The beautiful Expression
The way I approach my art is almost antithetical to my interior design process. Design projects involve lots of planning and consideration, forward-thinking and prepping, while my paintings are largely quite impulsive. In this way, creating art is a soothing, cathartic creative process. It’s a luxury to find the space and time to explore new materials, themes, and subject matter, and the last year has certainly provided more frequent opportunities to contribute to my body of work.
Some artists work to tight schedules with rigid deadlines and goals, but I find that I produce the best, most expressive work when the mood strikes me. I have to paint when I feel moved or compelled to, when there is a desire to sit down and create. Of course, it’s important that when I enter my studio, I feel motivated, creative, and productive, but there’s no magic trick. The mood has to be right!
Seeking out and approaching the artists you’ll see in my wall art gallery was a journey towards an eclectic, diverse, and visually appealing curation. I want to showcase the work of emerging artists who have unique voices, producing works that truly stop me in my tracks. Instagram is such a valuable tool for creatives, and many of the artists I work with, I have found on the app. Instagram Grids provide the perfect platform to exhibit your artistic work, whether you’re a painter, a sculptor, or even a videographer. I find that the most engaging artists share their ‘behind-the-scenes’ processes on Stories or IGTV, giving their followers an insight into the skill and time it takes to create such exquisite work. For the launch phase of my online art gallery I‘ve chosen the work of @enkelartstudio, @raphael_balme, @lynneharkes and @pollymabelillustrations. If you like their work, why not give them a follow on Instagram.
As a designer and an artist, my own creative process is highly visual, so my ideas begin their lives as images in my mind that niggle at me until I’m able to get them down on paper or canvas. There is certainly an element of compulsion. It feels important to me that the images are manifested in a way that does them justice, whether that’s as a wallpaper or rug design, or in brushstrokes.
My love of interior design and home accessories certainly plays into the inspirations for each piece of art I make. I collect beautiful antique and vintage frames, so these often catalyse new ideas. Combining the adventure of sourcing these frames with the act of creating something entirely fresh is a pleasing contrast, tapping into the visual appeal of old against new.
Art is one of the most personal and intimate elements of a home. When sourcing artworks for my interior design clients, it’s so important to gain an understanding of what they love, be it a theme, artistic movement, or a specific artist. Gauging these inclinations or tastes is often far more complicated than this, though. Artworks from across the ages and media can speak to people in distinct, visceral ways, so it’s paramount that the artworks I specify will be well received by the client. This is because artwork lends humanity and personality to a space. It can bring humour, freshness, colour, pattern, texture, or whimsy to any room in the home.
When sourcing art for your own home, it’s important to bear in mind that the only person it needs to impress, touch, or inspire is you (and any family members!). Never buy art to impress or pander to anyone else, any trends, or because you think something would ‘look the part’ in a room. Your collection needs to resonate with you, whether it reminds you of something fundamental about the way you wish to live your life, or it simply makes you smile.
The best places to look for original artworks are graduate art fairs, antique fairs, and auctions. Seek widely and openly, and interrogate the reason a piece of art caught your attention. Just because you may dislike the Impressionists as a matter of principle shouldn’t stop you from buying that little vignette of a hazy floral still life if it speaks to you on some level. Also, look towards postcards, clippings from magazines, and pieces of fabric that you love to frame and hang. Thinking outside the confines of what is considered ‘true art’ will help you forge a collection that is as unique as you are. The sourcing process should really be quite intuitive.
When it comes to hanging art, I like to create gallery walls or little curations in the same way that I might dress myself: gathering and layering, matching and contrasting, and telling a story that allows the artworks to enter into a discourse on the wall. Hanging art is an art form in itself, so don’t be too harsh on yourself if you fancy swapping up the placement of the works after a few weeks. Ultimately, your walls should resemble a mosaic of your life; a patchwork of images that describe your essence.