You may have noticed this piece of floral art on the Park Hyatt yesterday. And if you did not look see it, unfortunately it may be gone today! The artist, Mike Hines told me that is part of the challenge and beauty of botanical design. “It may have a life of only 4 hours,” he said energetically after working so long to complete this piece. For Mike and the process of floral design, it’s “on to the next one.”
Mike Hines Signature Collection was introduced yesterday with his first public installation at the celebration of the opening of NoMI Gardens on the 7th Floor rooftop deck of the Park Hyatt Chicago at 800 N. Michigan Avenue.
Mike always had a love of art and design. He said he remembered a bright orange corkboard his mother had on a wall in his room when he was a kid growing up in Minnesota. “Maybe that’s why I hate orange so much,” he joked. He told me he would cut out pictures from JCPenny catalogs and put together clippings on the corkboard. He told me now, even today, he starts with stick figures and loves to work in Photoshop (with help of his team) to see what his designs will look like. He has no formal floral training, started out working in retail and then began freelancing interior design. While traveling in Rome, he says, he bought a floral and then went back to ask the shop owner how to unfold it. The shop owner apparently thought he had “the right touch for florals” and that he needed help so Hines stayed and trained in Italy and discoveded his love of floral design.
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He later opened Epoch Floral in Chicago and made local, national and international name for himself in the floral industry. He plans to take creative floral design to the next level by offering lectures, demonstrations, consulting opportunities and workshops featuring the latest trends in the floral world. He also looks to roll out a full product line in the future through the Mike Hines Signature brand, and is currently writing a book highlighting his botanical creations and industry secrets.
Mike is happy to share his secrets and wants everyone to create their own living art pieces. He told me a few tips on the spot: “I like to only use only three different elements, I think it is best to work in threes.” “I never use color with white, only green.” “It is often less expensive to get florals shipped from another country – don’t let a florist charge you more because they are from Holland, for example. He may not be paying that much for them.” He also told me some personal things. “I don’t really sleep that much. I am not worried that I will run out of ideas, but that I won’t be able to stop!”About Mike Hines Signature Launched in Spring 2012, Mike Hines Signature offers consumers a unique take on Mike Hines’ signature outside-the-vase floral design expertise through installations, lectures, workshops and demonstrations. Hines is also the creative director for Chicago-based epoch floral, an upscale modern floral design firm that has worked with high-end brands such as Hyatt, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bottega Veneta. For more information, visit www.mikehinessignature.com and www.epochfloral.com. – Carol Calacci Photos: Second City Style