Flora + Form

Sustainability & Art

It’s exciting when an artist steps in front of a lens. When creator becomes subject, the spirit put into their work takes on a new form. As a painter and potter, Danielle Romero of Flora + Form finds inspiration in nature and her conversations that surround it. As an interviewee, her passion for environmental conservancy manifests itself in her prose, while her inner artistic twinkle shines brightly through her studio and self. Danielle Romero is a forever mood. It's time to feel it.

Words from Danielle:

My studio is currently my home. Aside from the space limitations and more often than not, the mess, it feels as close to perfect as I could imagine. I live in the agricultural zoned area called Redland about an hour from downtown Miami, so I am surrounded by a lot of greenery, nature, and peace and quiet. The only thing I would want more of is space, both in working space and green space.

My aesthetic is currently in a state of evolution. While I think my base/default aesthetic will always be closer to a minimal one, where clean, sparse spaces are adorned by earthy pieces that evoke a sense of the natural environment, I am in a phase of my creative curiosity whereby color, texture and different materials are peaking my interest quite a bit. My new interest in these design aspects are heavily influencing my work as well. For example, I've been working with mortar as a base for my paintings for about a year and a half and I love the texture. I also really like using mortar to represent aspects of our modern world and how it relates to our natural world.

For a while now, I haven't felt very grounded in my work, like I don't have a clear sense of direction, and more so, consistency. I've struggled quite a bit with these feelings, but in time have begun to accept, or given in to the fact that perhaps I am not that kind of creative or "artist". There are many thoughts of wanting to make statements with my paintings, almost always ones inspired by environmental conservation, but often times I simply want to create work that I don't have meaning for. In essence there is no meaning, the end product is simply what came out of a particular moment in time. I also know that there is a big part of me that strives for my work to give the viewer a sense of peaceful, positive and/or calming energy. Cultivating this kind of energy in my personal life is very important to me, as I've struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It's also interesting that the results of when I create out of an energy that is more excited, whether it be a positive or negative excitement, I may be content with what I'm seeing aesthetically in the result, but not what that result is making me feel. So I struggle quite a bit with that as well. I'm just a big ball of struggle. I guess it's also worth mentioning that I work with ceramics as well. However, I feel more of a freedom for pure experimentation in that practice for some reason. Specifically, I love simply getting lost in the tactile nature of clay. My current dream work would be to create a sculpture for Tippet Rise (@tippet.rise) - a 12,000 acre ranch in Montana that exhibits large scale outdoor sculptures.

My inspiration mainly stems from the natural environment. Whether that be environmental conservation or something as simple as the beauty of a landscape. I am also highly inspired by moments of true presence; that is, being present, and in some ways in a state of meditation. I believe that is why I'm so inspired by nature - when I'm surrounded by nature I am much more easily present. That presence allows me to enter this unseen world/space that is so crucial to, and in many ways I believe, the origin to what our human senses are experiencing. While perhaps not necessarily directly inspired by, I also see how my work could be quite influenced by fashion and design. I often find myself considering whether a painting or a piece of pottery would work well as a prop in a fashion editorial/photograph for example. Fashion and design are also areas of huge personal interest to me as they are inherently creative based and avenues for further self-expression/exploration.

Unfortunately despite several attempts, I have yet to incorporate sustainable components into my work in a significant or meaningful way. I have tried re-using cardboard as canvases, and used plastic bags as elements in paintings for example, but none of my attempts have produced a result worth repeating as of yet. That doesn't mean I have given up though. I am currently trying my luck again with used plastic zip lock bags in a project I hope to have realized by October.

I only use Instagram - but what I lack in other social media outlets I make up for in the amount of Instagram handles/pages I have! Let's just say I have quite a few facets to my personality... My studio's handle is @floraandform, the handle where I strictly post images of work is @d.f.romero, my ceramics handle is @parodiceramics, and I have a page that is basically a vomiting of anything that catches my eye/inspires me to snap a picture: @danfrancesromero.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Miami, Florida. I’ve been painting and making pottery since 2013. I received my Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with an area of focus in Sustainable Agriculture. I actually almost finished my degree in Journalism, but completely changed gears late in the game. I wanted to work in conservation, and did for a year after college, but through a series of what in hindsight were fear based decisions, I went back to working as an administrative secretary/treasurer of an elementary school; a job I had while in College.

Although I've often considered those decisions as regrets, I see now that had my life not taken the turn that it did at that particular moment, there is a very good chance I would have never explored my interest in painting and ceramics. And I still have a goal to help in the progress of conservation efforts; I think the avenue to that just looks a little different now.