets to Art again next year. Of course, I will continue to keep up with the latest American and international wedding trends as well as my floral design skills so I can provide my clients the best quality of service.

Personal life wise, I am a full time mom (well, when there are no weddings) so my 3 year old keeps me busy most of the time. He will be starting preschool this fall and we may move back to the city for convenience. Once my little one starts school, I will have more time in my hands and I will try to write more blog posts and share more exciting news with you all. For now, stay tune for our new website image which should launch soon. Hopefully. haha.

1 comment:

Aevan Arts said...

I'm glad you found your calling because your flower work is gorgeous! I know what you mean about going into a different field because you want to make your family happy - that's why I didn't study art during school, despite that having always been my dream. Keep us updated on the accreditation and I love seeing pics!