Ever since discovering the wonders of flowers and botany, fashion and lifestyle blogger Robyn Lawley has been obsessed with creating floral masterpieces. The London-based stylist and photographer behind @flowerbloggerstanza takes inspiration from nature and mythology, pairing bright blooms with fantastical creatures to create quirky yet traditional imagery.
For @flowerbloggerstanza, the search for the perfect flowers starts far from the urban centers of cities like London where she lives and works. Before dawn breaks, Lawley will have woken up, showered and dressed, and made her way to one of London’s many nurseries or garden centers. There, she will meet with a professional florist who will be responsible for creating her masterpiece. Together, they will choose blossoms that blend beautifully with one another and are in season.
The grower will then prepare the bouquet by snipping and watering the flowers, before wrapping them in cellophane and cardboard, and securing them with a ribbon. That done, they will be handed over to Lawley who will promptly photograph them.
From her early forays as a child, Lawley was fascinated by flowers and their colours. She would spend hours in her grandmother’s garden, carefully observing and taking notes on how she could improve her floral design skills. While she credits her grandmother with inspiring her love for flowers and helping her navigate the world of botany, it was her mother who encouraged her to follow her passion and not just become a doctor.
The London-based designer and floral artist Rebecca Taylor admits that her two children, Robert and Elizabeth, grew up surrounded by beauty. It was an atmosphere that instilled in them a love for nature and its abundance of colors, textures and forms. They describe their grandmother as a “florist par excellence” who always had the most colorful and eye-catching flowers, and their grandfather as a “mad hatter” who would gather exotic seeds and plants to cultivate in his garden. Perhaps it was this familiarity with blooms that inspired Lawley to pair vivid petals with fantastical creatures and symbols from mythology to create unique and eye-catching floral masterpieces.
While she may be best known for her floral work, Lawley is also passionate about botany and studies plant biology at London University. She attributes her love for flowers and its colors to her studies which taught her how beautiful they can be and how they have incredible significance. For example, she cites the poppy as a flower that represents the Vietnam War because it often marks the spots where soldiers fell in combat, inspiring her to use the flower’s brilliant orange hues against a black background.
Besides being a talented floral designer and photographer, Lawley is also a prolific artist. In fact, she has her own floral and creative account on Instagram (@flowerbloggerstanza) where she often posts her incredible artwork.
She attributes her love for both art and flowers to her grandmother, who would paint and draw throughout most of her childhood. As a result, Lawley grew up with a keen eye for both aesthetics and color. She particularly enjoys experimenting with different mediums and often incorporates drawings and paintings into her floral designs. She finds that the two complement one another and that being a floral designer makes her art more accessible to the average person.
It is in this connectedness with nature and the beauty therein that Lawley finds solace and artistic satisfaction. She often tweets and Instagrams about how lucky she is to have this connection and how it inspires her to create beautiful and artistic designs. She believes that if you are blessed with good eyesight and a keen sense of observation, then you should never be afraid to experiment with different ways of capturing the essence of nature. Through this interest in botany and nature, it is clear to see that Lawley’s floral work is informed by her creative and artistic side.
What’s fascinating about Lawley’s floral work is that it is neither typical nor traditional. She often pairs vivid petals with fantastical creatures and symbols from mythology and the occult, such as fairies and goblins. Yet, it is also a celebration of the everyday and its abundance of blooms. Indeed, she often sources her inspiration from places and things that she encounters every day, such as sunsets, sea foam and waves, rainbows and puddles. She loves to experiment with different mediums and find new ways of visualizing nature’s splendor.
The designer and floral artist Rebecca Taylor credits her children with helping her to expand her creative boundaries and not just limit herself to traditional designs. She cites a recent project where she used a different color palette for each family member, something that was completely new for her. This willingness to explore new styles and colors was something that she hoped would remain with her children as they grew up and developed their own distinct personalities. She feels that it is important for children to see that no matter what, your parents love you and are proud of you.
It is with this belief that everything in nature is connected and that the universe is something to be experienced and not just read about that that we should look to the plant world for inspiration. Through her studies and the research that she does for her own company, Flora Caledonia, Lawley is able to combine her interests in botany, fashion and lifestyle to create unique, artistic and functional designs. She credits her love of all things floral with improving her quality of life and helping her to find peace and beauty in everything around her. It is this holistic outlook coupled with a practical and hands-on approach that has enabled her to rise to the top of her industry. With each new bouquet, she looks to improve upon what she has done before, creating something magical and new that is perfect for the person it is intended for.