These floral artists prove fresh blossoms are an endless source of inspiration.
Paraluman Flora: photographed by Johnny Tang. Kim Jasmin Monsalud Francisco: photographed by Pamela Lau
Kim Jasmin Monsalud Francisco named her creative passion project, Paraluman Flora, after the Tagalog word for muse. “The [flowers] are my muse,” she says. “I believe we’re all meant to live within nature, and flowers happen to be nature’s most beautiful gift.” The artist’s work spans creative direction, product design, branding, and photography, however, her bespoke floral arrangements that combine art, nature, and her Filipinx roots have garnered distinct praise. Each of Francisco’s sculptural pieces tells a story using lush, vivid hues and interesting textures. From her eccentric set designs to her community-building collaborations, Francisco’s influence has reached full bloom. “Paraluman is my bridge to live a meaningful life,” she says. “Whether by making one person smile after receiving a bouquet or raising money for typhoon relief in the Philippines, this is my contribution.”
Strangelove Flowers: photographed by Kristina Ruddick. Mimosa Haque: photographed by Sevan Ichkhanian.
A private studio in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood houses the creative and curious floral practice of Mimosa Haque. The Bangladesh-born graphic designer turned floral artist launched the brand under the moniker Strangelove in 2019, inspired by what she calls “nature’s original accessory.” Her moody arrangements evoke feelings of surrender and wonder, highlighting the subtleties and nuances of flowers even as they inevitably wilt and die. Through expressive installations and styling, Haque creates a sensory experience for anyone who encounters one of her arrangements. Similar to her preferred medium, Haque’s creative process is characterized by growth and evolution. “The pandemic has especially changed my understanding of what my contribution to the world of flowers could look like,” she says. “It has become a cathartic experience and meditative practice that I deeply benefit from and feel grateful to share.”
Emma Muncaster: photographed by Luis Mora.
When floral artist Emma Muncaster started her Instagram page in 2017, she initially used Succulent Slut as an effort of anonymity. Since then, the brand has evolved into a full-fledged business and platform for self-expression. “The name was born out of a personal battle with self-image, to reclaim a socially taboo word,” she says. “The mission was to collaborate with my clients in meaningful ways. It’s of course much more than that now—it’s also a platform to express my personal style with and without flowers.” When asked what she hopes her work will provide her customers, she responds “Whatever they might need in the moment, in the form of visual therapy, the ephemeral quality of florals, I think, heightens their emotional impact as an art form.” Like fashion and fine art, Muncaster considers flowers to be timeless. “Flowers have their own predetermined seasonality which offers evolving creative opportunities throughout the year.”