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The Mastermind Experience 2024

emc alumni emc community emc designer floral education inspiration Jan 30, 2024

Your Path to Self Discovery

As a floral designer and EMC Alumni, this experience is made for you!

For over a decade now, EMC has been at the forefront of providing a platform for individuals to delve deeper into their artistic journey and explore the vast potential of floral design as a form of creative expression. One of the particularities of the EMC Advanced Course Experience is the integration of classic art, particularly painting, into the curriculum. By drawing inspiration from the timeless works of art, participants are exposed to new perspectives and fresh sources of creativity. 

In celebrating the 10-year milestone of EMC, in 2022 the first Mastermind Experience has taken a fresh approach, infusing the curriculum with an element of surprise and spontaneity. Challenging participants to interpret chosen forms of art, added an exhilarating twist to the program. This exercise in artistic freedom and interpretation expanded the participants' creative boundaries.

As a result of the amazing feedback received from the group of EMC Alumni who have participated during the first Mastermind Experience two years ago, 2024 puts on the calendar a new chance for an outstanding learning opportunity for EMC Alumni. Along side the students who will be taking their Advanced Course and Certification this September, EMC will host in Brugge a new group of Alumni who will imerse themselves in the Mastermind Experience.

What is the Mastermind Experience?

This Experience offers a different approach to visit and expand on your creativity. You’ll join with the EMC students for two most impactful days of in-class teaching and hands-on designing with Tomas in the Advanced Class to get that renewed excitement; as well as a full day Mastermind experience with Tomas and Christi where your creativity is put to a new challenge.  Now, as an Alumni, you’ve gotten more familiar with the design process, right? Tomas will go even deeper in analysing and giving insight in YOUR creative process with tips and tricks, as well talk about your personal CREATIVE DNA and where you can focus to work on to make your signature style even more visible.  

Art Interpretation - Where Your Design Shines!

During the EMC Advanced Course, students are tasked with a unique challenge: selecting a painting from the Louvre Museum in Paris and interpreting it through a floral expression as part of their Advanced Certification Exam. This assignment demands a transition from the realm of 2D art to the intricacies of three-dimensional design. It requires students to explore the fusion of art forms, tapping into the age-old and ever-relevant medium of painting as a source of inspiration for their floral creations. Emotions serve as their guiding light in navigating how the Elements and Principles of Design converge, making it a multifaceted challenge. Additionally, the stress levels involved in completing the assignment and defending it during an oral presentation add an extra layer of complexity for the students.

However, the Mastermind experience flips the script entirely. Our esteemed Alumni come together not to endure pressure but to relish in the joy of the moment. They delve deeper into their own unique floral design DNA, fully immersing themselves in an authentic learning experience. Here, they are liberated from the exam-related stress and are encouraged to approach any form of art as a wellspring of inspiration for their final design pieces. Looking back at our first Mastermind Experience, the results speak for themselves: the designers delivered stunning creations. Here, we share both their remarkable designs and their feedback, offering a glimpse into the transformative and stress-free environment of this extraordinary learning journey.

Inspiration from Fashion

Anahit had taken her inspiration from the visit to the Christian Dior exhibition and produced a magical design, almost totally white, based on the cubic boxes displayed on the walls, holding scraps of materials, accessories for dresses etc. It was amazing in the way it obviously expressed the emotions that she had felt in the first place. Finesse, transparency and vertical display are focal in Anahit's design, a beautiful floral interpretation of a fashion display. From choice of botanicals, to mechanics and techniques, she cleverly and artfully used the Elements and Principles of design to achieve an expression that invites the viewer to engage in a journey of discovery, looking for unexpected details and being captured by a mesmerising display. The apparent two-dimensional design seems to respect an order which is beautifully broken by the few floral lines of the green grasses, in a flow of dynamic lines, which are transposing the arrangement into a discreet 3D space, just as the staircase of the building of Christian Dior brings the original display to a whole new level, connecting fashion and architecture through visual elements. 

“The Mastermind Experience was amazing. It taught me how to create for myself, for my own experience, not just for my clients. I feel that this will help me not to get stuck in the ‘everyday designer’ mindset. I loved sharing this experience with old friends and new ones, and I cannot wait to see everyone’s growth.” Anahit Hakobyan CFD AIFD EMC

Inspiration from Conceptual Art

Sara chose to concentrate on a bronze sculpture of a fallen tree that was installed in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris in December 1999, in a space called the Bosquet du Vase intimately linked to the sculpture, where there is vegetation, shrubs and trees. The sculptor, Giuseppe Penone is an Italian artist and known for his large-scale sculptures of trees that are interested in the link between man and the natural world. Penone’s trees are in dialogue with the architecture of the past, inspiring reflection on humanity’s relationship with nature, space, and time, something that totally resonated with Sara. She was touched by the apparent strength, size, and texture of the trunk, and the stark, black, almost brutal roots bursting in a star-like manner, propping it up on the grass, not allowing it to rest peacefully in a position where it could become a habitat for other forms of life other than the long branch that reached up into another tree, as though it was struggling to become one with a tree that still had a life to look forward and was continuing to grow. It was this dichotomy and duality that she endeavoured to convey within her expressive interpretation.

“The level of creativity within all of us was extraordinary, and the way that Tomas reacted to it and gave additional critique can only be described as mind-blowing. We had learnt so much, especially about ourselves, and the whole process had been astounding, almost overwhelming and very emotional.” Sara Marie Andrews EMC MDPF

Inspiration from Painting

Sue created this design during the Mastermind Experience and drew inspiration from a painting she saw at the Pompidou in Paris. Described at the time as "post-cubist fantasy", the geometric portrait by František Kupka represents a significant milestone towards abstraction. Crossed by rays of light, the female figure appears to be animated by a slow movement, split by vertical plains. Inspiration drives creativity and Sue did an amazing job in florally interpreting this painting. The obvious element of colour transitions within the same palette is strengthened by the textural play and the three-dimensional disposition of botanicals. This design encompasses everything the painting does, showcasing a beautiful story of how diving deeper into your creative mind by focusing on the process of self - discovery can only lead to a stunning outcome. 

“I loved the idea of being able to choose any form of art, but it could be very interesting if someone else were to choose something for you to interpret - maybe an option for the next Mastermind Experience.” Sue Tabbal-Yamaguchi AIFD EMC

Armed with a sheaf of Japanese folded paper ‘arrows’ that she had and not previously used, Barbara was on a mission to find a painting where they could be used to create a layered surface, and was overjoyed to find a Jackson Pollock painting, ‘The Deep’, which is an abstract expressionist work of art completed in 1953. There are many interpretations of the meaning of the painting, and the painting's name, most often as a deep and profound void or hole, a viscous cut, or a dying man. She interpreted with a superb understanding of the dimensions of the painting, and the use of the dripped black and white paint which was shown in a number of his works of this time, when he was very troubled. Barbara also included a touch of yellow to lift the colour slightly, as the artist had done, and the very light use of Sanguisorba to mimic the small drops of blood apparent in a number of his works, due to the number of times he cut his feet! It was a masterful and quite beautiful interpretation of an abstract work of art.

“I loved it. I know I chose a painting but the fact that we had the freedom to choose from other museums and other disciplines like sculpture made it more challenging.” Barbara Astbury EMC

Inspiration from Art Current

Ursula is known for her love of colour, so she had chosen a painting which was not only almost cubist, but very neutral in colour, to give herself a real challenge. She had chosen the painting,L’Homme a la guitare, printemps 1940 by Georges Braque, as her muse. Having worked as a painter and decorator for some of his life, he was able to produce a range of textures which add great interest and depth to the painting, which Ursula was very keen to ‘replicate’ as much as she could in her interpretation, especially with such a muted colour palette.

The focus of the interpretation of Ursula was clearly focused on the art current the painting represented as much as on the work of art itself. Cubism shattered conventional artistic norms by deconstructing objects and subjects into geometric shapes, emphasizing multiple viewpoints simultaneously. Cubist artworks often appear fragmented and abstract, challenging viewers to see the world in a wholly new and multifaceted way. It is characterized by its exploration of space, time, and perspective and Ursula managed to showcase all these elements in her design beautifully. 

“I felt liberated! True artistic freedom! It also went with my intention of having fun with my designs during the Mastermind Experience! I loved the challenge.” Ursula Gunther AIFD EMC CFD

If you are curious about the EMC Mastermind Experience, you can read this extensive 3 parts blog covering the entire adventure of 2022, including testimonials, insight and amazing details. Journal of an amazing EMC design experience, Conquering New Peaks of Creativity and Celebrating Creativity are three stories that covers it all!

The countdown has officially begun for a one-of-a-kind journey that promises to reignite creativity and foster reconnections amongst our esteemed EMC Alumni. From September 23rd to 28th, 2024, we invite you to join us on an unforgettable adventure that will take you from the picturesque streets of Bruges to the vibrant atmosphere of Paris. Exclusive to our EMC Alumni, this Mastermind Experience is designed for a select group of 10 individuals, all poised to discover and refine their unique creative DNA and signature style. It's time to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, artistic exploration, and the joy of reconnecting with fellow alumni. Don't miss this opportunity to create lasting memories and nurture your creative spirit - the adventure awaits! 

Join here! 

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