beauty matters

Apr 11, 2012 | Life in Progress

beauty matters 72dpiWM
(new print, available here)
I have this very very clear memory from college when I realized the connection between beauty and healing. My friend Ali and I were both in the midst of typical sad college era break ups. We were down and out, heartbroken, and spending our summer sort of bored and passing the time.  We started reading a book called Simple Abundance – a book that remains a favorite today and a book that totally changed my perspective on life and how I see it. 
One of the thoughts/exercises suggested in this book is to surround yourself with beauty – the things that make your heart lift. And so that’s what Ali and I did. We planted flowers around our mailboxes (imagine unkempt dried out college rental yards now bursting with a tiny spot of color). We taped inspiring, beautiful postcards all over our walls. We made mix tapes of soothing music. We wrote out our favorite poems and put them on the coffee tables. We bought flowers, painted our apt walls with bright colors, and covered ripped yucky used couches with lovely thrift store throws.  It was a summer experiment to surround ourselves with anything that was beautiful to the senses, meaningful to us. And it worked. The beauty we created and surrounded ourselves with, even though they were tiny micro bits of beauty in most cases, made a huge difference.
(signed/matted print available here)
If I remember correctly, this is when my love of decor really shifted from messy teenager to being more deliberate and conscious of how I decorated my spaces. I started hanging anything with wings on my walls – anything that spoke to me and whispered “this is you!” All that beauty mattered. It healed, inspired, and gave perspective. It still does. It’s safe to say that I’m a beauty junkie.
I was reminded by all of this during a recent conversation with the inspiring Dave K, co-founder of Demdaco. He graciously recorded a quick conversation for the students over at Hello Soul, Hello Business. During one specific part of the conversation, he told us how the headquarters of his gift company were built with the intention to be beautiful by infusing representation and symbolism throughout the space. With this in mind, there is meaningful art hanging on the walls, conference rooms are named after important inspiring people in history, and on and on. He made the point that beauty doesn’t have to be justified (because it is already valuable and worthy), that it matters, that it affects the human condition, and that it is absolutely possible with any constraints – artists are a great example of creating beauty out of nothing.
So yes, I love how beauty matters in all instances – work spaces, home spaces, creative spaces, etc. And I love how we can surround ourselves with it in the most simplest of ways (or not so simple of ways), and how at its heart of hearts, it brings healing, value, and meaning to our everyday lives.

Beauty matters. Thank you, Dave K, for the reminder. And thank you, new house slippers, for bring a bit of beauty to my feet.

ps: HUGE thanks to Gabrielle over at Design Mom for the feature. Gabrielle featured our home (with never before seen photos of our updated living room, True’s new toddler room, and more) in her amazing series called Living With Kids.  She asked amazing questions and I loved really diving into the story of our home with her. Having been a huge fan of Design Mom for years, I had to pinch myself when she asked if I would participate. SO FUN! You can see the full feature here. Thank you, Gabrielle! 
pps: HUGE thanks to all of you who took advantage of the one day sale yesterday of Flying Lessons: The Whole Shabang Ebook. It was so fun to see all the orders flying in – love one day sales and love watching you all go for it with your creative businesses!

Sending much love,

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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