As soon as you’ve landed on the bare bones of your place—you know, the basic furniture to help you live a functional life—the first thing people will tell you is to find some damn art to hang up on your walls. But this is ridiculously easier said than done.
Especially for those of us, like myself, who can barely make a sound decision on which moisturizer to buy, let alone something that will hang on our walls and has the lofty pressure of “showing who you are”. No wonder we push this off as long as we can. If my moisturizer was tasked with showing who I was I would absolutely be sitting here with a peeling face.
I have some good news for you, though!
The art you choose actually does not need to double as a stamp of who you are to the world. Sure, you’ll probably come across a few pieces over the course of your lifetime that stir up feelings you didn’t know existed, but chances are you’re not going to find that when you’re actively looking for it.
My rule of thumb: If it makes you smile or feel how you wanna feel, go ahead and pop it on your wall. Let’s not make this deeper than it has to be.
But if you want to invest a little bit more time & energy into finding art that shows off your personality, I’m about to share five underrated spots for you to find meaningful, high-quality art.
Take a deep dive into your photo reel
I was genuinely gawking at one of my friends’ gallery walls recently only to find out that she and her partner had taken all of them. She had each of them in a clean, white frame with large matting and it looked straight up incredible.
Take a gander through your own photo reel and I guarantee you’ll be able to find a few that you’ll want to frame, too. Remember, it really doesn’t need to be a perfect photograph (does that even exist?). Just one that lights you up.
Below are a few more photos from my trip back to Hamilton, Ontario that I plan on developing. They’re not “works of art” but I’m excited to see what they’ll look like in a few cool frames.
Tap into your friends’ circles—some of them may be artists and you didn’t even know it
Recently, one of my best friends, who I have known for nearly twenty damn years, sent me this picture of a painting she was working on… and then another one that she had completed recently.
Don’t you just feel yourself stepping out into the quiet snow, shrinking into a smaller, child-like version of yourself as you stare at the stars and the giant presence of nature? I do. (Kennedy, you are brilliant.)
I also was pointed in the direction of Paloma Floral Studios by a dear friend who knows the florist & artist behind the studio, Reay Foster. She makes sweet pressed floral prints with the flowers from her very own back garden and I’m very much obsessed now.
Moral of the story? Designing your home doesn’t need to be a top-secret solo mission. Ask your friends for their input & suggestions along the way and I guarantee you’ll feel more inspired.
Look up your local art school alumni collections
I only recently started looking at our local art school, Emily Carr University, when I heard from a friend that a bunch of the prints on her wall were from their annual alumni sale. Their Student Work Showcase is also packed from virtual ceiling-to-floor with original pieces that range from fun & lighthearted to deeply evocative.
Many of these students don’t have stores set up, but you can always contact them for a commission of their work. Here are just a couple of my favourites below.
Sit for a few minutes in a quiet space and rest your brain. Sometimes you just need to get away from the chaos.Yi Fang
The purpose of [Fit into the Russian Dolls] is to express the idea of not losing one’s identity and value when integrating into a group.Yi Fang
Enraptured by these nostalgia-tinged photographs. Find more of Adria De Luc’s work on Instagram here and their website here. You can get in touch with them directly to purchase any prints and they have a rad Etsy shop too (somehow totally unsurprising for someone with this kind of eye).
The Art Shop
For the Vancouver locals, The Art Shop is one of my favourite resources for finding emerging artists. They’re closed for the holidays for now, but give them a follow as they are constantly highlighting brilliant work.
Katy Biele has such an impressive range of talent… I love the embroidery dripping off the edge of the canvas, as though it wants to drape itself over your entire room. And then to see the abstract compositions of faces that range from inquisitive to content is a delight. Find all of her links here—and commissions are open.
I’ve already written about my deep adoration of Emiko M. Venlet’s work, and The Art Shop regularly features her inspiring work. She is such a force of nature!
When I take in Venlet’s work, I feel like I’m looking at a memory from someone else’s mind—a sweet moment from their childhood home, or their favourite way to spend an afternoon. The granular details aren’t there—instead, we see broad strokes of plump colours. What we are drawn to are the colours, patterns, and light. Just like our memories.From my post on Venlet
Lastly, this is the work of Nanoha Murata and I am obsessed. Her choice of backgrounds for the floral pieces makes me love them even more—I want to know why she chose them. The last piece in particular (the vase set against the black backdrop) is entrancing. It’s almost as if each background helps you see the personality of the flowers, like she’s giving them a life and choices of their own. (But, as with all interpretations of art, I could be totally off. 😉)
Anyway, that’s all from me today. Where do you find your favourite pieces of art? Where have you had the most luck?