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We Are Our Surroundings: Choosing Artwork

Welcome back to We Are Our Surroundings, a series dedicated to the discussion of how interior design and decor of our homes correlate with our mental and physical health.

Bare walls or art propped up on the floor speaks volumes. Those empty or unfinished walls can signal guilt, shame, or a level of stuck-ness. Art transforms us from the inside out by showing us subtle messages, evoking feelings of joy, or procuring negative feelings. How do we avoid choosing the "wrong" art and how do we even know what the art is saying?

The elevation a space receives from a piece of art is invaluable. When we began Project 2418, we set out with the intention to celebrate the owner of the space. In the office, we curated an art selection that reminded anyone who walked in the room that "nothing changes if nothing changes", echoed the sentiment that success is a journey, and celebrated the history of their culture by choosing work created by BIPOC artists. In the bedroom, we chose to have a "My hair is beautiful" wall which consists of silhouettes with natural haired women because natural hair isn't celebrated as much as the extensions and weaves. The art spoke to the client and reminded them they are beautiful, to take risks, and set the tone from simply being on the wall.

When choosing artwork, remember this: our bedrooms send the loudest message due to this is the last thing we see when we fall asleep and the first thing we see when we wake so it's imperative we surround ourselves with great messages. The bedrooms are for us. We aim to do the best we can to keep family photos out of the bedroom. Who wants a picture of their grandparents staring back at them when adult time strolls around? The living rooms are more general and are more appropriate for such images. Offices and home offices need to contain art that sparks motivation and inspiration. When choosing art, there should always be thought about the language the walls will speak once they're hung up.

To avoid choosing the wrong artwork, try these tips:

  • Avoid art you feel you "should" like or have.

  • Avoid art with too many words or is too busy.

  • Avoid art you don't feel a connection with.

  • Avoid art if there's no place for it.

Try these tips when looking for your next piece:

  • Purchase art that speaks to your inner self.

  • Purchase art that compliments your current self.

  • Purchase art that speaks life into who you want to become.

  • Purchase art that celebrates self.

  • Purchase art in twos or threes.

  • Purchase art from lesser known artists who has a story that resonates with you.

  • Place art in an appropriate space.

As we can see, art may have had a larger impact than previously thought. A picture of New York when you live in Delaware and have no intentions of going to NY makes no sense. It may look great but try a piece of art that speaks to the true inner ambitions. Learn, love, and celebrate yourself. Let your art quietly do the same.


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