“How do you practice your creative development – “play” with creativity and strengthen your creative muscle?” 

On the 25th anniversary of his induction into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), David Powers, AIFD, will be a main stage presenter at the AIFD Symposium, “Awaken,” in Las Vegas, Nev., from July 6-11, 2019. A Teleflora Education Specialist; an educator at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md.; and the marketing and sales manager at Potomac Floral Wholesale in Silver Spring, Md., David’s interest in flowers goes back to his childhood, when, as elementary-school student, he did his homework in orchid greenhouses. His 37 years of experience of “doing it all” in the floral world, from freelance floral designer and retail flower shop manager and owner to teacher, has provided him with a well-rounded understanding of the floral industry.

I am inspired creatively every time I teach a class. It is there that the elements and principles of floral design are taught and followed. There are always students who want to work “outside the box.” It is exciting to see the openness to creativity from others. When I teach the rules, and then someone breaks the rules and it all works, I am wowed, and my creative muscle is inspired to create


What are your sources of creative inspiration?

Nature is my ultimate source of inspiration. When I look at a landscape, I visualize a design growing out of the ground. I also look at architecture and see products and materials I can interpret and incorporate into a design. I am inspired by just going to the grocery store. I see a greeting card with a landscape and ask myself how I could translate the scene into florals. I read a magazine and see a room staged and try to conceptualize how to incorporate floral arrangements into the setting.

Do you have, or have you ever had, a mentor? Have you ever been a mentor to others, or are you a mentor now?

I prefer to refer to people who have influenced or taught me as “people I look up to” or “designers I follow” because those individuals are more than just mentors; they are friends. I would include in that group Rich Salvaggio, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CAFA; Phil Rulloda, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; Neil Whittaker, AIFD, NDSF; and René Van Rems, AIFD, PFCI; to name just a few. I consider myself an educator rather than a mentor because we share knowledge; however, my students tell me I am their mentor.