Hello hello! I apologize for not posting for so long. Many brides asked for my updates and wanted to see more recent wedding images.
This summer has been a very exciting time for me. Other than all the beautiful summer weddings, I attended the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) national symposium in Kansas City in July, again got myself soaked in all the inspirational educational programs, and met new flower friends from all over the world. AIFD is "the floral industry's leading non-profit organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest standard of professional floral design." It is a place where a group of floral professionals gather in the effort of "advancement of the the professional floral design through education and leadership." There were many talented floral artists, all best of the best international designers from the floral industry.
Another special thing I did during my visit to Kansas City was that I took the AIFD Accreditation Evaluation Session (AES) hoping to become an accredited AIFD member. So I had been practicing the entire June (yes, on top of my busy weekly wedding schedule!) because I knew AIFD has very high standards. There were two parts of the evaluation process. We first had to pass a written exam, then a floral design exam which was 4 hours long. Within those 4 hours, each candidate got the exact same amount of flowers and materials to create 5 designs in different categories - sympathy design, wedding, arrangement, flowers to wear and designer's choice. We didn't know what exactly we would be asked to make for each category until 2 hours before the actual exam during orientation. For this year's AES, we needed to make a casket spray for sympathy design, a bride's bouquet for wedding, an art gallery opening design for arrangement, a groom's boutonniere for flowers to wear and we could do anything for designer's choice. On average, we had approximately 48 minutes per design. It was not as easy as it sounds because a candidate needs to obtain at least 20 out of 25 points in order to be approved for the AIFD accreditation, with no single category below 3.75 points. The highest score for each category is 5 points, the lowest score is 1 point. There were 7 judges from different parts of the country so each judge may have a different eye for good designs. And they were certainly not looking for anything ordinary or sellable, but designs that demonstrated solid design principles and extraordinary creativity. To be honest, I've been stressed out all summer - before the exam, practicing every week and studying all the design principles based on which the judges would evaluate; and after the exam, awaiting the results, wondering how I did.
It was truthfully a great relief last Saturday when I received the evaluation results. I am thrilled that I am approved for the AIFD accreditation, and I also obtained my Certified Floral Designer certificate!
I shared my thoughts with some of you during this process but did not write about this in the blog because I wasn't sure how things would turn out. I sincerely thank my family, friends and clients for all the kind encouragement and affirmation. Your support gave me much courage to carry on pursuing my goal and dream to become a floral artist. Thank you very much!
Here's my table.
My Art Gallery Opening Arrangement on the left - horsetail bamboo "cage' with flowers interlocking. My intension was to create a constrained form for an abstract splash of colorful flowers, just like paints on a canvas. My bridal "bouquet"which is a floral purse on the right.My Designer's Choice design which is a floral hair piece on the left & my boutonniere design on the right. Me wearing the Designer's Choice floral hair piece & the sympathy casket spray (an inspiration from Yin-Yang opposites).
Note: Starting 2010, AIFD is transitioning its accreditation process to PFDE (Professional Floral Design Evaluation) which is similar to AES. If you are a floral designer and wish to obtain your accreditation or to become a certified floral designer, please visit AIFD's website for more details.