One of my favourite things when running floristry workshops, was proving people wrong.
Everytime I ran a workshop, without fail, at least one person would tell me that they weren’t creative at all, so they didn’t expect much from their creations. Every time.
Yet, at some point, for every workshop, magic would occur. By the end, that same person would always leave having created something beautiful, and with a big smile on their face.
This was one of my favourite things about running workshops : helping others discover different forms of creativity, and awakening their own creativity.
What is Creativity?
The Oxford Languages dictionary describes Creativity as :
the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
As demonstrated in my workshops, some people consider themselves non creative, often comparing themselves to someone they know, who they consider to be incredibly creative in everything they do.
But is creativity something we are born with? A skill we either have, or don’t have? Or can we become creative at any point in our lives?
I believe that we are all creative, having witnessed this in my floristry workshops. Admittedly, there appears to be different levels of creativity, allowing it to flow differently for each one of us.
I wonder if perhaps, we place too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to being creative. We see someone we know creating something incredibly beautiful, and as a result, we can feel intimidated.
We therefore convince ourselves that we could never achieve such creative beauty like our friend, simply because we are not as creative as they are, perhaps even not creative at all. We often see them as having something we don’t.
Does this sound familiar? I definitely felt like that when training to be a florist…
Creativity and Me
When attending my floristry course, I remember feeling very frustrated when trying to get the hang of tying a bouquet.
I had absolutely no experience in floristry. I can still recall looking around me, and seeing the beautiful bouquets my fellow students were creating. I got so frustrated, I once cried in class. I remember feeling very silly crying over flowers when it was meant to be fun and creating something beautiful.
I was putting so much pressure on myself to get it right straight away.
Amongst the initial frustration, I loved loved many things about my floristry course. What I loved the most, was the fact that we were all encouraged to find our own style, to explore our own creativity. We all had access to the same flowers, and we were all shown the same technique for each one of the various arrangements. Following that, we were free to choose which specific flowers we wanted, and create our individual arrangements.
As the course progressed over the weeks, we were able to recognise each other’s floristry style, each one unique and beautiful. Not one arrangement was the same. The choice of colour, the texture we applied… so many ways to make them truly reflect ourselves. And all that whilst having access to the exact same materials.
Many of my fellow students worked with subtle, faded colours, giving their floral arrangements a beautiful vintage feel. When it came to creating our vision boards, they all seemed to know exactly how they wanted their business to look and what colours would represent it best.
Once again, I remember feeling incredibly stuck… I had no idea.
I had not long left my legal career as a lawyer, and had never worked in a creative role. Everything about setting up a new business as a self employed florist was new to me, including remembering the names of flowers instead of just picking “the pretty ones” (ok, I never fully remembered all of the flower names, I mainly picked them because they were pretty!).
On the day we created our vision boards, I ended up getting food poisonning from a crayfish sandwich from the local Prêt-a-Manger (can’t tell you what day it is today but I clearly remember those details), so I ended up going home early without finishing my vision board, feeling sad and frustrated.
On the way home, I looked at the shoes I had bought for Siena earlier that day : hot pink, yellow and orange Converse trainers, and there I had it! I LOVE bright colours, bright, warm colours that pop. The answer had been in my bag since lunchtime!
From there on, it all came to me very quickly, and I still have the vision board I created the following day.
As you can see from my floristry Instagram account, I fully embraced bright, jewel colours for my arrangements.
They weren’t to everyone’s taste, but they made me so incredibly happy and I became known for loving jewel tones and got many word of mouth referrals for weddings, funerals, workshops and photoshoots.
As for my business name, after agonising over it for ages, I decided to stick with what I had always loved : green. And so Emerald and Jade Flowers was born!
Although I haven’t worked as a florist for quite some time now, I still love looking at my Instagram account. The bright, colourful bouquets and arrangements I created still fill me with joy after all these years.
Mais revenons à nos moutons…
Why is Creativity Important?
I believe creativity to be important skill to keep on exploring and building, for many reasons.
Creativity can be a fun way to explore something new and step away from day to day life. From attending a fun workshop with friends, to getting lost into painting for a few hours, it’s a great way to relax and focus on something, a great mindfulness tool and the best excuse to step away from mundane daily tasks. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression at times, creativity also helps me focus on something beautiful, whether it’s simply spending a few minutes making a beaded ring, or several hours in the garden.
Doing something creative can also engage your brain differently. Back in Bristol, my workshop was located at the amazing Ashwell & Co headquarters, and owner Kate would sometimes help me condition flowers. Whilst doing so, we would have the best business conversations, solving all sorts of problems, all while keeping our hands busy. There was a magic to it!
Creativity is also a great business tool. Of course, you can be creative by making something physical such as a painting, writing a book, or a bouquet. But you can also use creativity to be more inventive with your business and have more fun with it. This is the side I enjoyed most when running my own businesses.
All in all, I believe we all have creativity in us. We just need to nurture it and water it, so it can be allowed to blossom and bloom.
Do you consider yourself a creative person?
What your favourite ways to be creative?
What do you love most about doing a creative activity?
I’d love to hear from you either by email or in the comments below.