Pinterest: Death of the Designer

I wear a lot of hats. My creativity compels me to always be learning and figuring things out so when someone asks me, “will you,” and I say, “yes.” Even if I don’t exactly know how. It’s a challenge. I’ve gotta figure it out.

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Flower arranging happens to be one of those ‘things’. Somebody said, “will you,” and I said, “yes.” And I’ve said yes now over 20 times, including my own wedding. I absolutely love arranging flowers. I’ve always loved the outdoors but I have been obsessed with flowers ever since I studied Georgia O’Keeffe in high school. I am inexplicably drawn to the organic beauty, color and uniqueness of each bloom.

I buy books on them.

I cut them out of magazines.

I paint them.

I dry them.

I plant them.

I arrange them.

Even as a child, I would grow them for the school flower show.

I’m telling you, flowers and I, we are meant for each other.

But here’s the kicker. Arranging flowers is not like painting. I paint whatever I want to and keep showing it til someone decides to buy it. But I can’t arrange flowers whenever I want to and hope someone will buy it because they are temporal. And that’s something that I love about fresh cut flowers. Their beauty is brief, like a mist, a reminder of our own life and mortality.

So in order to feed my obsession, I am forced into a client-designer relationship with brides. A wedding is the perfect time to express all that pent up flower creativity. Except for the bride and that damn Pinterest. Pinterest kills of my creativity.

Believe it or not, I actually started arranging flowers BEFORE Pinterest. I know, crazy right? I didn’t have pictures upon pictures UPON PICTURES to tell me how to do it. I figured it out on my own. Turns out I’m pretty good at it. I’ve done it for over 20 weddings and had professional florists compliment me. But now Pinterest makes EVERYONE think they can DIY their way to a perfect wedding. I end up being told exactly what to buy and how to arrange it because every bride now has a hundred pictures of bouquets that she is in love with and wants it to look like. And my opportunity for creativity is lost.

This isn’t just happening with flowers and weddings. It is happening with all forms of creativity, every possible opportunity for the designer to express oneself. Anything and everything is now at the fingertips of anyone and everyone via the internet. So when a client approaches a designer about designing something, they already have a million ideas in their head with no room left for the creative to be creative. It leaves the designer as nothing more than a puppet in the client’s hands. Then what is the point of being creative??

I don’t design things for people because I think they have great ideas and they just need me to actually make it. No creative person does. We design things because we think we have something to offer besides our mere technical skills– our creativity. We all live for those moments when the client says, “I love your idea,” or, “you communicated that a lot better than I ever could.” So give us the chance. Here’s a tip: the next time you are paying someone to design something for you, whether it be a logo, a website, your house, or a bouquet, don’t look on Pinterest before you hear and see what the designer has to offer. You might just be surprised. And your designer will be very grateful.

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