So you have moved to a new place. Maybe it’s your first home as a buyer, maybe you just moved out of your parents house and you are renting. What do you do next? You get yourself a comfy bed and you unpack all your clothes and books, pots and plates. No home is complete without a kettle and a toaster, right. So now, you are done.
Or are you? Something is missing, but you can’t figure out what. What makes a house a home? Before you fork out hundreds of pounds on designer cushions, cashmere throws and exotic smelling candles consider spending that money an original work of art.
Here are some reasons why original art is essential to make a house a home.
Art gives a room finished look. When the walls are empty, the room doesn’t necessarily look bad, but in no way it feels finished. Bare walls are usually part of functional, utilitarian spaces. If that’s the look you are going for, be my guest, but if you want a cosy, relaxing home - you need art! That leads me to the next point…
Art helps you relax. We live in a busy, fast paced world and switching off might be difficult. Coming home from all days work usually staring at screens, then plonking in front of the telly will not give you the much needed balance. Instead of hanging on the wall a 50’ HDTV consider making a painting the focal point of your living room. Or compromise by covering the TV with a screen print or another textile art work. This will give your lounge a finished, sophisticated look and give your eyes a break from technology.
Art makes your brain work. Wait a minute, you say, you just said that original art relaxes, now you say it makes my brain work? Correct. It is a different kind of work. The way some people relax but keep their brain active by doing crosswords or sudoku. With art you can just look at particular painting and think. Neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian explained in his study that “[while looking at art] areas of the brain involved in processing emotion and those that activate our pleasure and reward systems are also being engaged." Essentially, parts of the brain that are associated with contemplation are automatically sparked when viewing art, even if they aren't thinking about it critically. https://mic.com/articles/106504/science-shows-that-art-is-having-fantastic-effects-on-our-brains-and-bodies#.b1BAk8Jf1
Art promotes creativity. One special way in which the brain works while processing art is through promoting creativity. This is especially important in a house with children. Art fosters aesthetic taste, self expression and artistic inspiration in the young, impressionable minds. Of course creating art is the best way to express creativity, but art appreciation is proven to boost critical thinking, observation skills, emotional growth and many, many other transferable skills that will stay with the young person long after they’ve abandoned thump print stamps and stick figures.
Express yourself through art. If you don’t feel like painting a masterpiece yourself, the next best thing is to buy one. We express ourselves through the things we buy all the time whether it’s clothes, accessories or cars. The things we spend our money on tend to define us. We are meticulous about curating our image through social media like Pinterst boards and Instagram accounts. Well, owning original artwork in your home or office is like curating your own real life art gallery or Instagram feed. The difference is that original art is one of a kind and therefore your space will be absolutely original too.
Art as a focal point. As I mentioned in the previous point. By buying art you express yourself. This provides excellent conversation starter. Your guests will be intrigued by your choices. They will be curious about the artist and your reasons for choosing that particular painting. This is your chance to dazzle them with a passionate conversation about art, aesthetics or anecdotes of how you stumbled upon this piece or your relationship with the artist. Either way, showing off your art collection oozes heaps of sophistication.
Becoming a patron of the arts. Historically, nearly all famous artists had wealthy patrons who supported their careers. Maybe you can’t offer the same level of support as kings and popes, but every time you buy even the smallest original work of art, limited edition print or a post card directly from the artist, you allow them to continue their work, you buy the paints or clay they need to use and you feed their families. Doesn’t that give you all the feels?
Invest in art. You can be strategic about it and do your research. Find out which are the up and coming artists who’s work is likely to increase in value over time. There are many articles on the web written about it. But ultimately it comes down to what you like to see hanging on your walls. Whether you find the next Basquiat at a graduation exhibition is pure luck. What really counts is that you have a painting that you love, that speaks to you and you can pass down to your family, which they will treasure because it reminds them of you. This is unlikely to happen with a £10 print from Ikea.
There are so many other reasons I could add to this list. Art creates mood, provides colour palette crucial for any interior design. Art is essential for your physical and mental well being as well as your social standing. I once found a quote proving my case for the importance of owning original art: “You would never put fake books on your shelves, so why would you put fake art on your walls”. Unfortunately, since then I found empty book jackets sold on the web, so I can only hope that if you are reading this article you are not that kind of person and you might even enjoy the look of my online store full of original works of art.