We begin with a new series in which I ask industry designers and professionals the simple question: What Inspires You? This week I pose that question to the talented Eddie Zaratsian, creative director of tic-tock Couture Florals in Los Angeles.
David Merrell, Lead designdawg
What Inspires You?
For me, inspiration is drawn from the vast sensory experiences and moments of life. The things I see, smell, feel and do -- from art and architecture to fashion and fiction. It all leads me to self expression. I don't think about it too often, because it is something that I do all the time, but when someone like Dave asks me specifically about inspiration, I'd have to say I turn to magazines focused on interior design, architecture, art and fashion, taking note of what's happening with fabric and texture, color and lighting. I also draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring runways around the world, travel, and new and old films. But I don't even have to stray that far. Sometimes a walk around the city or even the aisles of Home Depot can really jog my inspiration loose!
Of course, no matter how inspired one gets, at the focal point of the process is the client. Whether it's a family, Fortune 500 company or a fashion house, the client's identity is key.
When starting a new project, my advice is:
- Draw your inspiration from who the client is but don't stop there. Anyone can incorporate a corporate logo or a person's initials. When I say "who they are," I mean what are they about? What are their values? What inspires them? Allow what inspires them to inspire you.
Inspired by Coral
- Research is key! Find out the overall theme and the feel of the event and integrate identity and personality thought color, texture and shape.
Inspired by Fashion
- Consider the budget. What you have to work with financially will largely indicate what you have to work with creatively.
Inspired by Abundance
- Know your client's priorities and make them yours. Knowing what is most important to your client will always help you when it comes to working with their budget. Is it more important to them to have a specific flower type or color? A particular linen or look?
Inspired by LuxuryKnow your team. Every creative team is composed of individuals who each contribute integral elements and have their own set of strengths. One person's idea always inspires something in another, setting the creative machine in motion. At tic-tock we use worksheets for our team to create notes and sketches. Then we get together and talk them out.
Inspired by People!
I love this hat I designed for Marley Marcher, The Party Goddess, to wear to my annual tea party. This is a great example of knowing the personality of the person for whom you are designing.
Above all else, be fearless! Don't hesitate to try something new. In fact, probably the best advice I could ever give is this: seek out new things to try and set your sights on achieving the impossible! And I'm not just saying this. Recently I achieved one of my dreams -- to create a line for retail. I got the chance this year with Restoration Hardware.
Inspired by New Ventures!
In June I launched Eddie Zaratsian Custom Florals and Lifestyle in conjunction with the grand opening of Restoration Hardware's Beverly Hills concept store. The studio features arrangements for in-store purchase or home delivery.
About Eddie Zaratsian
More than 20 years ago, Eddie Zaratsian discovered his passion for floral design and enrolled with the Phil Rulloda School. There, Phil recognized Eddie's talent and encouraged him to join the American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) where he became one of their youngest inductees.
Time spent in Europe taking in art, architecture, history and elegance gave Eddie a larger perspective of design and how it relates to flowers. He returned to the United States and began pushing creative boundaries as
Creative Director of tic-tock. His A-list clientele grew fast and he began working with the world's most renowned celebrity wedding planners including Mindy Weiss, Marcy Blum and David Tutera; has designed for private events at Chanel, the Emmy's Governor's Ball, the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network and has been featured on countless television shows, including an appearance as a contestant on LOGO TV's The Arrangement. Most recently, he's launched an in-store line with the Beverly Hills Restoration Hardware store called Eddie Zaratsian Custom Florals and Lifestyle.