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Drawing Inspiration

Paul Jaras, AIFD, originally studied art and now proudly represents Canada in floral design competitions and stage shows

When athletes compete in the Olympics, they say there is no greater honor than representing their country. The same goes for Paul Jaras, AIFD, when he represents Canada in international competitions such as the FTD World Cup or June’s Gateway to the Americas Cup.

“It is a huge thrill to be given the opportunity to design alongside of so many floral artists that I admire and am inspired by,” Paul says. “Sometimes when I realize that I am among them, I am amazed at the possibilities that will be provided by working toward such a big goal, and the exponential growth that is sure to come in my own work. It’s exhilarating and overwhelming and sometimes even a bit scary, but I am so excited for the opportunity.”

“For me, designing for competition is quite different from dayto-day work in a shop and certainly it can be said that it is more in the realm of creating floral art than making floral arrangements,” continues Paul. “My business is now focused on floral design education, so I have currently taken a bit of a step away from retail floristry. I believe I am living my purpose by sharing what I have learned in my 30-year career as a floral designer, artist and teacher.”

Like many floral designers, Paul was initially attracted to a different field. A gifted artist, he originally thought he would become an architect or interior designer, and he set out on that path and took every kind of art class you can imagine. Looking back, that coursework helped to shape him as a floral designer and continues to this day.

“Fashion and the visual and performing arts are also a frequent source of inspiration and an impetus for my work,” he says. “As a life-long artist it’s really hard to pin down or generalize where inspiration comes from. I suppose because I am always looking and seeing and aware of the beauty around me, and the visual impressions they give, that inspiration truly does come from anywhere.”

Drawing on his experience as an artist, Paul’s creative approach is highly visual in that he often sketches his designs on paper before constructing them with flowers.

“Many people have seen my sketches and have told me that they speak to them and even inspire them,” Paul says. “I used to post pages from my sketchbook on social media — and have been reminded recently by friends to continue to do so. So often I may see something from social media that a floral artist has done, and I explore the possibilities by drawing what comes to me. I sketch silhouettes or the ‘structural basis’ for a design, usually without specific flowers and I may then execute the design at some later date. Often, I look at my previous sketchbooks... there are so many of them with many ideas to re-inspire me.”

The original article can be found at Floriology's Magazine.