Sometimes people get really hung up about “the rules.”
I get this in just about every class that we present…. A student will ask me about “the rules.”
“Dr. Steve… Is it true that you get a better looking floral design with seven flowers in it?” “Aren’t you supposed to mix…. this flower with that flower?” … And on it goes.
Actually the original concept of rules was not a bad thing… The idea was to provide some kind of help…… some suggestions to make it easier for folks who would like to design with flowers, but were not sure how to do it. Think of it as a paint by number approach to floral art…..
I have a lovely vase with a silver grid that fits the top. To design in it, all you have to do is place flowers into the spaces provided. It makes creating certain kinds of designs easy. And what is wrong with that? I am all in favor of anything that makes peoples lives easier when it comes to creating floral designs…….
In my opinion, the so-called “rules” are quite similar to the grid on the vase. They are helpful suggestions…..
The problem arises when people view these floral art suggestions as absolutes….Then they agonize about every placement of a flower. They are afraid that if they “break the rules” they will be making mistakes….mistakes that could end civilization as we know it!! (Doesn’t that sound dramatic?)
I find that very sad, for it defeats the very purpose that these so called “rules” were suggested….to make life easier……..
Perhaps we should think of these “rules” as guidelines. A guideline is just that……Something that may help guide you as you find your own way. But something fluid. Something to acknowledge, but not something to obsess about. It may even be ignored. A rule on the other hand, implies something that is very definite and that is engraved in stone. I don’t know about you but when I think about rules I think of Moses coming down from Mt Sinai, with the tablets of the Ten Commandments in his hands….. Those are rules!
Certainly there are various techniques in floral art that if followed will help you achieve your vision (or that of your customer) with greater ease. I don’t view them as rules though….I view them as means to an end. They may be followed, if they are useful. They may not.
Perhaps it would be better if we made a rule to eliminate the term “rules” when talking about floral designing. “Rules” suggests a fossilization of floral designing as an art form. Rather we should encourage the use of guidelines and techniques that are fluid, pragmatic and far more malleable.