Jordana Masi is the founder of White Oak Flower Co a flower company creating art with seasonal and local materials that tell the story of life and love, influenced by the unpredictable romance of flora and forests.
When did you first fall in love with plants and flowers?
I’m not sure there was one specific moment, sort of a culmination of little moments. Growing up, both sets of my grandparents had really beautiful gardens, mostly fruit and vegetables and I was always intrigued by them. I started working at a garden centre and flower shop when I was just 15 years old and from that point I never went longer than a few months without working with flowers or in gardens.
What stories can you tell with plants and flowers that you couldn’t via other mediums?
I suppose you could say I tell stories of movement and interconnectivity, touching on the importance of letting go and moving on.
We only have a short period of time with flowers; they don’t last forever.
Recognising the fact that they are fleeting allows us to enjoy them for what they are. I think it teaches us the beauty of impermanence.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
What inspires you?
I feel the most inspired and refreshed after I’ve spent time in a remote natural environment. I love the sounds, the colours, the way the light trickles through the woods. I find such peace and inspiration in the calm.
Inspiration feels like a fresh start, one where there is space for new ideas.
I like to close my eyes and let my mind take in it’s surroundings. It almost feels like opening your windows on a beautiful spring day and letting that air flow through your house.
Do you feel you co create with the plants you work with?
Definitely. They sort of set the flow for how the piece will look. Some flowers pair perfectly together, others not so much.
My shape is totally dependent on the stems and their individual shapes.
Mother nature is kind of crazy – the good kind – in the way that colours connect and communicate, from one plant species to the next. I could write a book on this.
Have you ever felt guilty or uneasy about cutting plants for use?
Not really, no. I’ve been lucky to learn from some incredible gardeners and growers who have really showed me how and when to clip, from the wild, from my own garden or from purchased plants. If I take cuttings from plants, I try to plant them in my garden afterwards or I keep them going as a studio plant.
Is creation a spiritual experience for you? Where does it come from?
At the root of it, yes. It comes from existing in the moment, just being rather than dwelling in a state of over thought. I keep as organised and prepared as possible to avoid over stressing about the details.
It’s important to not let the spirit of creation get clouded by big projects with complicated logistics.
This helps me quarantine my creative time, where I need to open myself to the energies that channel through me. A space that is confident, beautiful and therapeutic.
How did you know this was an area you could build a successful career in?
When people started paying me.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to make a living from their passions?
Try not to compare yourself, comparison is the thief of joy. Authenticity is the key. I do my best, most honest work when I’m not bombarded by thoughts and expectations.
If you can find your true voice and show it to the world honestly, people notice that and want to be around it.
Aside from the creative part of the job, you need to have a good business sense. There are a lot of logistical, financial and spatial details that need to be dealt with efficiently in order to find ongoing growth and success. It’s not always pretty behind the scenes but overall it is one of the greatest pleasures.