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Overland Park florist Craig Sole on embracing colors: ‘Life is too short to be boring’

Craig Sole is known for his joyous floral creations.

As the owner of Craig Sole Designs in downtown Overland Park, he has created art with flowers for 37 years. Sole says the job gives him an outlet for his true obsession: color.

“Contrasting colors give me a rise like you cannot believe,” he says. “Bright color or contrasting color really gets me going.”

Sole can’t help but convert others to his love of color. He once snuck off from a wedding reception at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to make sure his staff was able to enjoy the colorful collection of Impressionist art in The Bloch Galleries.

“They didn’t know we were missing, and it was so much fun,” he says. “Monet, Manet, Seurat — they all use brilliant color to simulate sunlight... I cried when I saw (Monet’s) Water Lilies.”

Sole’s obsession often takes him to art galleries. Last summer, he visited the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. where he marveled at the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. He decorates the walls of his shop and home with brightly colored amateur art he calls “Sunday Paintings” found at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales.

Sole wishes more people would embrace color. He can tell you what color your home décor needs as soon as he sees it — but is too polite to do so. He uses his floral arrangements to help others see the bright side of life.

His motto: “Life is too short to be boring.”

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