While you won’t always find whimsical art around you, that doesn’t mean your life isn’t filled with artistic beauty! Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways you can find art in everyday life, from architecture and landscape design all the way to art in business spaces and website design. An art magazine is a great way to start, but even without art magazines, art is everywhere for you to discover and enjoy. If it comes down to it, maybe you’ll even launch your own art magazine or blog one day!
Art at Home
Art starts at home, even if you don’t have any art magazines on your coffee table or on the bookshelf. And if you really do have some art magazines or interior decor catalogs, you’re in great shape to add some art to the home. If you do not, then there are other ways to get some inspiration too, including your own lifestyle and tastes.
A house party is a fine time for art in the home, and this can range from a dinner party to a child’s birthday to a bridal shower or a baby shower for someone you care about. Party supply stores are a great place to find colorful paper cups, streamers, balloons, and a whole lot more. As for the particular things you buy, that depends on the occasion! Kids may love colorful balloons and thematic foil balloons, and a bridal shower or baby shower will call for white and pink balloons and streamers, not to mention flowers, lacy tablecloths, and even ambient music. For a baby gender reveal party, you can find “It’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!” themed balloons and displays, which are color-coded for the baby. Of course, those are just the stock options; if you’re feeling creative, or need a unique expression for this sort of party, homemade decorations can suit your needs exactly.
Don’t forget the clothes on your back, which can be art in themselves. Why settle for jeans or a plain white T-shirt when you can wear art? It is popular nowadays to make custom design t-shirts, and even make customized jackets or baseball caps as well. How to do this? Handy homeowners can use sewing kits to add patches or decals, lace, ribbons, and more to their clothes, or ask a friend or relative to do this. Meanwhile, browse some art magazines or clothes catalogs for some fun ideas on how to modify your shirts or jeans, and visit a custom decal shop that has a heat press machine on hand. For those not familiar with them, a heat press (or heat transfer) is a device that uses heat and pressure (no chemicals) to fuse decals and logos onto clothing. Some devices are specially designed for certain types of clothes, and a store employee should help you work the machine just right. So, you can add a stylish logo or pattern to a plain shirt or jacket, and there you have it: clothes as art! Many people today love personal expression on their person, from hair dye to tattoos to graphic logos on clothes, all of which is art.
Meanwhile, Mother Nature can be artful, too. While wild plants and animals have survival rather than beauty on their minds, many plants are considered beautiful to the human eye, and this has been true for centuries. Modern landscaping can transform your front and/or back yard into something artful, and minor projects are easy for homeowners to carry out, such as planting a flower garden and tending to it. Bigger projects call for professional landscapers, who can do just about anything. Ask them to transplant a fully grown tree or place some shrubs, or even smooth out your bumpy lawn or remove an ugly old tree stump. Shrubs and bushes, flower gardens, trees, and rich green grass are not only artful to look at, but healthy. Trees and shrubs are natural air filters and provide oxygen, and trees can shade your house during hot weather. Plants can also attract birds and bees, making for a healthy ecosystem right there in your lawn. And on the financial side, landscaping can aggressively bolster your property’s appeal when you put it on the real estate market, and you can ask for a higher price for it. Some statistics say that investing just 5% of your property’s value in landscaping yields an ROI (return on investment) of 150% or so. Just ask Monet, the painter of those lily paintings. He had a staff of six full-time employees who tended to his real-life gardens, but you don’t have to be the next Monet to have a green thumb, that’s for sure.
Art and Business
No, art and business are not oil and water! Don’t be fooled by those self-deprecating cartoon strips and jokes about “dull, colorless office life.” In reality, many business owners are quite aware that art is a very important role to play in the workspace, and some business is actually centered around art entirely. Think about all those web design agencies and other design agency firms who work hard to make visually appealing websites and online catalogs. This field is relatively young compared to most industries, but it is very popular and growing fast, and many business leaders today eagerly outsource website design labor. They need websites with artistic value as well as technical proficiency, and if your company’s site looks a bit like an art magazine, online guests should feel right at home.
Some businesses deal with art exclusively, such as museums, digital marketing firms, and illustration firms. Some companies work with artists to create visual artwork for computer games, trading card games and board games, and much more, and most of this art could easily end up framed on a wall. But that’s not all; in the workplace, even if art magazines are absent, framed art can have a positive mental effect on the employees there. And yes, studies have backed this up, to prove that art really does benefit the human mind. Surveys done to museum guests show that people tend to feel more relaxed and happy after viewing beautiful art (speaking subjectively), and the workplace is no different. A manager who hires an art consultant and browses an art magazine can have gorgeous photos and paintings put up, and for good reason.
Displayed art in the office tends to make employees feel more creative and inspired, and of course, any manager would want that. Similar visual innovations, such as potted plants and creative arrangements of desks and tables, can have a similar effect. Whether someone is a novice accountant or a senior executive, they are human beings as well as office workers, and art speaks to humanity in an intimate way that goes beyond words. Not only that, but landscaping can have a similar effect on the business’s grounds, from flower beds to rich green grass to shrubs and rock walls. All of this will also impress guests and clients, who will get a good impression of the business when they visit. They will feel at home, and that may have a positive impact on any business deals that take place there.
It is one thing to browse art magazines or consider enrolling at art school. But why not walk around your home town or city and find some art there, too? Some art is exclusive to museums or in private collections, but many more pieces of art can be found right there in the open, and you just have to go out there and see it. Many local, amateur artists may promote their pieces by placing sculptures in the open, such as in town squares or plazas, and these can make for great tourist attractions, too. Some artists work with reclaimed metal, wood, or junk to make these art pieces, and they can clean off and paint those items to make sculptures of people, animals, and more. Look in local art magazines or tour guides, and you might find photos of the more popular street art pieces in there, for tourists and natives alike to enjoy.
This extends to music, too, and many cities are known for their subway or street bands. Whether or not you donate change to them, you can stop by and listen to these musicians perform, and they may use a variety of instruments. Many of them use electric keyboards and guitars for music, but some are also known to have trumpets, saxophones, small drum sets, or even wooden flutes to make a unique sound. It’s like a soundtrack for your shopping trip, and it is art, 100%. Some street musicians even sell CDs of their work, often sold for any amount of money the patrons wish to pay. This is a fine way to hear fresh new voices in music outside of typical mainstream pop music. You might discover your new favorite genre this way.
Remodeling and Interior Decoration
This is quite a sizeable industry, and art can take the form of your house’s own four walls. Renters cannot just knock down walls or replace toilets, but homeowners can, and anyone can change their furniture or rugs. Consulting interior decoration magazines and art magazines is a good way to find new ideas, not to mention websites such as Pinterest, which are hugely popular for interior decor ideas. Consider this: interior decoration experts recommend that American homeowners change their living space’s aesthetics every five to 10 years or so, and many homeowners do just that. Remodeling and new furniture are also a good way to reflect your ever-evolving tastes and lifestyle, and a fresh new interior can impress guests. On the pragmatic side, changing furniture can help you adjust to a growing or shrinking family, such as when you adopt a child or if an adult child moves out.
Where to start? Remodeling is costly, yes, but it’s also a smart investment, as a remodeled house appeals greatly to home buyers and will attract some serious attention. Remodeling the master bathroom and kitchen is especially popular, and some homeowners remodel their basements into a clean and well-lit living space. Roughly one in three home remodeling jobs will involve the entire house, to create a cohesive theme. Some remodeling jobs may create themes such as art deco or Victorian revival, or a more minimalist look that many young adults today favor. Remodeling the kitchen may involve removing old tiles or linoleum and putting down new flooring, as well as new backsplash tiles on the walls. Workers can also repaint, sand down, or replace dirty or damaged old cabinet doors, not to mention swap out an old stove for a new one. Plumbers can also remove an old sink and add a beautiful and water-efficient new one, and workers can also update the lighting fixtures. Many homeowners remodel their kitchen so they have a more practical and appealing place where they can cook. Meanwhile, plumbers can replace the bathroom’s toilet, sink, and shower for aesthetics and improved water efficiency at the same time. Senior homeowners may get a new tub installed, the type with a waterproof door on the side to make climbing in and out of the tub easier and safer. Here, too, floor tiles and lighting fixtures can be replaced.
Browse some art magazines, and you can also find some great new furniture to put in your artfully remodeled home. This is also a good idea for renters, who can’t remodel the hardware of their living space. New furniture can be found either with online catalogs or visiting local furniture stores, and you can find just about anything from Amish-made tables to fabric couches and king-sized beds. If space is an issue, try finding a fold-out couch bed, or a storage bed that doubles as a small dresser in its body. Changing furniture is also a great idea if you are converting an old bedroom into a studio, or if your child is now old enough for proper kid-sized furniture rather than a baby crib.
Some furniture takes some assembly or care to use just right. Leather couches and chairs are a fine investment, since leather becomes tougher and more attractive with age (not less), though it will need some chemical treatment every few months. Replace your rickety old bed with a stylish Victorian revival wooden model, or make your dining room a truly fancy eating space with a fine table and chair set. Some homeowners may also repaint their wooden furniture or put on new varnish, though they should be careful. It’s a good idea to put down old newspapers or papers to protect the floor from drips, and using low-VOC varnish and paint is a good way to maintain the house’s air quality. Artful furniture should not set off someone’s asthma or allergies, but low-VOC materials can work just fine and make any wooden piece of furniture look like true art. And when guests visit this remodeled home, they are bound to be impressed and feel like they just stepped into a living room where they can touch the exhibits.