Thursday, April 5, 2012

When Inspiration Strikes

If there is one thing I love about my "job", it is listening to each familys' inspiration and making it become a reality in honor of their loved one. In fact, the more I help folks, the more I realize that we are all truly individuals: with individual likes, dislikes, interests, loves, opinions - the list could go on.
It also seems that each family, as a whole or as individuals, always holds tight to something that reminds them of their loved one: a favorite song or saying or verse...a photo or piece of artwork...a memory or single moment in time. The inspirations are countless.

A few weeks ago I had a sweet customer bring in this photo. She had found it online and immediately fell in love with it; and I can see why- it is absolutely beautiful!

Although I have admired their beauty for years, I never really knew much about the cherry blossoms and their significance in several Asian cultures. And as the daughter explained it to me, the more interested I became in researching the meaning behind this beautiful flower.

In the Japanese culture, these sweet little blossoms are most commonly held as symbols of purity, good fortune, love, life and mortality. So why do they act as a symbol of mortality? My research shows that it is due to the blossom's short life cycle.

In the Chinese culture it appears that the cherry blossoms take on a whole different meaning. In China it appears that the cherry blossom is associated with feminine beauty, love and passion.

With that symbolism being known, it is easy to understand why this sweet daughter would want to incorporate the cherry blossom into her mother's memorial. On  occasion a customer will come in with a specific design idea that is completely unlike anything I have in my design library. When this happens, as it did in this situation, we search our system to see if there is anything relatively close to what the customer wanted. And when it appears there is not, we are left to draw our own the design by hand.

You will notice the design on the left (the closest match from our system) does not have the same clarity as the one on the right (the one we drew by hand). You will also notice the symbols- all of which we drew by hand as well.

After completing the drawing we let the family review both proofs and select the one they felt was most like their initial inspiration. The family selected the hand drawn proof (the one on the right) and then we began the manufacturing process.

I was very pleased with the way this monument turned out; it is such a beautiful memorial for a special mother and her daughter.  

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