Monday, December 6, 2010

Inspiration at the ROM

Several people suggested that I “go to the ROM” while I was in Toronto. My answer was: “What is the ROM? It sounds a little dirty.” As it turns out, the ROM is the Royal Ontario Museum. It is not at all dirty and a really cool place to spend a couple of hours or a day.

The ROM has a lot of different themed galleries spanned across five floors that includes both world culture and natural history. When I was at the ROM, there were also several special exhibitions that took my breath away. (I don’t say this to non-wedding related things very often.)

The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army exhibition showcases the Emperor who brought China to the World and the Warriors who guard his afterlife. I have always heard about the terra cotta warriors and learned about them in school. It wasn’t until I saw them in front of me that I appreciated the craftsmanship back in the days. (Like 3000 million days ago.) It really goes to show that you should always put forward your best work even if it gets buried right away. I bet the artists back then never thought their work would be showcased so many years later half way across the world.

The exhibition titled: House Calls with my Camera is a series of photos created by Dr. Mark Nowazynski, a Toronto doctor. He provides insights into the lives of four at risk patients and reveals the challenges they face everyday. Dr. Nowacynski’s photographs have raised awareness about the many complex issues related to aging. When I was looking at these photos I was able to feel the struggles the patients were going through and the photos had invoked the emotions of sadness and hope.

African artist, El Anatsui, titled his exhibition: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa. Anatsui had made a variety of wall sculptures from discarded bottle tops and wire. I never thought an ordinary bottle cap could take the shape of a square or look like a flower when used in a different manner. I also learned that art can take the form of different shapes - it does not have to be a perfect rectangle or square. Art also does not have to be perfectly flat - imperfections can sometimes make the piece absolutely perfect.

These exhibitions inspired me to apply certain aspects to my wedding decorations. I learned to always give my clients my absolute best work, even if it gets taken down in a couple of hours; through the decorations, I will try to invoke the overall feeling my clients would like their guests to feel at their wedding; and try not to obsess if a certain decorating aspect is not exactly how I had originally envisioned it, it’s imperfection may be exactly the thing that puts the design over the top.

Once again, inspiration is always around us! It is up to you what you do with it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Inspiration All Around Us

I have been in Toronto, Ontario for the last week visiting family members. Most of them were surprised when I told them that I didn’t want to do any shopping. In disbelief, my family members urged me to go to Downtown Toronto to shop on Bloor Street. Not totally opposed to the idea, I went to Bloor Street yesterday. Bloor Street is full of luxury shops – all around were shops like Holt Renfrew, Gucci, Burberry, Escada, etc. Given that I couldn’t afford to shop at (all) of these places, I decided this was a good opportunity to learn how these luxury shops decorate their stores for the Christmas season.

I stood in front of Harry Rosen for a really long time before digging out my camera from my purse. As I was taking a picture, a random guy came up to me and asked if I would like him to take a picture of me in front of the Harry Rosen sign. I politely declined and told him that I was taking a picture of the tree in front of the Harry Rosen sign. He said “Oh” and quickly walked away. He probably thinks I am crazy. What captured my attention was the entrance arrangement. I love the colors, heights, and textures they incorporated. The arrangement has a mixture of fresh cedar and dried branches in a variety of shapes. The arrangement gave a winter feeling without it being the usual white and blue scheme. Lesson learned: You can have the same "winter" feeling using unconventional colors and conventional items.

Across the street at Tiffany & Co. workers were setting up some fresh cedar around the front entrance. What captured my attention was how they could attach the fresh cedar to the flat marble tiles. Not being able to figure it out, I walked (up to the crosswalk) and crossed the street to “investigate” some more. It turns out that the workers had attached little hour glass shaped metal pieces between the tiles and stretched a wire across the cedar. Lesson learned: It is not impossible to attach decorations to flat surfaces, you just need to be creative!

Once again, inspiration is all around us. Sometimes you will learn different color schemes, different use of textures, and different applications. Keep your eyes open, your camera close at all times, and don’t be afraid of telling people what you are really interested in (and taking a picture of!)

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