Conversations with an Artist: Seva Floral

 Anna Seva_Seva Design_Floral Artist

Anna Seva is Finnish-American so you know that we love her Scandi sense of minimalism right away! She's also a passionate truth-teller about the environmental issues of the floral industry and aims to educate us all on how to be more sustainable and conscientious about the flowers we buy.
Take this excerpt from a recent article she wrote, "Why do I dislike Valentine’s Day? First, it takes place on February 14th, in the heart of winter, when local flowers are in short supply even on the West Coast. It’s 2021 but mass produced hothouse roses still define the aesthetic with their straight stems and stiff, flawless, unemotional blooms. A great majority of the 250 million roses sold for Valentine’s Day are shipped in from South America where environmental standards are lower and pesticides not allowed in the US or Europe are heavily used in rose production, with terrifying consequences to the health of the environment and the workers growing them. Add to this the emissions from shipping these endless boxes of product and the rose as a timeless symbol of love and devotion begins to quickly wilt."
We love how she thinks out-of-the-box to challenge industry norms. So when Anna designed an installation for our El Paseo Lane facing window, we were excited to watch her choreograph the stunning result.

Describe the moment you realized art fed your soul.
Surely there were moments earlier on, but seeing Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Blue” in the movie theater in 4th grade changed my life. I was lucky to grow up in an artistic home where self-expression was a given. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t thinking about the world through the lens of art and creativity. 

Anna Seva_Seva Design_Floral Installation Bathtub

What themes do you pursue in your art/craft.
Sustainability, fragility, exuberance. Rebellion, solitude and impermanence. 

Anna Seva_Seva Design_Floral Installation model holding sculptural flowers

Tell us about what influences the direction for your craft.
Climate change. Seeing and experiencing the work of other floral designers whose work does or doesn’t align with mine in both values and aesthetic sensibility. Nature’s palettes, textures and silhouettes. Music. 

Anna Seva Floral Design

How has your work developed over time?
My approach to design has become more clear, precise and uncompromising but also looser, more spontaneous and whimsical. I delight in the haphazard in a way I couldn’t before when I felt less experienced in my work. I’m also becoming steadily more political and focal about the environmentally problematic aspects of the floral industry. 

Anna Seva_Seva Floral Design_Staging the Floral InstallationAnna staging the window installation for Poet and/the Bench

Anna Seva_Seva Design_Floral Installation Display Window at Poet and the BenchAnna installing the window installation at Poet and/the Bench

What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
My clippers, by far. 

Do you collect anything?
Dried flowers - in order to reuse leftover materials from events. I’m a minimalist so I have limited patience for keeping things around unless they directly contribute to my work. 

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
The landscape of Sea Ranch. “Anthem” by Father John Misty. Witnessing Sarah Winward think through design on a recent job. 

What advice would you give to your younger self about your artistic journey?
Embrace your restless spirit and your agile brain. Don’t try to be steady, stable and stick to one thing. Allow yourself to grow and evolve in a way that organically makes sense to you even if it seems different from other people’s paths. See your differences as meaningful, dynamic strengths - not weaknesses or vulnerabilities. 

Anna Seva_Seva Design_Window Flowers_Poet and the BenchPoet and/the Bench Floral Installation Facing El Paseo Lane

Bonus Question:
What role has music played for you during COVID or while you work?
Music is so helpful for engaging and distracting the most active part of my brain– which then allows the rest of me to design in peace. 

Anna Seva Floral Design at Poet and the Bench on El Paseo LanePoet and/the Bench Floral Installation designed by Anna Seva of Seva Design

Anna used dried straw flowers (bright pink), thistle (blue), nigella pods (lime), misty flowers (delicate pink) and grass. Come see Anna's floral installation in the window and if you'd like to bring an arrangement home as shown in the Sister's Ceramics vessels, we'd be delighted to make that happen!

- Taffy Vases $90 each + floral arrangements as shown $55 each
- Tulip Vase $250 + floral arrangement as shown $55
- Taper Vase (lg) $80 + floral arrangement as shown $75
- Taper Vase (sm) $50 + floral arrangement as shown $55
- Small Bowl + floral arrangement as shown $55

Celebrating pretty...

~ Bonnie & Jeffrey

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