Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beauty without Pretension

In a job where we deal with bringing beauty and "things" to peoples' lives, it can sometimes become a conflict of interests in some ways. At least for me anyway. I was taught as an artist before I entered the design field and that early training from some wonderful mentors, ( some of whom I will discuss at a later time), taught me some values that always remain with me. And that is that art really is for art's sake. To enhance our lives with beauty and bring us closer in tune with nature and ourselves. I don't remember any of those mentors saying, "Oh yes, and to impress other people, too!

So therein lies the rub. How do we as designers facilitate all the elements of good art and design in a home while avoiding pretension? It can be a hard line to toe sometimes, especially when your style can be a little over the top like mine if I'm not careful. How do we help our clients own and appreciate beautiful things without seemingly presenting the idea that those objects and "things" are all that matters?

My own personal philosophy is this: I love these things as much as anybody. I couldn't do this job if I didn't. But when it all boils down, my family, my health, happiness, and self-respect are what really matters to me. So while beautiful objects enhance our lives, they shouldn't BE our lives. I think this is where my humble Southern upbringing plays a huge role. You can be proud, just do it humbly and quietly. Nobody likes a show-off. Don't get too big for your britches! You get my drift. In the current climate in this country and the world for that matter, I think it's safe to say that a little less pretension and a little more humility might be a good start to recovery. And maybe our "things" will have their proper place in our lives.

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