Inspiration: Symbiosis Musings

Editorial Submission from Lilly Chen, Squid Ink Floristry 

‘Symbiosis Musings’ is the creative output of Melbourne Florist, Lilly Chen, of Squid Ink Floristry. Lilly’s passion for all things artistic and creative is clearly evident in her floral portfolio of event, corporate, editorial and retail floristry. Not only does she freelance with some of the best in the biz, she creates magic like this and we are honored to bring her latest creative endeavor to you.

symbiosis (noun) – interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

This is Lilly’s creative exploration of how flowers interact with their surroundings and the seasons.

“I’ve wanted to dip my feet back into editorial work as I’ve been working full time for 5 years and it was important to me to relearn my individual style before I jumped into a new era of floristry for myself, freelancing. I feel excited by editorial floristry, it allows me to break boundaries because I feel that there are less limitations on the creative process and I’m not confined by mechanics that wouldn’t be suitable in other avenues of floristry.

I’m always heavily inspired by the landscape or space that I’m working in. For me, the space inspires me first, and the flowers will naturally follow. I often ask myself “How will my flowers interact with their surroundings?” and “What will compliment this space?”. For this series, the natural curves in the ridges of the sand inspired my “S” shape installation piece.

I went to flower market with an open mind and let the flowers stand out to me. I love working with the seasons and letting mother nature take lead and guide the way. The overall vision of the shoot was clear and intentional but I was sure to leave room to let myself be spontaneous.

I want to be honest and say not everything went to plan. Due to some unavoidable issues, I got started far later than I would have liked to. At that point we were only going to proceed with the portrait shots in a race against sundown. But suddenly the sun hit a perfect light and I just knew I needed to execute the install too. The sunlight was so golden and crisp that my mind was flooded with inspiration. I rushed down the dunes, and completed the install in 15 minutes which forced me to exercise restraint in my creative approach. I didn’t have time to over-think or underestimate myself. When pushed for time in this situation, I relied on my experience and natural creative eye to flourish. It was a great reminder to trust in myself and my creative instincts.

An exciting part of this line of work is rolling with the punches. It might even leave you pleasantly surprised with what happens when things don’t go to plan. You can have results of something beautiful that can be a truer depiction of you. A raw essence of your creative style.

This experience has taught me invaluable lessons in my style of work. I would recommend anyone who is still finding their style to get hands on. It’s so refreshing not following a brief or creating for a client, as we do day-in and day-out. Play with flowers, enjoy the process, create for the sake of creating- not for the validation of others, or profit- and see what you create when there are no limitations.”

Concept, florals and styling- Lilly Chen @squidinkfloristry
Photography- Shanell Van Koeverden @shanellvank
Model- Heidi Caukwell @_iidieh

Lilly would like to acknowledge the Worimi people as the traditional owners of the land in which this photoshoot takes place and the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as custodians of the land in which she works.

The FQ xx