Friday, March 14, 2008

Hands-on Help with Hitomi

Here at Modern Day Floral we are always looking for ways to seek excellence and stay at the cutting edge of floral design. On Monday, March 3 Emily, Karen and I had the wonderful opportunity to take a hands-on workshop with world renown floral designer and artist Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, at the Michigan Floral Association show "NeoFlora: Looking at the future of design." We had so much fun picking up tips and experiencing the floral genius of Hitomi.

Hitomi, who is stationed in Vancouver, is known worldwide for her intuitive approach, creative use of natural materials and designs that are truly floral masterpieces. She has received the AIFD "Design Influence" Award--one of only five recipients who have been honored for the enormous impact of their designs. And her designs impacted us too! Karen really enjoyed learning to work with wire more to make an armature--the support structure for the floral design.

For someone who has been in the industry for so long, I was blown away by how generously and gently she shared her wealth of knowledge. She was a fabulously encouraging teacher and very down to earth. We are talking about the Celine Dion of flowers here, and she was all about motivating each designer to focus on and excel in her particular talent. It was a great day, and we hope the hard work and Hitomi inspiration shows in our designs!

Hitomi's fifth book, Creative Edge: A Floral Retrospective was just released in Dec. 2008 and features gorgeous designs using exotic leaves, flowers, branches, berries and more. Check it out, and her website.