Splashing onto the floral scene three years ago, Jonas De Vestel’s unique approach to the industry has caught the attention of the international floral community. Now residing in Hoensbroek, Netherlands, this Belgian-born 25-year-old entomologist-turned-freelance-floral-designer is best known for marrying the science of entomology with floral art. He is the designer of “Sternocera vases,” which are vessels covered with hundreds of iridescent metallic blue-green wing casings of Sternocera aequisignata beetles from Thailand (also used in jewelry making).
With projects like the finale of Holland’s Next Top Model 2018 and a massive fairy-tale wedding in France under his belt, De Vestel’s freelance career has started off nicely, but those events were just the beginning for him. When he’s not working with flowers, he mounts butterflies and other insects. He loves to incorporate butterflies into his floral designs, believing that without insects, there would be no flowers, and that fact makes them perfect to use together.
What are your sources of inspiration that stimulate your creativity?
Nature is an important source of inspiration. I love to work with insects in floral designs especially because I am also an entomologist. My philosophy is that without insects, there wouldn’t be flowers; therefore, insects and flowers belong together. I believe that by infusing mounted insects such as butterflies with floral designs, a perfect match is created.
How frequently do you go on a quest for creative inspiration and rejuvenation?
I take advantage of every possibility to stimulate my creativity. I attend symposia, networking events and master classes. Working on events as a freelancer is an organic way to learn new things and new techniques. The best way for me to stay creative is to have contact with other floral designers. Working with them and listening to their opinions keep the creative juices flowing. I also visit growers, which allows me to experience how passionate they are about the beautiful flowers and plants they grow, and it makes me appreciate the botanical products even more.
Who have been your mentors, and do you now mentor to others?
I consider everyone who taught me something as a mentor, including my family, friends, teachers and people I worked with. They have all made me into the designer I am today. Because I am very grateful to everyone who motivated me, I always am trying to do the same for others. We can all learn from each other by sharing our creativity.