the ‘art’ of transformation

train station before_final I vividly remember buying this photograph – my first real piece of art.

I was walking around a local neighborhood where they have a monthly ‘art walk’ and all of the studios open up and debut new shows and you can discover all kinds of amazing work. It’s really fun and a great way to reconnect with your creativity and see a million different ways people are finding to express themselves. Very inspiring.

We walked into a show by a photographer who was in college here in Chicago and I immediately fell completely in love with every one of her photos. They had this air of mystery and I could just get lost looking into them and imagining the rest of the story in the moments before and after each photo was taken. I had never bought any art before and wasn’t planning on starting that night – and was also a totally broke grad school student – but I knew that no matter what, I had to have one of those pieces.

The way I felt about that photograph that I bought became my caliber for future art purchases… and in a way became a kind of a caliber for anything that I brought into my home. I don’t necessarily think that you have to feel that strongly about everything, because sometimes you are putting together pieces with a larger picture in mind… and that’s just a lot of love to expect to have for every single item in your house… however, it’s definitely a great reference for the way I want to feel about my place as a whole.

So I totally loved the photo, but it just came in the cheap black metal frame and white mat, behind plexiglass… not the most sophisticated presentation ever. And I always knew that I wanted to change it, but I just never did it. I finally finally bit the bullet and got the piece re-framed. I wanted to have the mat and  frame enhance the feel and energy of the photo… add to the mystery and enhance the experience of whoever was looking at it.

train station after_final

When I got the piece back and opened it up I realized that sometimes just changing one or two things can completely transform something. In this instance I am referring to a photograph, how the new mat and frame transformed the art, and also how it transformed the way my space looks with it on the wall with its new dressing… but this really applies to everything.

In your space (or in your life!), if things are feeling old, stale, uninspiring… you don’t necessarily need to throw everything out and start over – or you might want to and that is fine too! – but maybe making just a few small adjustments might give you the transformation you need to see things in a whole new way.

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