Meet the EMC TeamNov 11, 2022
Portrait of a designer
EMC Coach, Dalia Bortolotti is an inspiration for us all
Floral design was not Dalia Bortolotti’s original first choice of career. She has always been interested in flowers and gardening, but that was really as far as it went until there was a crash in the high-tech industry, and she had to rethink her life choices. Somebody told her that there was a flower shop for sale in a village not far from her home and she thought about it for a while, eventually deciding that if she was going to change career completely, then she should do it in a way that was right for her.
Although she knew quite a bit about flowers from growing them and being interested in them, she knew nothing about floral design, so enrolled at a floristry school to learn what she felt was important in order to run a shop efficiently, whilst exploring her creativity. She did have her own shop for some years, growing a very successful client base and stimulating her desire for floral education, which she took further with teaching others how to run a profitable enterprise. After a number of years, she transferred her business to a home-based studio, concentrating more on the training and floral education elements along with wedding and events floristry.
Dalia has grown up loving flowers and nature; and was able to nurture this by her love of gardening, even when working in the high-tech industry. This has given her an immense knowledge and understanding of the importance of plant nomenclature and morphology, which still assists her in her floral design work today.
After losing her job in technology due to the downturn in the industry, purchasing an empty local flower shop was something that was suggested to her by people close to her who knew her love of flowers and gardening. She considered this but decided that she must learn more before taking this step and enrolled at a floristry school in order to learn properly. Eventually, she did have her own shop and ran a successful business there, before deciding to move to a home-based studio as the potential of working in the wedding and events business took over from the everyday work in a flower shop. This is now her main area of floral design work, plus her extraordinary aptitude for teaching others and floral education in general.
In getting to know more about Dalia, it is obvious that she understands the importance of an all-round education in whatever she chooses to do. This not only involves the practical and creative aspects, and the theory, including the all-important elements and principles of design, but also the commercial and marketing elements that are so necessary to make a business profitable. In fulfilling this journey of personal education, she has also gained her qualifications, including the EMC.
In her quest for gaining more knowledge and completing further personal development, Dalia heard about a workshop that was going to be held at the prestigious City College in San Francisco. When she got there, she was immediately immersed in the picturesque gardens and the greenhouses full of the most beautiful botanical materials. When she joined the other students to take part in the workshop, she found that the designer taking the workshop was a young man from Belgium, and she was surrounded by like-minded people, full of passion and felt totally re-invigorated. This was her first meeting with Tomas de Bruyne, who led her through the European explanations of the elements and principles of design, and his methods of teaching; and what he was teaching resonated fully with her creative understanding and ability. Having met him then, she attended the symposium in Chicago, where he worked with Hitomi Gilliam on stage, along with graduates and students of EMC, and she admits to having become mesmerised by the whole experience. In the following months, Tomas became her mentor and saw her safely through the Foundation course and onto the Self-Practicum before she journeyed to Belgium to complete the Advanced course and graduate. In the meantime, she had assisted Tomas at other workshops and finally moved to become a teacher herself on the EMC courses. This has really fulfilled her desire to become a floral educator in her own right.
Dalia feels that it is easy to ‘sell’ something that you are totally passionate about. She can talk about all aspects of the programme and truly believes in it herself, which comes over in everything that she says and does. It has changed her floral life and strengthened her creativity, which is easy to see in her whole attitude and ability to design.
She doesn’t see herself as having a definite signature style. Where she lives in Canada, there are four very definite seasons, and she loves to work with the materials available to her within those seasons where she can, and maybe this does form part of a signature style. She loves soft colours, pastels and passive harmonies but is able to move away from this as required. She loves to combine and contrast textures, especially in wedding designs. She is now moving more towards monochromatic colours, so that texture and form become increasingly more important. She sketches and plans her designs, so that she can anticipate the direction in which she is going and what is likely to happen.
She always has a ‘rolling’ five-year plan in place and, so far, despite the changes brought about by the pandemic, she is managing to keep to it. Having at last completed her final pre-covid, postponed wedding; she is intending to stop this side of her business to concentrate on other things at the beginning of next year. She hopes that this will include more travelling, which she loves, and which was halted for many months due to the pandemic. She is really looking forward to teaching again and being able to give the support and encouragement to new students as they start out on their creative journeys.
"Taking part in the EMC courses is not something for everyone. It challenges you and can result in a real mind shift, preparing you for a different mindset. The knowledge and expertise that comes across from the teaching team rearranges your thoughts, hits the synapses in the brain and stimulates them in such a way as to activate the creativity within you. How you react to this is very personal but can have endless possibilities if you allow yourself the freedom. This can be anything at all, including using the colour wheel to open your eyes to contrasts in colours; new ways of working with colour proportions; and gives you the different tools to work with that are invaluable as you allow the creativity to flourish and grow within you." Dalia Bartolotti EMC
I am sure that, if you are being taught and supported by this extraordinary lady with her warm and passionate ability to convey the knowledge and expertise that she has acquired over the years, you, too, will have great success in your floral design future.
by Sara Marie Andrews
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