It was love at first sight with Shilbe’s floral designs when I first came across her Instagram profile — wild and unexpected, something about her arrangements feel as though they're made just for you, drawing your eyes to a botanical masterpiece that calls your name. Join us on a chat with Shilbe as she shares her passion for floristry and her inspiration behind it all...
I started Still Life almost 3 years ago now when I quit my marketing job. I had picked up floral arrangement as a hobby during my university days and since then trained with Award-Winning Floral Artist Zita Elze. It wasn't easy at the beginning as I struggled to find a voice in the industry and experimented over a year.
It was only when I went to Zita, whose teaching methods focused on being in tune with my emotions rather than rules that I had an epiphany and my approach took a 180 degree shift. Looking inward and tapping into my intuitive sense rather than referencing other florists' works/style has given me a perspective that I know is uniquely mine. If you haven't already noticed I am obsessed with small flowers, tiny details and textures!
What's the story behind your home? What do you love most when creating floral designs?
The entire design process begins at the flower market. I look forward to each time I step into the cold room at the wholesaler's, excited to see what seasonal varieties are waiting for me. My heart skips a beat when I see something new, or interesting that calls to me, especially if I know that I can use it for an order I have. As all my orders are customized and crafted for the recipient in mind, I get to create something new and different each time which makes this process extremely fun for me.
I walk around the market in search of that perfect combination of flowers for each order. If I can't find a suitable flower, I move on to the next wholesaler in hopes that I will find "the one". More likely than not, I will always find it, even though I may not have an idea what "it" is. That's the fun part I guess, the SEARCH. The flower selection is the most important step for me as it not only determines the mood and feel of the arrangement, but it gives me confidence that the arrangement will be a beautiful one. I know I have found a magical combination when I am squealing and going "omggg I love this so much" even though the arrangement is nowhere near done.
Sometimes, the excitement comes in the form of materials used in a new perspective. For example, here I've used bamboo sliced lengthways to hold the flowers like a vase to create a Japanese inspired arrangement. The choice of "vessel" here is important to emote the feeling I wanted to create for this arrangement.
What is your favourite flower and why?
There are waaay too many to name but I love fritillaria, sweet pea, rubus (berries) and unique orchid varieties.
This is sweet pea, don't you just love the veining and the colours and THE SCENT is heavenly.
Find Shilbe at Still Life Florals