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  • thewestendfs

The ever changing journey of floristry

Updated: Jan 24

Here's an opinion that might seem slightly controversial to some:

I would venture to say that there is not a single florist on the face of the earth that knows absolutely everything about floristry. I include myself in this of course.

There, it's been said, I mean it and am not sorry for saying it.

It's not really as controversial as it first sounds though, and here's why:

Floristry is an ever changing journey, and can be a life of learning if you are open to it and in my own humble opinion that is a hugely positive thing.

Let's break this down.

The techniques you understand and use will depend on a few factors including who you've learned floristry from and where. Although there are tried and tested methods that can be surprisingly consistent around the globe there are also many adaptations developed by individuals over time; these may have emerged to make the work more efficient, faster to produce, more aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound or any other factor you can think of. You might consider this the evolution of floristry as an industry.

Another factor that promotes regular change and learning is that different aesthetics/styles/looks will come in and out of fashion - this is a given in any creative industry that works in a visual medium. While this might sound like a lot and could potentially cause feelings of being overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up, it's not as difficult as it might sound.

Learning the commonly used techniques gives us the power to invent.

Changing styles can provide inspiration for development.

How do we sort this out in real terms?

It's about taking in the information you have available to you from the very beginning, recognising there is always something to learn and remaining open to embracing new knowledge as it comes to you. Having enthusiasm for your subject makes this easier to digest and learning the basics thoroughly from the start of your journey will empower you to develop your skills to suit your own needs.

Remember that fashion tends toward being cyclical. Trends reappear, often with adaptations made to form new iterations of the same. At this point in time it is rare that a truly unique idea emerges - this is not a bad thing, it simply means that as we are inspired by things we have seen before and those that we have loved the most tend to inform our work.

An effective way to stay on top of trends is to look beyond your own piece of the world.

Understanding how flower arranging styles have developed through history is a great help, as is checking out what's happening in cities and countries that are the style leaders of the world. It's easier than ever to stay connected and informed through social sharing, an excellent tool for staying on top of your game.

Sustainable floristry is a great example of the adaptation of the floral industry. As recently as 10 years ago, very little thought was given to the environmental impact of floristry. But now, in response to awareness of environmental issues, it is a much more prevalent consideration, an opportunity even, for growth and skill development. On a personal level I have found that my own skills are far stronger and my style is freshly evolving since removing the option of using floral foam in my work. It's challenging for sure to re-learn the way you've always done things but the rewards in that can be surprisingly and deeply satisfying.

Having said all of that, the choice is always yours depending on how you'd like your flower journey to play out. The key (I think) is staying open, curious and receptive to the opportunities that life can bring. Enjoy your journey future florists & flower lovers alike.

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