from anthropology to flowers

from anthropology to flowers

Pursuing a creative career has been an unexpected and rewarding twist of events for me. Art was always something that I aspired to do. It was an extracurricular class. A special hobby at home. A foggy distant dream. In 2009 art started to come into focus for me.

Three years after earning a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology, I had gotten further away from an academic career and closer to grasping my slippery concept of “art”.

Setting up for a wedding

setting up for a wedding


I hadn’t gotten any further from what originally drew me to anthropology as a discipline though. I love to understand people by studying their rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage, local practices, agricultural growing & harvesting practices & the way culture is expressed through art.I especially liked the ongoing discussion at the heart of anthropology: what are our rights & responsibilities as humans on this planet? Is what is appropriate for me appropriate for somebody else living in a context which is different from mine? Since my days of anthropology classes, delightfully, I’ve seen a collective evolution in people’s general awareness of our ways of being and doing on this planet.

We’re living in a time and a place where it’s easier (and sometimes trendier) than ever ‘being green’.  I’m perfectly postured to help lead the demand for flowers in a direction that is more natural and thoughtful than the current industry standards.  In the middle of a ‘go-green’ movement, terms like ‘green’ and ‘organic’ can take on ambiguous & even misleading meanings, and become gimmicky marketing tools. A call for more conscious flower growing and arranging practices might seem unnecessary for an industry that is inherently natural & positive, but many people don’t realize how much waste goes into the floral industry. I know I didn’t think about how my flowers were grown, where they came shipped from, what they come packed in, or what design elements were used (for instance, made in china glass vases) until I gained a look inside the business.

Now, after taking floristry classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College, gaining 2 years experience in a premier Sonoma county retail flower design shop, & completing instruction through the San Francisco school of flower design school, I see ways to evolve the industry. Floral artistry is an opportunity to localize flower arranging, making it individually specific and setting appropriate. As a Sonoma county native & (once again) local, I have access to many local growers of flowers & food as well as hundreds of thrift & antique shops to mine for recyclable treasures and all the bounding beauty & nature one could ever need to draw inspiration from.

I’m grateful for every opportunity that I get to express my own and other people’s creativity. I’m finally forging a path to bring creativity to the forefront of my life instead of the periphery, while rooting it in responsible practices that I believe in, and all the while sharing in culturally significant activities with people in my community.

Thank you Santa Rosa for your support & inspiration!

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