Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is Art?

What is Art?
I guess the answer to that question is almost anything these days. Modern art can be "interesting" to say the least. In fact, I often wonder about the minds of some contemporary artists and what planet they were on when the concepted their idea, but perhaps I am a little conservative as I had been taught that art was something with a frame, throw in a bit of sculpture and there you go.
Not today, art covers anything creative, so I guess I am now what I always wanted to be - an artist. How cool, do I now get to be free to say anything I want, wear weird clothes, have wild mood swings and put big price tags on my work? I don't think so. Food for thought, it might me energising to let loose and play the wild artist once and a while. I am digressing.

Art or the arts includes dance, music, drama, comedy, writing, anything that has the slightest bit of creativity to it. That must mean we can draw a definite line between members of the art world and the rest, our brains are quite different. Ask a ballerina what she sees in a painting, then ask an lawyer, the ballerina will see a story, movement, color, emotion as that is the way she is trained to think (or feel), the lawyer will see the facts, what they can recognise as normal and anything else is just weird. (sorry lawyers - I had to choose one profession and my sister and sister in law are accountants, so I would get in trouble for using that industry).

Where I am coming from here is that we all see art or the world in a different way, but we don't just see it, we hear it, we feel it, it sparks something inside us, be it good or bad emotion it makes us think. So my definition of Art is something that makes us think, or changes our line of thinking, lets us stretch our brains a little outside our comfort zone and creates an emotional response.

Now that I have shared my ideas about art, inspired by visiting our local art gallery yesterday with my family and viewing all sorts of weird and wonderful pieces of art, I should talk about interiors as that is what this blog is focused on.

So how can we incorporate art into our homes, I must admit, some of the sculpture we say yesterday was so fragile, that it would be in pieces if we had it in our home, so for now I will be sticking with art on the walls (here is an article on how to hang artwork). I think some art is best kept in a gallery for everyone to see.

I collect my children's art as it reminds me how children see the world, big happy faces, with over sized eyes, huge smiles, hand holding stick figures, simple bright color and an innocence that is so quickly lost in today's fast paced world. Oh I am getting distracted again! I am up early as we had another after shock this morning that shock the house for quite sometime, so I couldn't sleep.

Actually for a change instead of me telling you how to do things, I would like to hear from you about how you use art in the broad term in interiors. Please leave a comment below, don't reply to your email as no one but me will see it, simply leave a comment below and we can get a good idea of how we can use art in different ways. Here is one example that just sprung to mind, I walk past a house every morning and it has fabulous sculpture in the garden, you can view it from all angles this way and it changes it's appearance in the different light and the different seasons. Blast, another after shock. Gotta go, please leave a comment, got to check the children.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Designer's Worst Nightmare - Being Comfortable

I was very polite in the title of this blog post, what I really meant to say was the designer's worst nightmare is being lazy!

It is so easy to find a color that works with everything, so you use it on almost every project. You find a furniture supplier that you get on well with and the provide you with great service, then you never look any further. You have a favorite artist that you use to source artwork for your clients, they keep churning out the same concept but just in a new colorway every few months. You have a favorite light fitting because it is energy efficient and thats your token gesture to green design. You choose the carpet that the last sales rep in your office showed you because it is still on your desk from his last visit as you were too lazy to put it into the sample room. Do you get the general idea?

Clients go to designers to get something to suit their needs, they want it to be individual and know that you have put your heart and soul into it. They want to make sure that when they visit a friend, they don't experience deja vu! The designer must stretch their mind for each and every client, or they may as well give up now as their boring designs will eventually kill them anyway. Being comfortable is not an acceptable state for an interior designer, you should always be trying something that frightens you a little, just to keep you job fit.

So what I want you to think about for 2011, (oh, Happy New Year by the way), is finding new and exciting products that can make your designs unique and make you have to think about ways to use them. Think about how you can use existing products in different ways, or get out some paint samples and play around yourself with different color combinations. Try something that is outside the square, you might be happily surprised at the outcome and you can save yourself from the designer's worst nightmare!


Here is an article of a similar topic I wrote some time ago that has some more ideas on this.

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