Art is similar to people, simply put, they are not all going to want to talk to you. Once we have accepted this, it becomes much easier to move past art that does not feed our soul, and onto identifying our true art soulmates... or at least the art that was meant to become our main squeeze, roommate, loyal companion, truth teller, secret keeper, lost love, new found friend or any other relationship that can impact our life. Point being that when I am asked to elaborate on how art can change our life and lead to moments of inspiration and healing, I find myself referencing the exact same principles that apply to human relationships and connection. It is not enough to purchase art with the expectation that it will do all the work. You have to show up as well, be present, be brave, ask the hard questions, and jump into the deep end or you will have missed the magic. If we do not build a genuine connection, before we know it we may be giving a very awkward “it’s not you, it’s me” talk.
So when selecting artwork for your home it’s important to understand that rather than deducing art to a mere decoration, it is an opportunity to enhance your life through the curation of visual dialogue. Art can be an extension of self, a poetic tattoo for our living room or a living billboard with a personal message. We are hardwired to relate to art through a subconscious communication that releases art’s expressive medicine. This medicine can move and inspire us through sophisticated imagery as rich and complex as colors are vivid. We have the ability to create artistic passageways that promote self-transformation and healing.
Design is increasingly becoming guided by evidence-based art therapy studies and holistic approaches to design. Know and expect more than just a pretty picture. Art addresses the full human experience. As a licensed psychotherapist and art therapist, as well as a life long visual artist, I have spent years helping people understand the inherent power of art and how art can change lives. Oftentimes these conversations begin with someone’s honest curiosity about how art can be used in a therapeutic capacity and ultimately reveals their genuine desire to experience art in a more personal context. Remember, art has the ability to feed the soul. Do not allow art to be an oversight regardless of strict budgets or impatience.
In many of my art therapy sessions we discuss the transformation of self that occurs in our quest to create whatever it is that our spirit needs the most. Do you know what you need from your environment, do you know what you need from you art? Surround yourself with art that doesn’t run out! What does this mean? That it doesn’t become invisible and irrelevant. It does not rely on brandnames and popularity in order for you to love it. It does not fade or come and go with trends or entertains society’s latest beliefs regarding beauty. Because after all, art is anything we want it to be, a natural metamorphosing resource, as well as a glimpse of our own reflection.
Art, when appropriately selected and placed, has durability and longevity. It engages the viewers, transports them, delights and amuses them, calms and reassures them... day after day. Art maintains an extraordinary presence and message, and ultimately adds value to our lives well beyond a visually aesthetic appeal and dollar amount. It exists only to be our artistic soulmate through and through.