What better place to have a wedding than here in sunny Palm Springs! It rarely ever rains here, it's warm all year round and the city is filled with amazing architecture and boutique hotels to act as the backdrop for your big day! I sat down with Michael Maul, a local floral designer and catering coordinator who is also a good friend of mine for a short Q&A to discuss his work, his dreams and his passions in life!
1. How did you get into the floral design industry?
- It was by accident! I was going into a florists shop in Portland and I would create bouquets for myself. A few months into it the owner offered me a job.
2. What influences your work?
- For me, it's more connected to emotion.
3. Are there any flowers that you are drawn to specifically, or find yourself using over and over again?
- I love working with tropical flowers, there's a uniqueness and magic to them that transports you to a different world. Hawaii and Thailand are two places that I traveled to when I was younger that have influenced my upbringing and ideas of what life should be like. Tropical flowers remind me that life can be both calm and beautiful.
4. What are you working on today?
- Mostly weddings and events at this point!
5. Of what projects are you most proud?
- I've done a few weddings in Portland that I'm incredibly proud of. There was this one at the Chinese Botanical Gardens that I'm particularly proud of. The aesthetics of the space fueled my creativity and passion for the project. The client put a lot of trust in me and my vision and it felt amazing to deliver what they were looking for.
6. What's your dream project?
- I'd love to work in a garden or some form of a sustainable environment, where I could bring people back to choose flowers for their arrangements directly from the selection of plants we have growing.
7. To whom do you look for inspiration?
- A lot of the woman that I've worked with in the past in the floral and design industry and then mostly my friends and family. I find myself thinking about people's styles and aesthetics and it inspires me in a way that I begin to associate what type of plant or flower might best fit their personality. For example, I created a summer rose bouquet for a couple a few months ago that was far from what they had originally wanted. But after a few meetings with the clients and getting a better understanding of their personalities, I thought the summer rose would speak to their personal style and aesthetic, classic, soft and elegant.
8. Is there anyone famous you'd like to work with and why?
- Pedro Maldavar, he's a director in Spain. His work has nothing to do with floral design but his view of the things that go on in life and how he observes it is extremely inspiring. When you watch one of his films, you see how he conveys his passion, he notices the different beauty in each individual.
9. If you could live/work anywhere in the world where it be?
- Wow, well that's tricky! I do love the tropics, however Spain would be my first choice. I've visited a few times and lived there for a summer and the creativity their is astounding.
10. What was your first (non-art) job?
- I was a server at a restaurant called Holiday Park in Portland!
11. What keeps you up at night?
- Lately, it's been a feeling of uncertainty with life, uncertainty with family and not being involved with projects that I'm more passionate about on a day to day basis.
12. What gets you up in the morning?
- Well of course, I have to have my coffee, that's a given. Lately, in the past few weeks with Ramon and Jeremiah what gets me out of bed is thinking of how I can help and how I can make their lives a little easier. Things as simple as making sure the house is in order so that they have an environment that they can be both productive and at ease in.
13. Describe your work in 3 words.
- vibrant, tranquil and elegant
14. If there was a movie of your life who would write, direct and star in it?
- Pedro Maldavar would write and direct it, and Bill Murray would star in it, I love me some Bill Murray!
15. If you hadn't become a floral designer/catering coordinator what would you be doing today?
- Definitely something to do with travel. There is so much education that comes from traveling, seeing different cultures and being immersed in different environments is very invigorating. Something like a travel guide maybe, leading expeditions and sharing in experiences with other people.
You can check out some more of Michael's work below!
photography by Sarah Dickenson