Monday, June 3, 2013

Designer's Quest

It’s been radio silence on the blog for exactly 6 months now. Six long, long months.  I often start my entries, when they are few and far between, with an apology for not having written sooner or more often. But today, instead of an apology, I’ll go with an explanation.

These past six months have been a time of development and re-imagination at LLE. Much of this has been living inside my head and finally some of it is just starting to appear in the light of day, so I’d like to start to share more of it in this forum.

I love the work that I do every day and I am proud of it. I am also remarkably gratified when clients tell me how much they love the work my team and I have done for them or when Googlers from around the world email me to compliment a photo they found online that linked back to this blog, Pinterest or Facebook.  And, there is no greater compliment than when a fellow designer contacts me to ask how I created something or where I sourced something. It makes me feel like I am contributing something not just to an individual client but to the bigger picture of events.  So, if things are going so well, why not keep on keepin’ on and stay on course?

Well, here’s what you may not know…. When you see a beautiful centerpiece or escort table from a wedding or a party, it was likely something I thought of up to two years before the photo appeared. Two years! Now, we rarely work with clients for two years on their events, however my job as a designer is to log snippets of ideas in my mind until the right moment, client, venue, etc. comes to unlock the idea and fill in the details.  I’ll admit that sometimes I have a pretty great, fully detailed idea or vision on the fly, but mostly it is like Legos, slowly stacking in my brain until the full tower is ready for play.  Why this matters – and there’s no way to sugar coat this – is that often when something looks new and exciting to you, I’m already over it.

So, I’ve been on a quest for the last six months for what feels truly new to me, and I suspect this is just the beginning. I’m not looking for one big idea or one “a ha” of inspiration. Instead, I am looking for new ways to think, new ways to regenerate my own creativity.  Therefore, instead of reporting to you on this blog about what I’ve already done, I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do next.  I wish I could do both at the same time, but, well, you know…

My journey has taken me to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where I started my formal education in interior design, a subject I’ve been passionate about for many years. It has also taken me to FINALLY start to learn how to use the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) on my own so that I can better communicate with my graphic artists and printers and so that I can spend less time telling them what is in my head and more time showing them.  I’ve been to more art exhibitions in these past 6 months than I’ve been to in the last 3 years combined (I know… bad New Yorker!!) to re-ignite how I learned to think about art when I studied it in college. I have also been revisiting my creative writing projects that have sat dormant for the last three “boom” years at LLE. 

Finally, and most externally relevant, I am putting my quest for new ideas and inspiration in the hands of new clientele. Beyond all art, fashion, architecture and the like, I am most often and most profoundly inspired by my clients – what they love, what inspires them, what their stories are that led them to me.  So it was finally time to move from a “less is more” mentality to a “more is more” frame of mind. For years, we have offered our design and production services almost exclusively to our clients for whom we were producing an entire event, but now we are armed and ready to expand our reach and offer both full service eventdesign and a la carte floral design to anyone who loves the LLE style, regardless of whether or not we are involved in the planning of their special day. This opens me up to collaborations not only with new clients but event planners, venues and other event pros in New York and well beyond.

I’m excited about where I am and where I’m going. And I promise to try and keep you looped in on my journey along the way!


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