Callie DeWolf AIFD, CFD, FDI went from a student in 2006 then transitioned and moved to portland to work for the Floral Design Institute. Callie instructs a wide variety of courses ranging from basic, advance and specialty courses, being a well round educator and designer. Make sure to visit the link below to sign up for one of Callie’s fun filled classes.
YOU CAN FIND ALL THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE FLORAL DESIGN INSTITUTE AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE
What defines a Floral Design Institute educator?
Floral Design Institute instructors are professional, caring, and passionate people, who bring their extensive knowledge and understanding of the industry to their students in and fun and approachable way.
What has been one of the most interesting floral topics you have taught so far in your career?
This is a tough one for me as each class brings new challenges and excitement. I would have to say that Large Scale is the most fun and interesting in the fact that there are so many ways to create a mechanically correct structure that supports a grad and awe inspiring design. Then I would have to say designing for completion and evaluation as this is such a different way of designing, it forces not only the designers to think differently, but also pushes us as teachers to teach in a different manor as the outcome of these designs is much different than for a customer.
Second would have to be basic floral design. When I first began to teach this subject it pushed me to find words for why I do what I do. Yes, I can make a beautiful hand tie bouquet, but how do you begin to verbalize that to a student who is in the virtual classroom. This was a wonderful challenge in the fact that it not only brought (and continues to bring) understanding to my students but also helped me to form a deeper understanding of the design process.
Do you have a philosophy when it comes to floral education?
Going to school can be stressful, especially when working through a distance learning program as so many FDI students are. In moments of stress or self-doubt I tell my students “Breathe deep and enjoy the flowers”.
Because really, the flowers are why we do what we do. The rest will fall into place in time; one just has to enjoy the process. J
With our ever-changing industry, where do you see floral education heading in the next 10-15 years?
With flowers becoming a more and more popular art form, finding new and innovative ways to educate will be essential. I foresee a greater demand for supplemental education, focused classes that discuss a certain aspect of design or the industry; a kind of build your own education if you will. Of course I think there will be a greater push towards online education. Which we are already seeing, and with that comes some unique challenges. How will we ensure quality education without a classroom? Technology will certainly be a large player in this shift. This is and will be an exciting time; the future of floral education is very bright.
What floral topics do you think are over taught or not taught enough in the floral industry?
It is difficult to say what is over taught or under taught. If we look at just the design aspect, a strong foundation is needed to succeed with any medium, so this cannot be taught enough. Having a firm understanding of the elements and principles of design is essential. Our industry is always changing, and having that strong foundation to build upon will allow designers to evolve and stay current.
What difficulties do floral institutes face that floral shops and companies don’t face?
The challenges that institutions face is really in the classroom; whether it is in person or through distance learning, making sure that each and every students needs are being met and all learning styles are addressed with each lesson. Teachers must be able to change and adapt to the abilities and needs of each student, ensuring comprehension and long term understanding, making sure that the students have all the necessary tools and knowledge for success in a floral career.
What advice do you have for designers looking to become a floral educator or presenter?
Get to know yourself and your style. Have fun with this, because having a solid understanding of who you are is very important in maintaining a strong consistent educational voice.
What do you think are some of the top floral educational advancements that have helped progress the industry?
The first one would have to be Floral Design Institute’s Distance Learning program—giggle; my bias had to come out somewhere. We have given students another option for their floral studies, while still maintaining all of the hands on training and feedback that they need in order to learn and grow as a designer. Graduates from our distance learning programs go on to very successful careers, which can only help to strengthen the floral industry as a whole. Besides that, we as floral designers have wonderful jobs, in the fact that there are always new products to play with, containers, ribbons, jewels, and of curse flowers, each of these is an advancement—maybe not a big one—but one that contributes and as a whole pushes us forward.
How do you believe the US could increase it’s industry awareness to attract younger designers?
Being a floral designer is glamorous; flowers are sexy; but how do we sell that to students or even potential students? I firmly believe that selling the art and the luxury of flowers is where we should begin. This comes down to strategic marketing of ones skills and artistic talents. How? A strong web presents is vital; not only with social media, but with blogs, and a well-designed user friendly website because this is where that younger demographic lives. By embracing technology and utilizing this to our fullest extent, we can capture the attention of younger designers and create a strong awareness for ourselves and the industry.
In your personal opinion what are some of the shortcomings in floral education that the industry should strive towards working on?
Floral institutions are not just for beginning education, they are your creative resource with endless possibilities and opportunities for every aspect of the floral industry. Creating strong working relationships between everyone is what will maintain our industry and keep us growing.
Floral Design Institute Website: www.floraldesigninstitute.com Phone: 1-800-819-8089 1-503-223-8089 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Social Media Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Youtube Course Schedule
Thanks to Callie for give us her point of view on floral education! Floral.today enjoys watching Callie’s personal Instagram as she fills up the world with beautiful floral pictures and design.