There are many paths to learning floral design techniques, mechanics and styles. The majority of floral designers learn from others they work for and/or take classes through a school or learn through individual floral design classes and workshops. Garden clubs offer education and accrediting organizations like AIFD, EMC or state floral associations are also options for learning design.
Alternately, many designers are self taught and just pick it up through Youtube videos, online classes, design books or trial and error. No matter how your floral design journey starts or has progressed, floral design classes and workshops are an incredibly helpful method of learning and creating confidence around design techniques.
Taking floral design classes can close the gap of knowledge and save you time and money by learning more efficient ways of designing as well as accomplishing certain design styles you might be struggling with. Not all floral design classes and workshops will help you achieve your specific goals so in this blog as some might be focused on a style you aren’t interested in or don’t have much depth of what you are hoping to learn. I have certainly spent my hard earned money attending workshops or buying classes and have felt underwhelmed.
In this article, I am going offer some considerations to make when deciding what classes or workshops are right for you and your goals and why floral design classes can benefit you.
Before you sign up for classes or workshops, determine your goals in advance. If you are new to flowers, decide if there are areas you need to start with for your goals in flowers and classes that cover the areas you are interested in, i.e. retail, weddings, weekly deliveries, corporate, etc. If you are already working as a florist, are there areas of inefficiency in your design work of business that need to be addressed. For floral designers of any skill, are there foundational skills missing or gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to make you a stronger or more profitable designer.
There are several types of floral arranging classes offered in many different capacities: online, in person, group, individual, virtual hands on, single day, multiple day, etc. Some classes are for recreational purposes and are fairly light on the education but provide a fun experience to dabble in flowers. These are typically less expensive and are usually a short period of time and can be a great way to get some hands on practice.
If you are looking to develop professional skills, there is no shortage of classes and workshops available. Start by considering your budget and what you need to learn. When deciding who to learn from, consider the teachers experience in the areas you are interested in and if they have had success in those specific areas. Consider their teaching ability and if they have been able to get results for their students. Being a talented, popular designer and effective teacher are two different things so ensure that your investment will be well spent and that you can get what you need from the investment, especially if you are trying to grow your professional skills.
If you have any questions, reach out to the designer to get clarity. Here are a few questions I would consider asking: What will you specifically be covering? How much lecture versus hands on time will be included? What will the lecture time cover? What materials are provided? Is there feedback provided and how in depth is it? These are just a starting point but don’t be afraid to be bold and ask the questions you need to make sure your investment is well worth it.
Another tip is to reach out to past students and attendees to get honest reviews about their experience and the impact it made on their design work and business.
Some designers take a more presentation style with narrating their design process as they demo. This approach can be impactful by watching the order the designer places stems, creates their shapes and forms and finishes off a design. If you are looking for more design instruction, look for teaching that includes an explanation of the why behind the design decisions and an explanation of the process.
One of the key benefits of taking hands on workshops and classes is the camaraderie, friendship and community that is built, even in a short time. Having attended dozens of workshops over the years, I have made some life long flower friends through workshops. Often times, attendees find common ground, friendship or sometimes mentorship with each other. These connections don’t need to be geographical to be incredibly supportive and become an invaluable part of hands on experiences. Often times online workshops or memberships include online groups or Facebook groups that can be very helpful as well in building community.
You’ll be introduced to people who are passionate about the same thing as you are. Aside from that, you will grow in connection as you work alongside each other. More importantly, you might even get some new inspiration from their style of work while in a class setting.
Attending classes can save time, energy and money on your floral journey by learning important skills that you can apply to your work with flowers right away. The training and investment should provide a strong return on your investment so vetting them as much as possible before you attend can minimize disappointments. Learning not just the how but the why to great design can be a transformative process for many designers in their work.
If you’re feeling stuck at the level of knowledge you may have, feel uninspired or like you have plateaued, taking floral arranging classes can help inspire new risks and creativity in your design work. With new information and techniques in floral design, taking classes or workshops can help push through barriers and be transformative for attendees.
If you’re looking for more tips to inspire greater creativity in floral arranging, check out my post How to Overcome Creative Block as a Floral Designer.
Not all floral design classes cover pricing, marketing, ordering and more which are all important aspects to learn. However, with limited time, be sure to ask what the class or workshop covers to help you best know what to expect.
The best investment you can make as a designer is in yourself, whether you study on your own or invest in a class or workshop. However, before you make any investments, do your due diligence to determine what you need to get out of the class and who is best suited to help you with your goals!
Taking flower arranging classes and workshops can instill confidence in important floral design techniques and will allow you to grow your skills and proficiency.
Want to learn more? Check out my blog for more helpful information on how to choose the right floral design class for you. I offer a hands on Bouquet Bootcamp® workshop for designers who want to improve their bouquet skills. If you are interested in learning about design and business, check out my online course. Thanks for reading and as always, happy designing friends!