The man of the hour
During my twenty year tenure of owning my interior landscaping company, Louisburg Gardens, I hired some very talented designers. Hands down, my very favorite of all was a fabulous man named Jay.
Always fun times together! Circa 2007, Palm Beach, Florida
Jay has a sunny disposition, he is fashionable, bright and he is multi-lingual. He is one of the most hilarious and quick-witted people I know. Folks gravitate toward his positive energy. Jay was talented in winning over the most challenging clients. And you know what? This man can design his way out of a paper bag.
We shared a lot of laughs. Working with him was a delight. One thing that was truly spectacular was collaborating. As we each contributed our tastes and opinions, our final product was that much better.
I recall designing a spring display for the waterfall area of Copley Place, a mall located in Boston’s Back Bay. I implemented cherry blossom branches, hot pink and yellow tulips, variegated glacier ivy, pink hyacinths and pussy willows. I was proud of my work but felt it needed something extra. I asked Jay to have a look and give his opinion. I was delighted to see his magic touch; Cheerful, bright, paper and bamboo umbrellas. This whimsical touch was just what was needed.
Cheery cherry blossoms- we will see them very soon!
It is inspiring to look at catalogs, magazines, HG TV, Pinterest and so on. We gather bits and pieces of that which captivate us. We take that wealth of knowledge and throw it all together and make it our blueprint. One great thing about working with another creative, though, is that you see a different perspective. While designers have talent and a particular style, some projects call for the benefit another’s opinion.
One such project was my very own home. When My Michael and I purchased our home, I was overwhelmed by the thought of this huge blank (empty) canvas. I knew what I wanted and was clear in my vision. I needed another frame of reference, especially for the master bathroom construction project. I enlisted the help of a firm called The M Group. One of the partners was my former neighbor from Boston.
They suggested paint colors that I would not have considered. For example, in my living room, they suggested Benjamin Moore Taos Grey and Cabernet. While Cabernet was not a stranger to me (The paint I chose for my front door in Boston when I first purchased the home,) I wouldn’t have thought to pair the two.
Although I was familiar with many sources, they introduced me to additional ones. For example, despite that I had purchased a number of appliances from Yale Electric, it never occurred to me to consider their light fixtures. The M Group procured one of my chandeliers from Yale.
We collaborated and much like working with Jay, the final project was just right.
In my post “Lovelier (for) You!” Lovelier (for) you! I mentioned many different reasons why people may benefit from a designer. Here is another twist. Even designers benefit from other designers.
Art is personal. It is subjective. There is no “good” art just as there is no “bad” art. We appreciate and translate art in unique ways. One person may see value in one respect where another may be impressed by something entirely unrelated.
In the art of writing, every author has a unique voice. I may write on the same topic as another and, although the subject matter and theme may be identical and we are striving to portray the same message, the outcome is dramatically different.
Neither voice is better than the other. Just different.
Often times I ask Cousin Laura to read something of mine and offer her feedback. Many times she shares a perspective which I had never even considered. Enlisting her help strengthens my art. It deepens it. See?
This is why we enlist the help of others. Two creatives can walk into the same store and see different treasures. They can see value in items the other did not even notice. Collaboration often affirms our opinion and enhances our work.
Creativity is born from ideas, how we look at things and how those concepts resonate with us and fuel us. Strength in numbers, everybody.
It was hard to say goodbye to Jay when he departed to start a new life in sunny Florida. But I was so thrilled for him. We are still in close touch. As a matter of fact, we had dinner on Third Street in Naples last week while I was on vacation. We found ourselves strolling around peeking in the shops and ultimately landed with our noses pressed against the glass of an exquisite designer boutique displaying awe-inspiring furniture, artwork and accents.
Some things never change.
Sparkle On, Friends!