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Blended Interview

emc alumni emc team floral design floral education Sep 27, 2020

EMC Team perspectives

Different approaches to creativity

EMC Coaches and Teachers contribute with their perspectives in a joint interview to share diverse, yet unified views on creativity, education and growth in floral design. We hope to fire up inspiration and have you consider EMC as a unique form of floral education that  focuses on your growth and you finding your signature style.

How did you grow through EMC/how did EMC help you grow?

I’ve learned so much since I started my EMC journey in fall 2017. The challenges and learning do not stop upon my graduation. Naturally, I take EMC as a continuum, lifelong learning experience just as I practice Ikebana artistry. With this mindset, I’ve discovered that there are endless new knowledge and skills to learn and share. The diversified EMC community allows me to meet peers from different countries and cultures. I’ve gained beautiful friendship along the way, and I’ve also become a better and confident floral designer! Sherene S Tan, AIFD, EMC


The growth for me has been tremendous, and it continues today. It reignited my thirst for knowledge, which continues to push me to grow as a designer. Keith Stanley, EMC

How did EMC influence your way of thinking in your design process?

EMC stressed the criticality of always starting with an inspiration, whether that be triggered by the needs of the client or by another emotional outcome the designer wants to project.  Also, it stressed the importance of identifying the outcome and using the elements and principles to analyse an arrangement, therefore ensuring the desired outcome was accomplished. Patti Bowman, EMC

What are the strenghts of the EMC experience?

The theoretical content is very good, very well organised and adapted to today's reality. I love that  about EMC, that it provides a unique way of thinking which is not utopic, but focused on the relationship to the medium, the clients, trends and pretty much anchors the theory into practice. The beauty of the process is that it is so well thought of that, in the end, what you et from the program is so much more than theory: you get to explore design by adding your uniqueness to it. It certainly built up my confidence and it made be become much more aware of why and how I do things, and these concepts creatively apply to other areas of life as well, like handling the a business of flowers to building my own signature style. It's an ongoing , amazing process, that is as infinite as your creativity is. Diana Toma, EMC

What makes EMC unique?

EMC is unique because it provides the basic and advanced tools to become a more energetic floral designer. All the tools provided are easy to follow step by step lessons; each step brings you to a higher level of knowledge and understanding process. Jorge Uribe, AIFD, EMC

EMC’s educational pathway is unique. The entire program is based upon preparing a student for success in the Advanced Course and ultimately graduation. Starting with the Foundation Program, EMC provides a strong platform for a student to learn the fundamental theories of European Design. The hands-on opportunities as part of the Foundation Program and Mentorship allows students to incorporate the concepts and provides a venue and the freedom to express personal creativity. The knowledge and technique-based curriculum prepares the student for success in the Advanced Course. Beyond graduation from the EMC program, EMC provides continuous learning and growth opportunity. Patti Bowman, EMC

Was learning theory important to you and how did it change or develop you as a designer?

Learning theory has made a tremendous difference in how I approach creating designs. Now I can look at the designs by world class designers and be able to understand how they created their work by analysing the design using the Elements and Principals of EMC. Keith Stanley, EMC

How did nomenclature help you in your design capabilities?

I am convinced of the vital importance of knowing the material that we work with. As floral designers we work with "living material", and because it is “living” it has a series of its own characteristics and special care. These give us the possibility to understand our flowers and to know in which contexts they behave better, so that we can adapt to each particular situation that we have to face. Francisca Paz Pérez Aguirre

What's your opinion about this phrase "Anyone can do it! It's just putting a bunch of flowers in a vase".

That is a phrase that drives me crazy! It's not just putting a bunch of flowers in a vase, is why are we creating something with those flowers, it's the emotion that we as designers can manifest with those flowers. Jorge Uribe, AIFD, EMC

True, anyone can put a bunch of flowers in a vase. I can cut your hair, but I don’t think you’d be happy with the result if I did. We go to professionals to get professional results or products. I’m reminded of the old adage “you get what you pay for”.What means ‘to adapt’ for you? Did education help? Keith Stanley, EMC

What means ‘to adapt’ for you? Did education help?

EMC’s focus on techniques and the principles and elements of design opened up my mind and expanded use and experimentation. I found a new use and purpose for components and created new techniques that contributed to a higher visual impact in my all of my floral designs. Patti Bowman, EMC

In the process of living this experience, it is vital to know that there is no imposition on the educational path proposed by EMC, but on the contrary, they seek to bring out and polish all those creative qualities that each student already possesses. It is a guide on the way to enhance all those characteristics that make you unique. Francisca Paz Pérez Aguirre

In order to be a successful designer, what is the ideal balance between working hard and working smart?

Working hard and smart are equally important. Working smart is knowing when to elevate and invest in ourselves by acquiring new knowledge and skills. We then invest our time working hard to practice and implement the skills we obtained which self-evidently unlocks our potential to be a better and successful designer. Sherene S Tan, AIFD, EMC


I have never backed out on working hard if it was necessary and I am confident many florists around the world do the exact same thing. But there is a constant thrive in me to work smart as well. There is so much more that one can achieve by doing both! Diana Toma, EMC 


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