I absolutely love designing outdoors. Growing up in the country, I was always outside helping in the garden or with the horses and other farm animals. I’ve always loved the outdoors with some of my favorite design projects being outdoor living areas and gardens. The outdoors offers so many natural inspirations. I think that’s why the safari leg of my African adventure was so exciting.
The Big Outdoors
Of course, I’ve seen many photos of animals in the wild of Africa. However, until I actually had a personal experience with these fantastic creatures, I realized what I saw in photographs did not compare with the actual experience. While I possessed what I thought was a fairly strong understanding of animals, this safari humbled me, and I realized I was a novice at best.
On the day of my safari, we headed out not knowing what to expect. Camera in hand and hat in the other, I was keenly focused on our guide as he explained the Dos and Don’ts during this portion of the trip. I paid special attention to the do not extend yourself or any body part outside of the truck direction.
We headed out and before my very eyes the jungle opened up bursting with all the color and amazement you’d always dreamed of.
As we drove, the terrain changed entering the ‘safari’ area. The density of the jungle grew but not so much that we couldn’t pass through. The nature was all around and one couldn’t help but take in the sweet scents and bursts of color from the flora.
The animals were all about us, seeming almost oblivious to our presence yet keenly aware while we snapped our cameras. You see, they were very accustomed to the human-cargo truck and cameras, but they were still very much in their habitat and wanted to safeguard their kingdom. Hence, the do not leave the truck directive.
Attention to Detail
Throughout the day, I found my mind always took me immediately to the detail. When I looked at the animals, I saw the intensity of their color, the brightness in their eyes and of course, the textures of their hides and feathers. All of these features opened up an entirely new adventure from a design perspective.
I could see using these type of textures, hide-like fabrics and colors in design – on a fabulous ottoman or one of my Mor custom chairs. Likewise, taking the feathery inspiration from a flowing ostrich allows for a fun accent in the painting scheme or a wonderful piece of art is all any designer can ask for. I must confess after experiencing these inspiring animals and appreciating their contribution to the beauty of the world, I will be utilizing more man-made materials in my designs going forward.
The flowers and wonderful rich greens of the plants were absolutely breathtaking. I found myself photographing a single flower from every angle so not to miss any of its inherent beauty.
At the onset of my career, I might say I took some risks; however, the trip to Africa gave each of my scenes new life. The untamed nature of the country has inspired me to integrate new and exciting ideas into my design. I realize the experience allowed me to open a new chapter and take a new trip in my career.