7 Rules to stay sane and creative during the pandemic
By: KATYA HUTTER | 24-03-2021 | 7 min read
I decided to quote one of my favorite songs by Chris Rea “Looking for the Summer”, as for me it’s the soundtrack of this spring period and the current lockdown in the Netherlands. With a growing number of infections and a rather slow vaccine rollout, our chances to get back to any form of normality until summer or even autumn are “teeny-weeny”.
The Fruits of Creative Collaborations
In absence of events, in order to keep fit, relevant, and to make new business connections, many industry professionals, like myself, come together and organize collaboration projects, styled shoots where every vendor displays his or her best abilities and together they achieve much greater results. The fruit of such collaboration - photography or a film - is shared among the participants. Most successful projects have this indispensable ingredient – synergy.
THE RULE NUMBER ONE TO STAY SANE AND CREATIVE DURING THE PANDEMIC IS TO LOOK FOR A COLLABORATION. KEEP ON CREATING, MAKING. YOU WILL BE SURPRISED WHAT YOU ACTUALLY CAN ACHIEVE. FORGET EXCUSES, JUST DO IT.
Look For a Role Model
Instagram is overwhelmed by creative images, produced during the Coronavirus pandemic. It looks like, while businesses are suffering, artists and talented people are thriving, at least creatively. Just look at the amazing recent portfolio of an Englishman Joseph Massie and his striking artistic flower arrangements made during the pandemic. Busy agendas of the past would not allow many professionals like him even to think of creating a whole new body of work, exploring new ideas, styles, materials, and techniques. Each and every daring and talented creative individual became his or her own Vincent Van Gogh, obsessed with his or her artistic expression.
Remember, Van Gogh created his priceless masterpieces in huge numbers, guided not by a capitalistic need, but by an artistic urgency, though he did want and need to sell his paintings badly, we can admire his outstanding work thanks to his difficult personal circumstances. It’s not always easy.
Just listen to Vincent:
“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." ‘I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.’
THE RULE NUMBER TWO: LOOK FOR A ROLE MODEL. SOMEBODY WHO COULD HELP YOU TO FIND STRENGTH IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. KNOW THAT
YOU ARE VALUABLE, EVEN IF THERE IS NOBODY WHO BUYS YOUR WORK RIGHT NOW. REMEMBER OR LEARN ABOUT VINCENT VAN GOGH’s STORY.
Positivity Is Key
When I watch Dutch television and news, sometimes I’m amazed about the way the Dutch youth is treated here in The Netherlands – as victims of the pandemic. Some irresponsible politicians even tell that the future of the young people is stolen or doomed, probably willing to get more young voters, who would be attracted by their “care”. I see more and more students giving interviews, believing these words, feeling like a victim, acting like one, demotivated, depressed. It’s a worrisome and quite a dangerous tendency here in the Netherlands – victimized youth.
I agree that it’s important to acknowledge the real problems which the youth is facing right now, as well as helping to integrate them into the broader picture – they are part of the World, of our much larger than themselves Dutch and European society, they are the Citizens of the Future. Many people struggle at the moment, but many have the strength to carry on, to overcome difficulties, to set a healthy example. As grownups, we have to show the youth the ways to see possibilities, to feel strong, to take the right steps. Instead of feeding their inexperienced souls with negativity.
Our responsibility is not to make them feel even weaker, but to support them, to think of positive programs and initiatives, that would motivate them to find their place in the world. Explain to them how to overcome difficulties. I went through three global economical crises within 10 years between my mid 20th and mid 30th. I survived them and I will survive once again.
THE THIRD RULE: LOOK FOR POSITIVITY. YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM. GO LOOKING FOR THE SUMMER.
Keep Your Mind, Body and Spirit Healthy
I have a friend and she is truly beautiful inside and out and she is also brilliant. She is a burn-out survivor and is still looking for a balance. Her sparkling energy, determination, and passion have helped her to achieve so many incredible things - to become an actual Beauty Queen, as well as a martial arts champion, to get a degree in psychology, and to work for the government. She is a gifted singer and a talented performer. All these amazing achievements and ambitions formed her, made her shine bright and they also burned her out. But like the mythological Phoenix bird, she will be cyclically regenerated and born again. I believe she will, I know she will.
THE RULE NUMBER FOUR: LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. IN ORDER TO USE YOUR CREATIVE POTENTIAL FULLY YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
Probably I should say something about the images, I’m using to illustrate this blog. I was really lucky to be invited to this beautiful project with so many talented individuals, to make my flowers, help with the styling and the production. A wedding planner Emilva from Sante Weddings sent me an interesting mood board with a black table setting, reflecting the idea of changing seasons – the transition between the winter and the spring.
I loved the idea and space for an experiment, that Emilva gave me. I’ve dried quite a lot of material during the winter and wanted to use it for dried floral arrangements as a symbol of winter. In order to make them look more special and matching with the color scheme – black, blue, purple, white - I’ve painted them with a soft gradient effect. The dry arrangements complimented the space – the beautiful modern interior of a state of an art office center in Amsterdam, Baxter Building.
The symbol of spring, the fresh cut flower arrangements and bouquets, I made with spring flowers – different sorts of tulips, lovely anemones, frittelatia, muscari, scabiosa. I used dyed tulips to create the desired color pallet.
RULE NUMBER FIVE: LOOK FOR SPACE FOR AN EXPERIMENT. SOME EXPERIMENTS TURN OUT QUITE NICELY.
Photography: Katya Hutter
This stunning artwork “Nina” by Jenny Boot, which is the main eye-catcher of the room, is an absolute masterpiece and a great source of inspiration. It was our main reference for the selection of the color scheme for the table setting and the flower's color pallet. It reminds me of the Italian Renaissance. It’s almost an icon, a sacred female figure. What inspiring work! It truly guided me during my work on the project.
MY RULE NUMBER SIX: LOOK FOR INSPIRATION. WHEN YOU ARE INSPIRED, YOUR HEART IS FILLED WITH PASSION, LOVE, LIGHTNESS, GREAT VIBES. THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING YOU CAN’T DO IN THIS STATE OF MIND.
Photography: Cher van Pelt and Thijs Huizer
We Are In It Together
I’m hearing the last music accords of my favorite song and the magnificent voice of Chris Rea is fading away. He, like myself, is still looking for the summer. Will it be better, happier, more successful, more inspirational, will it be safe? Will I see my family, will my business survive, will I and my loved ones be healthy? It all depends on us. On each and every individual. Those who guide us and look after us during the pandemic. Those who are delusional and those who are sensible. We all are small parts of a bigger puzzle. To stay sane and creative we need to remember the very last rule.
RULE NUMBER SEVEN: STICK TOGETHER. WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER. SOLIDARITY, COMPASSION, SENSIBILITY – THESE ARE THE KEYWORDS DEFINING OUR FUTURE. WISH YOU TO STAY HEALTHY, SAFE, AND POSITIVE.
Floral Design: Katya Hutter @katyahutterfloraldesign
Creative Direction: Emilva Tervoort @santeweddings
Production & Styling: Emilva Tervoort @santeweddings, Katya Hutter @katyahutterfloraldesign
Photography team: Thijs Huizer @thijs.huizer, Cher van Pelt @cheryourspace & Katya Hutter @katyahutterfloraldesign
Models: Karlijn @khcr_x & Shalini @shaliniaudhoe
Make-up and hair: Olga Stasevich @olgastasevich
Venue: Baxter Building Amsterdam @baxterbuildingamsterdam
Natural dyed textiles: Pomegranate Colours @pomegranatecolours
Artwork: Jenny Boot @jennyboot2
Calligraphy: Svetlana Rumyantseva @renarrd_calligraphy
Ps. EEnjoy the videoclip of Chris Rea - On the Beach "Looking for the Summer" which was used as an inspiration:
Katya Hutter is a floral designer based in Amsterdam, specialized in creating luxury and artistic floral decors for private clients, weddings & events, and the fashion industry. Her style is lush, nature-inspired, abundant and surprising. Katya believes that nature inspires better designs, it's a source of great inspiration for her. She received her training in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands, in the very heart of the world’s floral industry and has received private lessons and master classes from a brilliant Japanese florist Atsushi Taniguchi in his flower school in Paris. Atsushi’s work has greatly influenced Katya’s ever-evolving style as she continues to refine her skills through continued study. Her background, as a fashion stylist, a photo producer and an agent of award winning photographers undoubtably adds an extra dimension to her floristry, successfully balancing commercial considerations whilst maintaining artistic integrity, assuring that her clients get the best possible quality and impeccable service. Katya speaks three languages: Russian, English, Dutch and welcomes clients from Europe and further afield to her creative floral atelier in the heart of Amsterdam.Katya has worked and collaborated with a broad range of companies, private clients, celebrities, magazines and brands including but not limited to Cosmopolitan, Glamour, GQ, In Style, Viva, Collezioni, Wedding, Playboy, Shape, Burda, L’Oreal, Dove, BBDO, Saatchi&Saatchi, Publicis, Sofitel Legend The Grand, Conservatorium Hotel, dancers from The Dutch National Ballet Company.