Episode 104 - Over Coffee with Liliana and Krista

Season #4

We chat with Liliana Lytvyn and Krista McPhee about why paper flowers matter, Paper Florists Against Racism, and #sendflowerstogreenwood.


Do paper flowers matter? 


You can probably guess our answer, but you don’t have to take only our word for it. In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with Liliana Lytvyn of Lilies and Art and Krista McPhee Petal and Finch. Like many of us, they come from different backgrounds but fell in love with paper flowers all the same. Our conversation covered a range of topics, including our work with Paper Florists Against Racism and #sendflowerstogreenwood. 

At the heart of our discussion was this truth: paper flowers matter. What we create is important. Our art can make a difference. 

You’ll want to listen to the episode to hear Liliana and Krista talk all about their paper flower journeys and much more. For now, here are three reasons why our artform matters.


Create Magic

On the podcast, Liliana told us about how she first came to work with crepe paper flowers. She, like Krista, was a crafter of many mediums. But paper flowers were different. The word Liliana used to describe this difference is “magic.” We know exactly what she means. 


“A flower arrangement can tell a story.”


All of us are here because we fell in love with paper flowers. They call to us in a way that no other artform or craft does. That’s magic! And when we make something that we’re passionate about, people can feel that magic. In a world with so many problems, creating a little magic for someone’s tabletop is a special talent. 

Listen to the episode to hear Liliana describe how she feels when she sees her paper flowers in her house. It’s beautiful! 


Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
► How Liliana and Krista started their paper flower journeys.
► Why paper flowers hold a magic for us that other mediums don’t.
► The story behind Paper Florists Against Racism (PFAR).
► Behind the scenes of putting together our community’s contribution to #sendflowerstogreenwood.
► How to show up and take action against racism as an artist.


Learn the Basic and Advanced Techniques

Krista brought up how we use flowers as a language. We send flowers to those who have lost a loved one or are celebrating something wonderful. We buy flowers for special occasions like prom or a wedding. And as Lilianna put it, “A flower arrangement can tell a story.”

Flowers have long held a special importance to people from all over the globe. Being able to recreate that in a longer lasting form is powerful. We can say “sorry” or “I love you” with our art. We can tell a story.


Make a Difference in the World

Our paper flower community had the opportunity to work with The Wild Mother and other groups who organized the commemorative events for the 100th anniversary of the Greenwood Massacre. If you aren’t familiar with that horrific event, check out The Wild Mother’s website and episode 91 for more information.


“If you’re in a group, put yourself out there. Contribute more than you take.”


The short of it is that African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma were massacred and even more had their property destroyed in an event that decimated the most successful black community in America at the time. Most people today have never heard of it, and that was very much done on purpose. 

Through the 100th anniversary commemoration, our paper flower community worked together to send hundreds of white lilies to Greenwood. A team of paper florists then put together the installation for the new museum there about the massacre.


“Paper flowers, maybe because we’re still a smaller community...  it’s such a supportive, such a positive community.”


Making those flowers and traveling to Tulsa provided countless opportunities for people to learn more about the massacre. As Krista said in the episode, she was able to invite people in her life to make the lilies with her and learn about something they had no idea ever happened. 

Paper flowers made that happen, and we hope they can do even more in the future as we continue our work with Paper Florists Against Racism.


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