Today we’d like to introduce you to Falon Mihalic.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Falon. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I started my company five years ago, I knew I wanted to create a hybrid firm that worked on both landscape architecture and public art. I wrote both types of work into my business plan and made an action plan that started small and then led to larger projects. I started out with all kinds of tiny projects- backyard garden designs, temporary art installations for festivals, things like that- and I gradually built my experience and my portfolio with my own work. I’m very proud that I started my firm this way because I hustled extremely hard to get every little job and make it work financially.
It gave me room to learn and explore different ideas because when I was first starting out my head was overwhelmed with ideas- clients I wanted to work with, projects I wanted to build, artistic ideas I wanted to explore. I was able to work through a lot of different types of projects by starting small and now I’ve narrowed my focus significantly. My work now is larger scale, larger budget, and more complex. I also get to work with amazing collaborators for each project. My projects currently in the works range from permanent public art installations to large-scale master plans for whole communities.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve encountered a lot of bias for both my age and my gender as a young woman. I was 29 when I started working for myself full time and I was criticized and doubted by potential clients, former co-workers, and even some of my friends. Instead of trying to sell people on the notion that I could be a good business owner and successful designer, I showed them with my actions. I put my head down and I pushed through every obstacle, figured out everything I could, and asked for advice from my most trusted friends when I needed it.
No detail was too small, from contracts to accounting to time management. I was very committed to making it work, so I hustled hard on the business stuff and the client relationship stuff- everything they don’t teach you in grad school. The creative work is easy, it’s figuring out how to make it financially viable that’s hard.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Falon Land Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I design gardens, landscapes, and public art. I specialize in where landscape design and art intersect. I’m known for my richly textured gardens and colorful artwork, so much so that I’ve heard people use terms like “Falon colors” or “falonland art”.
I’m proud that my work speaks for itself. I’m proud that I have a strong design voice that is recognizable. What I do is pretty specialized as a licensed landscape architect who is also an artist, but what’s unique about my company is the diversity of projects on the drawing board. Right now, I’m developing a responsive light sculpture, a private garden, a collaborative performance piece, a streetscape plan, and a commercial district urban design master plan.
I’m so lucky to be doing this work and sometimes I just look around my studio in awe of all these fun ideas that I’m making a reality.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love our weather (seriously!). We have a long growing season for plants and gorgeous strong sunlight. The light and skyscapes here inspire me every day. I even did a whole project all about clouds back in 2015. I dislike our lack of sidewalks, bike infrastructure, and public transit options.
When I lived in both Boston and Chicago, I could hop on a train or bus to get to a meeting. Here, I bike most often, but there are some meetings and events in places without any other option than to drive. I want Houston to work harder to make more bike, bus, and pedestrian infrastructure.
- Address: 1907 Sabine street #108 HTX 77009
- Website: Www.falonland.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/falonland
- Facebook: Facebook.com/falonlandstudio
Taylor Brown Photography