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Who: Dodie Sy of Eucharis Inc.
Where: Santa Ana, California
Style: Nature-inspired tableaux
Artist and designer Dodie Sy is drawn to the inherent beauty of natural elements. He attributes this to spending his childhood in the Philippines, where flora and forests abound, before his family immigrated to the very different landscape of California when he was 13. Sy went onto study interior design at downtown L.A.'s FIDM until shifting his focus to something more aligned with his forever passion — nature — by pursuing floral design, and, later, depicting floral scapes through watercolor and oil painting.
In addition to creating artwork and ceramics, Sy has his own event design studio, Eucharis, which produces large-scale, flower-rich experiences imbued with his wondrous and memorable touch. Hunker visited Sy in is Orange County studio to learn more about his work and journey.
Hunker: Tell us about your background and your business.
Dodie Sy: I've been designing flowers and events for around 12 years now, and I picked up painting back in 2015. I started my own event and design studio, Eucharis Inc., back in May 2019.
Hunker: What drew you to Orange County?
DS: To be honest, cheap rent.
Hunker: How would you describe your overall style, and how did you go about decorating your studio?
DS: I stayed true to my personal style — natural, earth tones, and vintage/antique decor pieces — and what I would do/design for my home. [I have] lots of thoughtful pieces that have history (old) and pair them with a modern/clean interior. I frequently shop at flea markets and vintage stores.
Hunker: Did you make any changes or renovations to the space?
DS: Just cosmetic reno, nothing too crazy. I just changed the flooring and painted the walls.
Hunker: Can you talk about the layout of your space?
DS: The front studio is where I meet with clients and keep a showroom of my art and pottery. It's a quiet and calm place. I also like the back warehouse area where I can make a mess and create.
Hunker: What is your favorite piece of decor, or favorite design element, in your studio, and why?
DS: To be honest, it changes. One day I'll be obsessed with my new series of paintings, and another day with pottery. Or another day I'd pair a very old piece that I've had for a while and set it with something new, and it's all of a sudden my new favorite.
Hunker: Has your business evolved since its beginning, and how does Eucharis reflect who you are?
DS: This is hard to answer, because not even a year into the business, COVID hit, so this year feels like starting over again. With anything that I do, I put in a lot of thought and creativity. With event design, I reflect on the client's aesthetic and what they're celebrating, and I use that as my inspiration. With art, I reflect on how I want to convey a particular feeling, a particular place through the painting/sculpture medium. With pottery, I envision the piece living in my home and what type of flowers it will hold.
Hunker: What do you hope Hunker readers will come away with from this tour and your work?
DS: I hope your readers will take away the value of art and flowers, and the emotion and energy that they can bring to their day to day lives. There is magic in creating a beautiful environment for special occasions — to create lasting memories.
Follow Dodi Sy's work on Instagram @eucharis.studio.
Author and book editor Teena Apeles is a collector of vintage pieces and untold stories. She writes about art, culture, design, activism, and history, and edits books on an even wider range of subjects. She is the founder of the women-led creative collective Narrated Objects, which released the anthology Dear Seller: Real Estate Love Letters from Los Angeles, a unique exploration of the lives and homes of Angelenos, and We Heart L.A. Parks, an artful and education guide to the city that reminds us how safe and accessible public parks strengthen communities.