My third AIFD Symposium designer interview is with Tomas De Bruyne! I’m sure many of you know of Tomas and are a fan of his work, so I’m pretty excited about this interview. I’m a big fan of Hitomi and I’ve become familiar with Tomas’ name from her. And if you are hearing of him for the first time, well, I’d like to introduce you to Tomas De Bruyne, a Belgian floral designer and member of the company LIFE3 – enjoy the interview!
When did you realize this was the career for you?
When I worked with the flowers for the first time, I could express my creativity through flowers, they became my medium to communicate nature.
How many symposiums have you attended? If you have attended multiple, why do you keep coming back?
This is my 3th Symposium. The first I did a presentation with my two colleagues – Per Benjamin and Max van de Sluis – from my company LIFE3 (www.life3..net) followed with a hands-on in Palm Springs. This was my first experience and contact with this organization. The bundled creativity and passion I could feel on this symposium was new to me. A place were colleagues and friends gathered with the same purpose: enjoy flowers. The second was in Kansas City were I did a short presentation and again a hands-on. This time I return to give again a presentation called ‘The Seduction of Passion’ followed by giving a workshop on the last day.
Please describe your symposium program and what the audience can expect to gain from attending:
SEDUCTION OF PASSION
‘Seduced by the passion for flowers, its powerful language and magic…. ‘
The intent is to share some of the secrets which drive my passion. Through intriguing combination of rich colors, textures, forms and other attributes, the potential of communicating eloquently and poignantly with flowers will be revealed. Being passionate about creating and introducing new, inventive designs can be a useful marketing tool to position yourself as a leader in the marketplace.
See my program in attachment:
How would you describe your design style?
Through the many years I have worked with flowers and natural materials, I have developed and grown into a different person. Flowers do that with people: they throw you back upon yourself and upon what really matters.
Nature is the most sincere form of life, showing sheer beauty in all its simplicity and honesty. It is unavoidable when working so intensely and closely with nature not to be swept off your feet and loose yourself in the intricate pattern of what real beauty can accomplish.
Unintentionally, your perspective of life3 changes and adapts itself towards more in-depth feelings and emotions.
The thin layer of lacquer that normally covers our lives and our society slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of what nature has to offer.
There is a steady tendency from all of us to want to go back to a closer proximity to things that are real. Never before has there been more interest in alternative medicine, in alternative forms of belief, in back-to-nature holidays, where you can feel one with nature and the universe and draw upon this strength.
Travelling to other continents, experiencing and learning from other people’s ancient cultures and histories has brought the understanding of my own tiny existence on this fantastic planet.
As a floral designer, I feel privileged to be able to spend a large amount of my time working with nature and let myself be inspired by it.
My urge for creating cannot be quenched, and will remain as long as I feel I am able to touch people in their hearts and souls by the creations I am making.
What or who inspires you?
Many mediums. Each medium has its strength to inspire me. Going from Sculpturing, architects, painters, music, colleagues, but most of all nature. It is more what your are open for it at a certain moment, you are not searching, are only open to receive what moves you in a certain way.
What floral tool can you not live without?
my sharp knife
If had to pick just one (I know it is nearly impossible) what would be your favorite flower and why?
This is indeed impossible, because we are living creatures with a changing mood, changing emotions, etc. besides the personal approach we have as well the different seasons. As a designer, you develop your own style and this is always an evolution, never stops what counts as well for your personal taste and interests.
Tell us a short floral story. Have you ever had a strange floral request? Created something wonderful out of a sticky situation? Have you ever felt like MacGyver and used your mad floral skills in a non-floral situation?
I guess in the floral business we all had those situations. Once I had a big interior decoration in a classified building. I and my team were waiting from 10 AM to hang up a flower chandelier with a diameter of 3 meters on the Art-Nouveau ceiling of the Solvay Library in Brussels. The permission to hang it was promised and would be delivered by the government.
We wait and wait and the stress started at 3PM because we still did not have the permission to hang it and had to finish the job at 5PM. After some calls finally we could start to make up the chandelier and I did this job in 1 hour and all my assistants were handing me the flowers. I never made an arrangement that quick. When the first guest entered, we were just finished and closed the backdoor.
What is your favorite color combination right now?
Emerald green together with blue tints and shades with a touch of pastels.
What trends do you see emerging within our industry?
1. Vintage is certainly ‘in’. We can see 3 different vintage styles: POP, ROMANTIC (Victorian), and FARM.
2. Green and blue-ish combinations are the modern trends.
3. ‘respect for Mother Nature’
4. The will ‘to focus’ ourselves on quality time, friends, family
5. Craftsmanship becomes so important – what is good for our floral ‘meter’
6. From global we go back to local (knowing where the product, food is coming from)
What is your best piece of advice for new comers into the floral industry?
To realize nowaday’s we do not only sell flowers anymore, we sell emotions, we sell a craftsmanship by translating the wishes of the customer through our works.
A combination of a skilled florist with marketing and managing knowledge is needed.