If you have ever had the privilege of meeting young Dutch Master Florist Thomas Spiess, EMC, owner of Die Burgfloristen (burgfloristen.ch), in Uster, Zürich, Switzerland, you quickly realize his passion for his art. Thomas’ thirst for knowledge is insatiable as he continually drives himself to further his education. He holds numerous degrees in floral education, floral design, horticulture and interior design, and he is an educator at various floral schools. With his skill-set fortified by a vast educational base, he challenges himself to merge the worlds of innovative design with the commercial floral industry daily.
In what ways does having or being a mentor foster and inspire creativity for you?
I’ve had several mentors from whom I have learned so much. Having mentors in different phases of development is very important for creative individuals. A good mentor encourages and challenges a student. A mentor is a role model, teacher and confidant. His role changes after his students begin exploring new, indepedent paths. I believe that, at this point, one’s mentor can become a colleague and healthy competitor. A mentor and mentee go through a process of enjoying personal progress, being frustrated with defeat, inventing and stumbling. It is through all of this that I have learned how to become the designer I am today. Now that I am a teacher for a continuing education institution in Switzerland, I understand the importance of this learning process even more.
What renews and rejuvenates your creative spirit?
For me, inspiration does not come from museums or paintings. It is not in my nature to ask what an artist was/is trying to express in his or her work, if it is not obvious. Thus, I concluded that I must not be creative enough. However, I realized that my approach to creativity is just different. Music is what I react strongly to, and I surround myself with music all day long. I also am stimulated by optical images and am fascinated by advertising posters. Last but not least, my friends are a great source of inspiration, and, usually, they even don’t know it. It does not matter if they come from a creative field or not. It is through our conversations that even random things sparks an idea within me.