One of the most common question I get from other designers is “why do I do so many shoots?”. My response typically comes from a place of anxiety over the amount of money I just spent and I say “I don’t know, I must be crazy”… In that moment with all my looming bills in the back of my mind, and the fact that getting ahead seems to come so slow, I forget all the positives. There are the extreme positives of all the networking a shoot inherently brings about. Or the fact that if the shoot is good enough, it will be published, and hopefully generate future work. But the thing I love most about creating shoots is how it is essentially creative play for me. I don’t have a client’s wishes to fulfill, I only have mine. And this can get addictive.
It reminds me of my favorite undergrad painting teacher, Franklin Williams, and how he would tell us to be true artists, we had to be obsessed with creating. That it had to feed our souls and be the main thing that brought us deep personal satisfaction (other than our loved ones). Now, he was talking about fine art. He wasn’t a lover of design, he thought it was for the weak minded who wanted an easy way out by making spoon fed visual connections for the viewer. And if he were to see what I were doing now, he’d probably be disappointed and call me a “weekend artist” or say I’ve gone to the other side. Oh well, I can live with that. And anyways, I wasn’t able to get my painting career off the ground and bring any money in, which did not make me feel like creating. I’ll always love Franklin, and have his wonderful and crazy a** lectures in the back of my head as I work. I also have the same passion for design that he has for painting. If I’m not creating something, I’m unhappy. And currently my medium is definitely easier for my viewer to appreciate. In a way it’s hugely cheating because I didn’t create what is the most beautiful part of my work, the flowers, the linens, the flatware, the crystal. I’m using them to fill that creative void by using bits and pieces to make what used to be my painting, but is now an event, a centerpiece, a tablescape.
Since I get such a high off of creating these shoots, I’ll keep doing them. Maybe just not as many, because hot damn, they are expensive, in money, and in time. I hope you enjoy this re-cap of my Art Nouveau shoot I created last spring for the Contax 645 Group, Sealed with a Kiss Events, Aerialist Press, Studio Cake, and Hartmann Studios. It was also featured on Style Me Pretty, which is icing on the cake. Check the bottom for the vendor list and links along with a DIY post on how to create my Longiflorum lily chair back. Happy New Year!!
DIY Lily Chair Back – Louis Ghost Chair
Two Louis Ghost Chairs
Twenty Four Easter Lily Heads (silk flowers recommended)
Take one lily and put a small dab of hot glue on the end that would connect to the stem. Attach it to the inside upper edge of the chair back. Then put a small dab of glue on the petal that lines up to the inside edge.
Take your next lily and again start with the glue on the end that would connect to the stem. Place that underneath the petal of the lily above and connect it to the chair. Then put a small dab of glue on the petal that lines up to the inside edge.
Continue this process until the lilies meet up with each other back at the top. When the event is over, just pull of the flowers and peel the glue off the chair. There should be no marks left on the ghost chair.
Shoot Concept + Styling + Floral Design: Oak & the Owl
Wardrobe Styling + Coordination: Sealed with a Kiss Events
Stationery: Aerialist Press
Calligraphy: Michele Papineau
Tabletop Rentals + Chairs: Hartmann Studios
Cake: Studio Cake
Dress: Model’s Own
Hair Accessories + Belts: Amanda Judge
Earrings: Waffles and Honey
Hair + Makeup: Kristen and Gigi