Dani McDermott // Out Of My Bloomin' Mind
Star Castle Spotlights are monthly artist spotlights that feature one of the many artists/makers that inspire the Star Castle community.
Dani’s handmade flowers provide the magic of a fresh bouquet that will last a lifetime! As someone that struggles with keeping plants alive, I was instantly drawn to the #notallflowersfade mentality. 😂
Dani has the uncanny ability to capture the essence of organic florals through her hands. She adds an incredible amount of detail to each of her pieces, and her authentic inspiring vibes flow through into every piece that she creates.
In this spotlight, you’ll hear Dani’s journey to discovering her passion, her struggles getting through the ‘blisters, youtube scrolling, and outbursts’ and advice she has for those of you still muddling through those rough patches. I hope it inspires you to push through your own metaphorical (or legitimate) ‘blisters’ to bring your own artistic endeavors to life!!
Hmmm...how much time do you have? Lol. Funny thing, I just wrote a post about this for Valentines day!
Let me give you the backstory…
When I met my husband he wasn’t really romantic but I I knew he wasn’t the romantic type. So when Valentine’s Day came by the first year we were together, he told me he didn’t really believe in Valentine’s Day because he thought that you should show your love every day and not designate it to one day.
So, I resigned myself to knowing that we just weren’t going to celebrate it and it sucked. (Sigh)
A couple of years ago, I finally got upset that after 18 years of being together he never brought me flowers, not even once for Valentine’s Day. As I was throwing my little fit guess who pulls up into our driveway? Yeah that would be FTD. The floral delivery guy. (Insert sheepish face here.)
Yes, the shame of the outburst is still with me. But I must say every time I walked by those beautiful and unexpected flowers I would stop and just stare at them and smile. I don’t know if I can curse on here, but it was a shit-eating smile, ok? Lol.
After what seemed like maybe two or three days, I noticed that a bunch of the petals and leaves were on the counter and the petals on the flowers were getting brown and crumbly. I panicked! O-M-G! I never thought of changing out the water or clipping the ends or whatever you were supposed to do!
So, quickly I did all the things I needed to do and then went on YouTube to see if there was anyway to revive them, nope, there was nothing and I was distraught. It wasn’t so much that I killed a beautiful bouquet as much as it was what it meant to me that that made me so upset.
Anyway, when I was scrolling on YouTube again, I found these tutorials on making paper flowers. I had no idea there was such a thing! So I thought to myself that, "Huh, that seems easy enough. Maybe I can make something that will remind me of the ones he gave me??" No problemo!
Riiight... I don’t know exactly how many fingerprints I've removed or blisters I'd gotten with hot glue, or how much crepe paper I wasted, but I was determined to keep doing it until I got it right!
Eventually one day I did it! It actually looked like a flower! Thank you Lia Griffith!
And then and there I fell in love with making paper flowers!
Now that it's two years later, and knowing what I know now, it floors me! And it still makes me laugh. I thought that they looked real back then, but, yeah, no. It's an art. And it is hard to do. People don't understand what it takes. Botany research, buying real flowers and taking them apart to see the mechanics and anatomy. Now I've become such a crazy researcher and perfectionist, lol.
But you know, in the end, if I felt that way about my flowers dying, surely others did too. That's why I decided to bring them to you. So you don't have to experience what I did. I just wish I had discovered them much earlier!
It's not easy to create "life" from paper.
It's not just any paper either. It's high quality German and European paper. (Expensive) I cut it stretch and mold it by hand until it looks like a petal or leaf. I use different media to color, dye, and treat my flowers to last forever.
What are 3 words you'd use to describe your unique art style?
Passionate, realistic, and unique.
“My hope is that one day people will appreciate that the creation of paper flowers is an art form”
My hope is that one day people will appreciate that the creation of paper flowers is an art form.
What would 'success' look like to you with this passion of yours?
To be recognized as an authority in my field and appreciated for my skills as an artist. Someday I'd love to have my own home decor shop with a studio to teach classes on paper flowers!
I'm a perfectionist, so I rarely feel that my pieces are done. Lol. But there comes a time when you have to let go of the perfectionism because nature is not perfect. So I know I'm done when it feels right.
Please share a bit about the studio / workspace you've created to work in and how that impact your progress & final product.
My studio is were my family is so that it allows me to spend time with them. Otherwise I'd never see them. But mostly I moved into the living room to be near my husband who is currently battling Hodgkins lymphoma. And I usually get great feedback from the kids! Lol
Perfectionism and self-doubt as an artist is my biggest struggle. But everyday I tell myself that there is no one like me. We are all unique and you can't measure yourself against others.
The other challenge I have is finding the balance between working at home, as well as being a good mom and wife. I give myself daily goals and write them down and plan. One of those goals is writing down the time of day where I will stop working so that I can be with my family.
Do you have any advice / tips for someone looking to dive deeper and pursue their own creative passion?
Sounds cliche, but, just do it. You do you boo boo! Lol
Wander through Dani’s online garden:
Looking to build a brand around your art?
I know you have your own artistic passion that you’re ready to take to the next level.
Let’s work together to build a unique brand you can be proud of.
Schedule a time to chat with your new design sidekick (me!) — tomorrow you’ll wish you had started today!