My wonderful experiences at AIFD National Symposium

Returning flight was little early to Chicago from Boston. Getting ready, packing the luggage, checking out on the counter and getting in taxi to catch the plane with my family. Taxi was going fast towards the airport and I was going away from conference center where I spend one of the most special moments in my life, all those wonderful moments were gathering in front of my eyes, and when I was sitting in plane I could not control my self and I burst into tears. Thank god I was with my kids and Pramod.

‘AIFD National Symposium 2010-was held this year in Marriott Copley center in Boston and last week I was there to unfold each day with excellent Floral artists, presenters, speakers, mentors, students and friends from around the world. From my point of view we all gather together only with one purpose and that is ‘Appreciate Art ’. The whole year designers, artists, students work hard to represent there ideas and crew of wonderful people volunteer to make this event successful with immense efforts.

This was my third and last year to compete in student’s competition. I would say it was my wonderful learning experience in student competition. I realized, more than the results of student’s competition, it is the process, it is the journey, which takes you to different level by all means, and I am thankful to each one of you who contributed in my journey.

In 2008 first time I joined symposium and competed in student competition at Chicago. In my first year I got the great exposure about what you can do with your talent. I had lots of ideas but lack of experience, so baby in my womb and me were just absorbing and enjoying everything, sitting quietly and watching carefully.

In 2009 I compete in Kansas City for second time. This time I got the experience, which you will get only in the school of life. Within small amount of time I never knew when my hobby become my passion. I still remember those days when I was getting prepared for competition and working so hard to pursue my passion. While pursuing my passion it was not only my journey, I am blessed with wonderful people around me and still I am and my wonderful family. Every one of those has a special place in my heart. In June there were preparing classes for competition and I really wanted to attend those classes. Because of emergency Pramod was out of country, and I was taking my kids to school to attend the classes.The help I got from neighbors, friend was blessings of god.

In the competition, for my first round I did mistake that I could not put my piece on table in time and I was disqualified for that piece. At that time the support I got from my friends and the hug given by Stacey will be always with me. I did my second piece bridal bouquet, which won the first prize. Thanks to universe that offers me such a great experience.

Life’s biggest mistakes are the greatest teacher, which bring you more rewards and make you more and more humble if you channel your energy into right direction.

Hmm… third and last year of competition. Trying and exploring design, techniques and mechanics in my garage like scientist experimenting in his lab. I was opening my mind and trying to bring my imagination into creativity. As competition was coming nearer I was getting emotional and I feel, that feeling was through out the symposium. And I noticed I was not the only one who was in this state. I saw the tears in artists eyes when they finished their presentation and all the audience gave “Standing ovation”. I saw those same feelings in some volunteers who made the event successful. What does any artist want more than that – “Appreciation”. Standing ovation is the respect towards his artistry, time, efforts s/he took to show creativity. To getting prepared to show their best, and while doing that the heart, brain and soul was working together the whole time!!! What a experience. Giving your best towards what you love to do. If you notice most of the time we use only brain to work.

Anyway, keeping my positive attitude and putting my efforts to give my best in competition I finished all my four pieces in time. I was satisfied with my work. When all the four pieces were put in a reception area to view, I was pleased to see peoples reaction, there kind words, appreciation and there love towards art. My stomach was churning inside and I was absorbing experience of appreciation of art. I just wanted to go in my room, and sit quietly. I would say I am very thankful to all of you.

Award night I garnered overall best designs 2nd place, buffet design 2nd place, first place in napkin decor and while announcing the prize, chair person of students competition BJ Dyer, generously mentioned the last years incidence about disqualification of my piece, because of time constraint, and the lesson I had learnt without bitterness for the rest of my life . I cannot imagine the feelings of any artist, only tears could gather in my eyes. My daughters Arula and Arhana and my husband Pramod were in the audience. It was very proud moment for all of us. The people who were the witnessed all this became emotional, was big reward for me, more than any award.

Last but not least, I am thankful to my friends Donna and Donnie who were not in competition but helping out for preparing competition. Sally, Mady, Kiola bringing the team spirit, Connie, Anna and Luz, my instructor lovely Sue; my first teacher at Triton, supporter Stacey.

Any relationship becomes stronger when it goes thro all ups and downs, success and failure, sorrow and happiness. We just need patience, we don’t have to be perfect, just be proud and enjoy what we are. Each one of us has some gifted qualities by nature. We just need to realize it. I found wonderful friends here in symposium, which can become friends forever. Here I was in plane shading tears, feeling like when I meet my parents, friends and family in India and getting apart from them and waiting for next time.

More about the Student competitions at AIFD National Symposium 2010, Boston can be found here