Live with Tomasz Max KuczyńskiJun 25, 2021
Integration of Styles through Unification
Workshop at the EMC Go Live Event
Tomasz Max Kuczynski was a finalist of many floral competitions, working as a designer, demonstrator and teacher in many schools and organisations all over the world. He is CEO of the International Institute of Floral Design in Poland.
His great personality and amazing design skills set him apart in the floral industry and his unique approach to design distinguishes itself through intricacy, perfect execution and fabulous combinations of textures. He is a colour tamer in the best way possible and dares to explore the artistic side of floristry.
Name 3 must-do things that you consider most important before creating a workshop concept.
The most important thing for me is to determine who will be participating in this workshop and how much do they know about floristry. Another important factor is the needs and expectations of the group - do they want to learn about commercial forms or maybe are interested in the more artistic part of floristry? Of course the budget has to be included as well - sometimes it is the reason for people to become more creative when they are forced to make something out of nothing.
What is your thought process focused on when working on a workshop?
I believe that the people are the crucial element of this process. With my workshops I always strive to make them satisfying for the participants so they leave with new skills and knowledge.
How do you plan your workshops to ensure inclusivity for all that are taking part - including differences in ability, availability of botanical and non-botanical materials etc.?
Each workshop is a challenge for me. It is not easy to manage all of those issues but I try to address them in my individual approach to each of my students. Workshops are completely different in different countries, both in terms of the knowledge level of participants and availability of materials. I try to use techniques that can be supplemented with technical materials and flowers that are easily available in different parts of the world.
What trends do you consider when planning for a workshop?
I try to observe the current trends in both wedding and commercial floristry - the latter being the bread and butter of daily work in a flower shop - and meet the needs of my students. It is smart to follow fashion and interior design trends because floristry is also affected by them.
How will your signature style be integrated into the designs that are completed within the workshop?
I always try to convey something of my personal style in the works of my students. I don't want to impose my style on them but I believe that they come to me because they appreciate it and want to learn more about it.
How does floral design, floral art, mix with technology in your line of work?
I think we have arrived to a point where online communication has become very important. During the pandemic I attended several online meetings and it was great to see my fellow florists from different parts of the world. I value face to face meetings a lot and I miss both travelling and ability to meet in person immensely.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to establishing a relationship with the public?
The biggest challenge for me was to always be myself. Not to bend to people nor situations. I remember that it took me some time to understand that not everyone has to like me. Now I am stronger and unkind people don't affect me.
Do you still go to workshops yourself? How do you keep your mindset focused on learning to continuously develop new ideas and new tendencies for your workshops?
Unfortunately I am very busy and it is difficult for me to participate in the workshops but I am a strong believer in lifelong learning. You have to keep both your eyes and mind open and draw inspiration from everywhere - shop windows, paintings, cultures of other countries, architecture ... there is a lot of inspiration around us!
What is your vision when it comes to inspiring others? What do you hope to be the message you convey to your audience through your designs?
In my opinion it is not easy to inspire others these days when we have so many different stimuli and a general glut. I am glad when my students appreciate me, when they come to my shows and ask me about workshops. I always point out to them that there is a thin line between an inspiration and a copy and they should understand and respect it. I myself have never copied anyone, even in the beginning of my floral adventures, and now I try to teach my students to find and follow their own paths using my advice.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you, yet you consider important and it helped define your style?
My art education was a key factor that helped to define my style. I also studied art history and interior design. Unfortunately the sheer volume of obligations prevented me to finish my studies but these faculties are still in the area of my greatest interests and they are the source of my inspiration.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you during a workshop?
Some time ago I went on a diet and was losing weight quickly. While discussing one of the works, my pants fell down... luckily the students sitting in front of my desk couldn't see it and I continued with the topic in my underwear :) :)
blog and interview by Ana Maria Grigoras
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