Having arrived as an event planner through a design career, “the process” is a comfortable and familiar roadmap to my finding solutions. The navigation, be it toward a tangible goal or exploring the journey whose endpoint has not yet been revealed, requires both a vision and an intuition of what is worth gathering along the way.
I love “The Process” !
And what do I love about it?
For me, it’s a bit like finding the puzzle pieces (in the most efficient order) and the exhilaration of popping them down to reveal the image on the box lid.
Yet, even after many years of working in this manner, there are moments in the process that still give me mild anxiety. One of my college art professors once told me that he found it interesting to observe that my process was driven equally by the left and right side of my brain and not nearly so one-sided as most artists and designers from the right.
So in “my” process, there is a point when the big picture ideas and the analytical ones have their stand off. What this looks like for me…
It’s the moment when my desktop is loaded with inspirational screen shots, there are numerous website tabs opened, the surfaces and floor of my studio are covered with opened books, lots of sticky notes littered about, large sketch pads with sharpie drawings and arrows and scribbles of color, torn out magazine pages layered on any remaining unused surface, bits and baubles of materials that inspire me from color swatches torn from a PMS swatch books to fabric and ribbon and objects plucked from here and there. It’s the “gathering along the way” stuff that is staring back at me in this moment (in a big way), looking for order and a place, waiting to be applied and woven into the plan. The left side of my brain is a bit freaked out at this point and desperately wants to start making folders on the desktop to categorize screen shots as my hands are compelled to gather and sort objects and place them in baskets with name tags, and of course, longing to get the vacuum out and make straight lines in the carpet!
So I sit with discomfort and work, work, work & get totally lost in the process.
Sometimes it’s a very, very long day where time, sleep and nourishment just no longer matter and sometimes it’s
a couple of days. I have watched my husband’s expression change when he walks into the studio, scans the unkempt environment and witnesses this unfolding. As a pilot (and you know how that brain functions) he is most at ease with order and when my brain is being motored by the left engine. To him, I must look like a woman gone mad in the mayhem of it all, intently hunched over my keyboard and swirling about what appears to be a huge mess.
He has seen this woman before and he knows in that moment to ask very few and selectively smart questions
and to know that there probably will not be a dinner plan today or maybe not tomorrow either.
At the other side of these intense sorting, thinking and developing stretches
there lies the result of a storyboard, the plan and the proposal.
It’s a deep-breath-moment that is so gratifying both mentally and visually.
My right and left sides have arrived at the space to work together with equity.
From here, it’s not quite clear sailing but I now have "The Plan" and can march forward knowing,
with quite a bit of certainty, what I need to do get to the job done.
The mechanics. The logic. The practical steps. The lists.
When I contracted Eleanor's Bat Mitzvah celebration last November, life was as normally as we once knew it.
YAY…fabulous and interesting event project, terrific clients and an amazing 13 year old girl who was very clear
in communicating that she hated pink sparkles and she loved warm natural and comfortable settings.
Dream come true! Let’s build fun and a great aesthetic for her party at the magnificent Mayflower Inn and Spa
for her, her parents, family and friends. Let's get going!!!
Although this process began very much like I have just described, the journey from March through this past weekend, took so many turns and switchbacks. In hindsight, I know that our success lied in the fact that I am so deeply rooted
in the process from years of creative work. The unpredictable and free flowing nature of it all is one that I have
learned to not brace against but flow with (to the degree I need to) as I steer toward the objectives.
In the end, I watched it all fall into the order it was intended to, in the moment we were in.
Accepting that control and flexibility can exist in harmony,
really has been the “AHA” moment this year.
I’d like to thank my assistant, Maggie Frankenbach, for her steadfast attention to details (that mattered!),
hard work, her bright and sunny attitude, patience, candid photo captures and image cataloging,
anticipating my every need, flexing with me, jogging along side me
and for being the best candy and tattoo bar concierge I could ever ask for.
You rock Maggie!
I hope you enjoy these casual out takes from our getting-ready stages.
Can you tell we had a lot fun?
And can you see that we like to get the pack involved in our process?
We believe that everyone needs a job, especially these days!
Diesel, our obedient and adorable Norwich Terrier, is the best tail-end model we could have wished for.
Conan, our rescue (seen above hoarding swag) simply cannot believe how important stuff is.
He is obsessed with piles and piles of coziness which makes sense coming from the streets of Thailand
with nothing on his back but a crazy curly tail and a will to get the hell out of there.
Grace, our Border Terrier (not seen since the candy bar assembly) spends her time in the garage
sniffing boxes of wrappers and wondering if eating the paper could be as satisfying
as the candy she wishes her nose and mouth could find.
Please come back and revisit our blog in November
for the big reveal of Eleanor's Bat Mitzvah Celebration at
The Mayflower Inn and Spa
and witness all the great work from the many vendors
that we were fortunate to have alongside us.
Eleanor's sunrise on the morning of October 3rd
The long awaited day, that none of us were certain would come to be as we had imagined it to be.
I'd like to think I had something to do with this warm welcome but really, getting up VERY early has it's advantages.
I do believe and trust in a higher order. After we've done everything in our power and from our hearts,
to make the day the greatest we can imagine for our clients, there are still wonderful surprises and gifts unfolding.
Stay well + Keep Believing
Event Planner & Designer