Last weekend, I took another class. This one was for pure fun: floral arranging. This is something I’ve always been terrible at (3D art in general always challenges me), but somehow taking a class makes it seem manageable. While I’m still not good, I definitely learned some tricks. In addition to that, I loved the overlap of principles with graphic design.
Things we discussed included:
– Containers: This should be the starting point. Ask yourself if you want a tall or short container? Will the arrangement be tall? Go for a tall container. Do you need it to be unlikely to tip? Go for a short container. Always make sure it’s water tight prior to using it. If your container has a lot of personality, don’t over power it with the flowers. Scaled them back a little to flaunt the container.
– Mixing dried and fresh materials: I can’t say I really ever thought about mixing the two, but now I see how a dried plant can provide a backdrop for fresh flowers or be used as something more. We used these huge seed pods that I love. I could look at them and touch them over and over again. They’re even fun to shake because the seeds roll around inside them. And, the beauty this arrangement is that most of it is dried. With minimal effort, I could update it with a few fresh flowers and keep it going for a long time.
– Principles of design: I’m not surprised by the fact that the same principles of graphic design apply to floral design. It’s fun to think of them in a different application. We talked about having a focal point in the arrangement. One of my pet peeves in graphic design is the overuse of symmetry (I used to tell my students that it often told me they had no idea what to do with the content if they simply centered everything.). We talked about the use of asymmetry to create some visual movement. Of course, then we had to touch on balance and the use of open space (or white space in graphic design).
I definitely need more practice. I think I’ll watch for some future courses in this. It’s kind of nice to just walk into a room and use materials that someone else has prepped for you. No hassel of shopping or deciding what to get. Nothing to store or find a use for afterward. And a good challenge of using what is available.
As I’ve said before, I have done some research into improving one’s creativity or getting out of a rut, and taking a class like this definitely falls in line with some of the tips I read. It challenges you to use those skills and knowledge you already have but in a new way.
My designer takeaway: Find a fun new challenge. It just might provide some inspiration for your work.