To bring together my research areas from this summer, I would use the word Styling, with examples from an event using props to a photo shoot using food. I have found that floral displays are often used in corporate event styling, interior design set-ups or as a feature of a food and lifestyle photo shoot. They can be used to bring life to a scene, brighten up an image or perhaps fill a space. I had previously looked into flowers along with other items from nature in my last project and I enjoyed the discovery side of it however when it came to successfully manipulating nature, I struggled. Because of these two reasons I managed to gain some work experience with a local Florist, Carol Diez.
Over my five days working alongside Carol I learnt both physical and conceptual lessons including the following:
- Keeping flowers fresh
- Strengthening flowers with wire
- Adding wire to manipulate flora
- Creating button holes
- Plaiting leaves
- The variation of techniques available
- How to channel enthusiasm
- The importance of well-stocked supplies
While I was at the Garden Centre I also offered my services where I could, working on new stock displays and photographing these for advertising purposes. I enjoyed being able to help out in this way and put my skills to good use, in an environment where they were needed.
I loved working with the flowers and plants available to me in the florist. I’m enthusiastic about nature but being able to be surrounded by all it day whilst learning how to make the most of it filled me with a sense of fulfillment. My knowledge of plants is still very limited but it’s something I have been slowly building up. As I said above, I have learnt the importance of well-stocked supplies. In the florist everything that we needed was right there, and it allowed us to be a lot more creative and effective in our work. Obviously it is expensive buying all of these supplies, especially when you are learning and may make mistakes often. However, I felt having materials such as wire, tape, fresh flowers, bead, etc. available to me meant that I was more likely to use them and come up with more exciting creations. This is something I will bring to my third year. Whatever area I end up specializing in, I will ensure I have the appropriate supplies stocked up and at hand (as far as my budget will allow).
Another major lesson I took away from this experience was the power of enthusiasm. If you really love something you will naturally want to explore in more depth and continually experiment. As you go along this process you will learn more specific skills that will increase your enthusiasm as you knowledge improves. I think this may be where I struggle. I need to ask myself: What am I passionate about? I usually find myself interested in so many different areas that I brush the surface of lots of things but I never delve deep enough to gain true insight or skills (as I have ended up doing with my summer project actually). If I were to sum up right now what I am interested in, as hobbies, I would say family, cooking, health and photography. How can I explore this more? How can I research this and use this in my work? This may be my next step, or at least something to keep in the front of my mind as I progress into the next year.