By AMANDA GIBB
Andrea Johnson the founder of Andrea Johnson Floral Design has started a project called Canvassed, a way to immortalize her floral creations through artist interpretations as a lasting composition.
Johnson was an account manager in advertising for six years before she took a floral arranging workshop.
“I fell in love immediately after the first day and I just couldn’t stop working with flowers. I’d be leaving the office and I’d have to stop at the nearest bodega, pick up some grocery store flowers, and rearrange them at home,” she said.
When her husband needed to relocate to Toronto for work, she decided to start her floral business when they moved to the Beach.
“My career in advertising was miserable. I kept thinking, what if I found a job in advertising in Toronto, how would I like it? I could already see myself being unhappy.”
Johnson said she fell in love with the Beach community, especially with the little shops along Kingston Road.
Johnson said she had always been a person who loved to create.
“Flowers was the medium that stuck. It was like I understood with them without understanding how. When I’m around flowers and working with flowers I don’t really need to think about it…It comes naturally,” said Johnson.
Johnson said that she had events scheduled for this year after launching in September 2019, but many of them were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said she felt defeated, but kept creating anyway because there was no reason to stop, and it was an opportunity to explore her aesthetic.
Her idea for Canvassed came about when she started thinking about the longevity of her art.
“I’m making these living pieces that I feel are art…I started thinking that my art dies…Why can’t I work with someone who can help me to help my art last, but be interpreted by artists in creative ways?”
Currently, Johnson is working with seven artists that create lasting visual compositions of her arrangements: Niki Kingsmill, Jason Balducci, Reynold Thomas, Ailsa Craigen, Maude Gervais, Suji Wong, and Jose Cifuentes.
“I made sure to fins artists of all different styles and backgrounds because I wanted it to be a diverse group that would allow…anyone who is interested to find something they love and connect with,” she said.
Johnson said she currently has hopes to do a larger exhibition featuring her and the artists’ work in 2021.
In the next few weeks, Johnson is working with Cifuentes to work on a twist to Canvassed, featuring local farmers and one wholesaler.
“I’m going to do six arrangements from six local different farmers and he’s going to paint them, so we have a mini-series that shows from flowers to farm to florist to artist,” she said.
To learn more about Canvassed and Andrea Johnson Floral Design, please visit her website at https://www.andreajohnsonfloral.com/