Style Points: Book excerpts

It's funny what can be found in some of your old files.... I just came across the Introduction from my first manuscript for Living with Art this morning. Reading what you've written in the past gives you a glimpse of who you were at that point. I can see how much my thoughts have expanded, and how my true mission has remained intact...


I had a conversation recently with a woman that simply fell in love with the work of a new artist. The colors, and images in the painting were really striking. Her opinion was similar to others that had also seen the painting in the gallery. They were all drawn to it immediately because the style of the painting was abstract, whimsical, and full of energy. But even though the painting was striking, very affordable, and she loved it very much, she remained hesitant about purchasing it. She just could not visualize the work in her home alongside the furniture and other art that was already there. Luckily I am very comfortable with this situation now. So, after an onsite consultation, we were able to successfully install the piece and today we continue to seek out new work to add to her growing collection.

I can relate so well to how she was feeling, because I used to feel that very same way. Oddly enough, it took me some time to rediscover my very creative and imaginative upbringing. My mom was an artist and loved interior design, so I grew up with art and creativity as a way of life. Instead of raisins and snacks to keep me occupied as a toddler, my mother gave me crayons, pencils and paper for me to doodle with. My home, my grandparent’s home, and other friends and family members all had mommy’s original artwork on the walls. There was always an easel in my house, always paint spattered about, and my mom was always drawing or creating something. Later when the pressures of caring for a family eased, she went to interior design school and I was introduced to the next level of her creativity. I began to notice new things appearing directly on the walls instead of on canvas first. Her hand-painted furniture was now popping up around the house. Forget about teenage fashion magazines, my normal reading now included all types of interior design magazines that were found on our kitchen and cocktail tables.

It will probably come as no surprise that I grew up to become an admirer of art and design and after I purchased my own home, I continued to explore creative design. Inspired by the cohesive interior designs I watched on TV and read about, I began to buy furniture, paint walls, and create a very nice home for my family. I purchased art, and decorated my own home the way I was “taught” by the designers I studied. I had become conditioned to believe that art and accessories are always purchased last – as somewhat of an afterthought. Never mind that with my own artistic abilities, I could have framed my own artwork or painted my own murals. But instead, I went to the local stores and shopped for accessories based on price, theme and color. Art had simply become just another accessory to me. I had lost sight of the lessons I had learned as a child – First be creative.

When I became busy planning and running my new art gallery and creativity business, it became clear to me that my house was filled with artwork that did not reflect who I was, or what I wanted to live with. The art in my home had no personal meaning to me at all. I was disconnected from it because I had not taken the time to think about the creative process, and how it related to the art I owned. I began asking my friends how they purchased their art, and many of them said they did it the same way – they shopped based on price, color or size; or art was given to them. So I was now paying attention to all of the possibilities that an art-infused interior design plan could bring to my home. This is what inspired the Artistic Lifestyling program. It was started as a service to our gallery clients, helping those who love art, but are unsure how to buy, install and live with it. Much more than just buying art though, Artistic Lifestyling encompasses everything about living a creative lifestyle. We strive to educate our clients and show them that art is for everyone, there is nothing to fear.

Artistic Lifestyling combines my passion for art and successful design, with the desire to help people who are facing the same dilemmas I once did. I feel so fortunate to be able to live my personal mission: To help people live more creatively in artistically designed spaces. Through this book, I wish to share some of the information I have gathered about collecting art, and creating a livable and comfortable environment for you and your family, where art is the primary inspiration for your designs. I will introduce you to a number of new artists who are skilled at producing art according to their client’s wishes. I will also offer inspiration to help you find or cultivate your own creative aspirations. So for now, let’s suspend our beliefs that art should be chosen last; that it should match your couch; or that only a painting should grace your walls. When you’re ready, let’s explore how art can be used to inspire, enliven and transform your creative life – both at home and at work. Let’s begin.


Lauren Anderson said...

When are you publishing the book?

Lise Richards said...

Ah, there is a lot going on at the moment, but I haven't given up on the ideas... The ideas just won't leave me alone! Thanks for asking!!