I’m going to recommend something. Look around, do you see an inspirational sign, fake deer head, or collection of things that doesn’t mean anything to you? What about piles of shoe lasts or vintage typewriters? Please gather them, especially the deer head and typewriters, we’re going to replace them with art.
Granted, if you are a professional graphic designer, hunter, author born in the 1930s or museum curator, you are excused from this exercise. If you aren’t any of those things, it’s time to think about what that deer head above your TV (ceramic or otherwise) says about you. A lot…
We all have different things that move us. Different hobbies, different lifestyles, different passions. Don’t throw them away and head to a mall for decorations. That’s not to say that art has to be expensive, on the contrary, art can cost nothing. Do you have photos from a trip, or photos of any kind really, that you love? Do you listen to music? Do you collect something? All of those things can be displayed as art objects in your home.
The best and most important part is, it’s personal. You don’t even have to be particularly good at these things for them to be art (actually you don’t have to create them at all). Pictures can be printed out and hung, they can be put on a gallery wrapped canvas for little money if you catch a sale. They don’t need to be of an exotic trip, they can be taken anywhere, of anything you find interesting. Smartphone cameras and basic image editing can produce photos that you want on your (real) wall. Music, books, anything that you have a lot of and is personal, can be artfully arranged. Don’t have a collection of bike seats anchored to your wall if you don’t ride bikes. Ditto typewriters. That kind of thing.
And if you must have an inspirational sign somewhere, it had better be pretty hilarious, no amount of “WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE” signs will ever be handsome enough to come in handy. You can imply all of those words with your actions, you don’t have to spell them out.
Ditch the generic, make it personal and, um, keep calm and carry on…