For a while now I have wanted to bring in some guest bloggers – designers, artists, artisans, crafters, and all-around creative people (whether their passion is a full-time job or a hobby) to write about what makes them tick. How did they get started? Was it a straight path to doing the work they do, or was it meandering and something that came along on the second round of careers (like mine)? Have they sacrificed to stay on the creative path, or did it come easy? I am especially interested in those who started out practicing one craft, kept exploring and wound up taking on a whole new medium or added new interest(s) to the roster of old ones.
I am elated to introduce my very first guest blogger today, the unbelievably talented Denise Fasanello, a Brooklyn-based floral designer. We hired Denise to create the flowers for our 2008 wedding and she truly brought an artist’s eye and perspective to floral designs, which really set the tone for the whole affair. Not surprisingly, it turned out she began her creative career as a fine artist. Her floral designs are full of graphic elements and some of the most interesting, complex combinations of plant life I have ever seen. I figured her fine art background must inform her floral work somehow, and I wanted to know how. I also wanted to know more about the path she took from fine artist to working at an architectural design firm and finally to taking on flowers full-time, since so many of us start out doing one thing, but later realize our passions lie elsewhere. It’s a tough decision to stop, re-evaluate, maybe go back to school, change your life and start over again, so I love hearing about successful people who made gutsy career changes.
In addition to running her highly sought after business and being a wife and a mom, Denise also writes her own wonderful blog, Little Pheasant, full of whimsical commentary, spot-on observations and amazing images of her work. Without further ado, Denise’s guest post. Thank you, Denise! xoxo
Floral design by Denise Fasanello
Guinnea Hen, collage by Denise Fasanello I found one at a little flower shop in the West Village. I had no experience working with flowers nor did I have a background in horticulture. But New York being New York I knew someone who got me the gig and I was a quick learn.
Web Bouquet, collage by Denise FasanelloAt the same time I was working part time for a famous female artist I greatly admired. Both jobs offered me more hours and I found myself at a real crossroads. At the time I was pretty keen on pursuing my fine art career so I chose to work as an artist assistant.
Years pass and I am working diligently on my artwork but in truth I am feeling fatigued by the art world. By now I’m also running the daily operations of a successful architecture/art studio.
Web Bird Green, collage on paper by Denise Fasanello
Bouquet by Denise FasanelloI slowly build a portfolio of images. I talk A LOT about it to anyone who will listen. I read how-to books on small businesses. I seek any and all stories of people, particularly woman who change careers. I even quit the firm to work for a fancy flower shop to gain experience. I get lured back to the firm. I make money and pay off all my debt. I continue to dream. I have a baby. I build a website. I design my business cards. I take the leap. That was 3 years ago and here I am. The hardest part of forging a new path is taking the first step. So true.
Bouquet by Denise FasanelloMore interestingly how has floral design influenced my art making? How beauty is represented, manipulated and defined has always been at the root of my artistic creation. But it was not until I started working with natural materials that I truly understood our obsession with beauty. I begin to manipulate flowers and photograph them.
Orchid Sleeve by Denise Fasanello
Thorned by Denise Fasanello
Bouquets by Denise Fasanello
Floral design by Denise Fasanello