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Trying something new with flowers: Arranging instead of Painting

There’s something magical about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. It activates a different part of your brain and brings a childlike joy and wonder into your life.

That’s exactly how I felt during a recent 2.5-hour floral arranging workshop with McQueen’s Floral School in Seoul, Korea. While I adore flowers and love painting them, arranging them creatively in a vase was a completely different ball game!

What Did I Learn?

My key takeaway: There are many parallels between flower arrangement and painting design, but the execution is tough!

The class focused on creating an asymmetrical, forward-facing bouquet in a short vase. We started with some theory on creating these sorts of arrangements, focusing on the design elements that make McQueen’s bouquets so elegant. From the lines and shapes through the arrangement to the balance of textures and creating a focal point, there were many parallels to thinking about painting composition.

My visual notes from the theory section

I was particularly interested in discussing the sustainability of materials, especially floral foam vs. chicken wire and tape (we used the latter in our arrangements). We also talked about all the different flowers, leaves, and stems we’d be using in our class that day.

As I built out my bouquet, stem by stem, cutting, inserting, rearranging, and adding, I found myself lost in the process. It felt like creating a painting, where something coherent slowly but surely comes together. There are ugly phases, phases where you want to scrap the entire thing and start again, but you keep going, adjusting, and adding until you end up with something that leaves you satisfied.

How Did My Flowers Turn Out?

Time evaporated, and before I knew it, the class was over. I had something I was proud of—not as good as the teacher’s or the more experienced participants’, but still something to be proud of.

My first floral arrangement

What do you think of my first attempt at floral arrangement?

Who Are McQueen’s?

McQueen’s Flowers is a high-end florist from London, now also in Seoul and New York (and rapidly expanding further internationally). They create incredible floral installations for upscale events and locations worldwide, in addition to their stunning bouquets for order. With world-class floral designers, their floristry schools in London and Seoul hold workshops and train professionals.

Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places

Stepping out of my comfort zone and diving into floral arrangement was a refreshing and inspiring experience. It reminded me that creativity can be sparked in the most unexpected places. Whether it’s through painting, arranging flowers, or trying something completely new, the key is to keep exploring and embracing the unknown. You never know where you might find your next burst of inspiration. I’d love your stories about trying something new and where that lead.

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