Liza always felt an entrepreneurial streak and has always had a passion for Green Art. After spending 15 years in Paris in the corporate world at CNN and CNBC, she decided to come back to New York and follow her instinct. She is now the proud owner of Luludi Living Art in Astoria, Queens. Her terrariums are inspirational creations designed with a sensibility for artful design and craftsmanship.
Tell us about your passion for terrariums. Where is it coming from?
I grew up in Africa where I spent many years barefoot outside. So I have had a love of the outdoors since I was a child. After many years working in the corporate world and under fluorescent lighting, I wanted to help bring a bit of nature indoors artistically – not just a pot and a plant.
After 15 years in Paris, I moved back to New York 5 years ago. But I held onto the inspiration of Patrick Blanc – a French botanist and creator of living walls across the globe. My goal was to help people enjoy their space indoors by having a little bit of green in it. As my aesthetic is more modern than classic – I experimented with many different materials and colors… that’s how Luludi Living Art was born.
How did you learn about the plants and design techniques?
I have learned mainly through books, courses and the internet! The design part came from anything that made me happy or inspired me: music, bright bold colors, meditation, the ocean, the forest, different landscapes, etc. I try and translate ‘feelings’ into terrariums and a lot of work goes into pieces like the enchanted forest series – to get them just right.
You literally changed your career to become a terrarium entrepreneur. How did you go about it?
I have known I would be an entrepreneur since I was 8 years old, when I was drawing a picture of the soda-pop shoppe I was going to own one day. Once I left corporate, I had a vision, did some research and launched. I was lucky to be supported by so many talented people who gave me their time and shared their experiences. I would not be here today if it were not for the generosity of all these people.
What inspires your creativity in New York City?
Watching the East River flow, the bridges, the oh-so-diverse people racing around, the parks I walk through, the modern museums and even beautifully decorated restaurants and hotels.
In your opinion, what makes terrariums so popular these days?
We spend way too many hours indoors and under fluorescent lights. That is not natural. I think people yearn for something ‘live’ in their space. Plants are known to have properties that help boost your mood and help you focus and detoxify the air. We always feel so happy when we see plants around us.
You are hosting terrarium workshops with Keenobby every week. Why is teaching so important for you?
I have always loved being a teacher/mentor. In every workshop, I really enjoy meeting new people. When they come to a class, they are often stiff and a bit nervous, but also excited to make something new. It’s such a great satisfaction to see them leave the class bursting with happiness with the terrarium they have created.
Any special memory from your Keenobby experiences that you would like to share?
An interesting fact is that children come to our classes, choose their materials and get right down to building their terrarium. On the other hand, adults come in and debate which glass to use, which plant and colors are a better match, and so on and so forth. They end up ‘thinking’ their way to the creative process versus ‘feeling’ their way like kids usually do. It happens in almost every single workshop we have.
To join Liza’s terrarium exclusive “Christmas ornament” workshops in New York, check the scheduled sessions and register on Keenobby: https://www.keenobby.com/activity/christmas-special-ornament-terrarium-class/
If you are interested in getting more information about Luludi Living Art, take a look at her website: http://www.luludi.net