Friday, July 23, 2010

Work of art

As you may remember, I redecorated my cubicle a few months ago, which I brought over to my new (current) cubicle.  One of my favorite additions was my tiny art print collection, including pieces purchased off etsy, an old postcard I bought in college, and a photograph taken by a college roommate (an art major).  Art is a great way to spice up any space, and an office is no exception.

My next project this summer, once I stop slacking off, taking long naps, and eating lots of fresh summer fruit (is there anything better?), is to do something with our office space at home.  You've seen bits and pieces of my apartment in my outfit pics, and I really want to show you my office  nook, but that will have to wait until another time.  Like many spaces in our tiny apartment, it is multifunction: office space, craft storage and space, musical instrument space, and donate pile space.

The best part of our office nook is the five windows that surround the alcove (it's nearly circular shaped, making it so pretty but just that much harder to use).  Thus we only have one wall to do anything with.  After five years, I've managed to get all of our college and my graduate school diplomas framed, but I'm not so sure what I want to do with them next.

I've been scoping out some fun office art, and here are some of my picks.  My favorite source is etsy.  You can get great stuff for good prices straight from the artists, and the options are just so much wider since any artist can place their work on there.  For poor folks like us, it's our only chance to really own an original (you never know who might be an art superstar someday!).

Some tips on choosing art:
  • Think about what you love. There's likely to be some art incorporating whatever it is.
  • When you're traveling, keep an eye out in galleries for new artists, especially local ones.  It's really nice to have some connection to your art.  For example, for my first birthday after getting married, my husband got me three Mike Goddard prints.  We fell in love with his fun paintings on our honeymoon in Tahoe, and coincidentally enough, have run into his work in galleries in various vacation spots.  
  • Prints and posters are a great affordable option to getting art.  The added bonus is that they're not too precious, so you can experiment with display more.  Ikea and Aaron Brothers have a great selection of smaller prints to browse through if you don't want to take the online route.
  • Make your own.  Our living room is surrounded in photos of the beautiful Lake Tahoe area that Kevin and I took on our honeymoon.  We even had one cut in half, blew each half up to the largest size Shutterfly would print, and framed them into a two-panel display above our couch.  Again...memories are good.  And we are decent photographers at best. If you aren't a photog, chances are you have a friend that is...ask them if they would allow you to blow up one of their pieces as art (with due credit and possibly some compensation of course). 
  • Consider the feel of the space.  Do you want the art to be calming or inspirational?  This is basically how I chose my cubicle art: inspiration first, followed by humor and personality. 
  • If you're filling a space with more than one piece, consider how they go together.  The easiest way to mesh a few disparate pieces is by making sure there is a similar vein of color that is common to all pieces. Other commonalities that can create cohesiveness: scale, framing, and media.
Our dream is to eventually own one of John-Mark Gleadow's bookshelf giclees.  We first saw his work on our recent vacation to Key West and I really really really wanted to buy one. But being on vacation, and keenly aware of how much the vacation cost in the first place, I just couldn't justify the purchase at that time. But you can bet that I have a target for my spending-money-savings to hit.  That would be an investment piece that we would put in our office of a future home.

What do you have hanging on your office walls? Do you hang your diplomas?


  1. i had a picture of jenny holzer's art car with the truism "lack of charisma can be fatal." not only was it a beautiful car but the truism reminded me to always always be professional when dealing with customers.

    btw, i love the surf pictures. very calming!

  2. Nice! I love motivational reminders for work and it's nice that there are a lot of options out there that aren't cheesy these days.


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