I know. Super corny title. But it's exactly what set me on the "If I'm gonna do this, I damn-well better do it well" journey.
Ok, so it was my first big paying job. The wedding was in 3 months, and the engagement party was that night. The truck was loaded, I was right on schedule and my stomach was about to explode from the butterflies. I did it! And, the arrangements looked gorgeous!
"Wait, you hate the flowers? You HATE them?"
Lesson learned: People speak different languages, even when they are speaking the same language. Pull out your portfolio. I know. I know. They called you. They told you they looked through your web site and loved your work. Pull it out anyway. When they request "garden-inspired, loose and wild" be sure you have the same idea of what that looks like.
They hated the flowers, and my services were no longer required for the wedding. Shame. That was my knee-jerk reaction. Maybe because I was so new at this? Regardless, that was how it felt.
Response A: Wonder what the hell is wrong with my eyes? How could I possibly have thought those arrangements were beautiful? And by the way, who am I to think I could re-invent my life and start a career after having been at home with my kids for all of those years?
Response B: Proceed through Response A and then get off my ass and go see the flower doctors. (The flower doctors are the people I saw as being the experts.) Since I didn't trust my eye for beauty anymore, I figured I'd better go and learn from someone I admired and trusted. I needed to see my work through their eyes and allow them to show me what was beautiful. (Plus, it was time to quiet those negative voices in my heart and stop feeling sorry for myself.)
For me the Flower Doctors were Ariella Chezar, Sarah Rhyanen and Nicolette Owen. Your Flower Doctors may be different. So many amazing American designers have emerged as being willing to share their design secrets and knowledge. Kate Holt, Sarah Winward, Erin Benzakein, Amy Merrick, Amy Osaba, Jennie Love, and Françoise Weeks are some of the big dogs. And, there are so many more! Just a quick Google search for floral design classes turns up pages of options.
Do it. Go see your Flower Doctor. Learn. Build your confidence. Quiet those voices and lose the fear. It allowed me to develop my own voice, my own design style and gave me the confidence to build my business. Who cares if you get fired or screw up or make a mistake. We all do. All of us. Get over yourself and don't allow someone to extinguish the excitement you feel for this art. Because that's exactly what it is. Art, with so many different styles and techniques. There is no accounting for taste, but when you start with beautiful flowers, and lots of them, how could it not end up being beautiful?