Perfectly clean and perfectly arranged interior spaces are almost like two parallel lines that are destined to never cross. If these two things ever cross and become one, we call it a perfectly designed and decorated space.
I was combing through images of interior spaces. I usually do this to relax. I think of it as taking my creativity for a walk. My creative self needs quite a lot of visual input. But lately, I have been really disappointed in my usual sources for images. Maybe it's the end of winter wearing on me, but I think I have reached my saturation point. I used to feel like I would get transported, dazzled and even inspired when I would look through a bunch of magazines and visually "download" them. Sometimes I would rip pages out and store them in a binder. Ah, the good ol' days! The images I am seeing now feel very formulaic to me and I just don't relate. They don't take me anywhere, they don't make me want to do anything, they don't stir my curiosity. And they certainly don't inspire me.
They are vanilla. They are over-curated. They are stuffy.
Makes me think of how I worked as a photo stylist for a well known furniture retailer's Photo Studio. I was basically a glorified housekeeper. I would pick lint off of furniture for an afternoon, or stuff duvets with extra batting and pins to make the beds look cozy and inviting. The sunny living room that was portrayed in the their catalog was many times photographed inside a windowless warehouse or industrial space in the middle of the ghetto.
Creating false images is the devil's work.
We all know they photoshop super models, but did you know they did it to photos of rooms, too?
Yikes! is nothing sacred?
Where are the people in these interiors shots? Where is the heart? Where is the life? I want to see people living in these pictures --perhaps, double chinned as they smile, sloppy counters, unmade beds with 3 cups stashed on a side table- one for tea, one for water and yesterdays herbal brew. Call me crazy, but I think there is beauty and value in this sort of imagery.
I want to see people that live like me. I want images without an agenda. I want people with cameras to keep it real. I want to keep it real. Does anybody else want to keep it real?
With constant content and the ability to edit the sh*t out of something, the digital world has made the stick we measure ourselves against the thing we end up beating ourselves with.
Take that stick and break it over your knee and toss it in the kindling.
It's easy for me to see what's going on, because I have worked behind the scenes. I know it takes about 6 people to make one of those perfectly curated rooms or ONE very crazy, lonely lady. I guess the the old adage, "If it looks to good to be true, it probably is" could applied to this type of visual content we are being served. Please keep this in mind, if you start to feel badly as you Pin your little heart out on Pinterest. I challenge you to find an image that is raw, genuine & honest on that platform. Don't get me wrong, I believe Pinterest is an amazing tool and I use it all the time. I just get a little tuned up when good people start to feel less-than because the standards feel unattainable.
All I am saying is, there is a time and place for Pinterest -know it! And sometimes you just gotta get out and see some stuff in real life.
My love for the imperfect and seredipity shopping builds my preference for junk & second hand shops. The kind that say on the front "enter in the rear of the building" and when you get around back say "Please Knock" on the door. I just like digging, scanning and being anonymous while I shop. Nobody wants my email at these sort of places and they're not following me around trying to sell me something.
Yesterday was the first day in a very long time that the sun shone and it was above 45º. It felt like heaven to have moisture in the air and hear the snow melting. It was perfect. The stars had aligned and I had the rare pleasure of 1 1/2 hrs to myself with nothing to do.
So you know what I did? I headed out on one of my favorite shopping trails. Some people do pub crawls, I do store crawls... but fast. And before you knew it I was heading around back knocking on that door.
There's something comforting about a tried and true shopping trail. I hit 5 shops within that 1 1/2 hrs, sent a client some pics of pieces I spied for them, let my creative self wander and turned over a couple of stones. This sort of thing is essential for my creative projects that need to get done; a time to for my process to breath and be distracted by somewhat useless things that seem all of a sudden relevant, like a giant red platter made of pottery in the shape of a stylized fish. yeah, I'm still thinking about that fish. And yeah, it was overpriced, but I know it when I see it.
I saw it and I'm going back for a second look.
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