” I don’t really like art.” Have you ever heard someone say this? Maybe you were on a blind date, or maybe you’d been talking to a lifelong friend. Whatever the situation, you brought up art and your friend responded with, “Eh, not a big fan.” It’s a statement akin to “I don’t like food” or “I never liked music.”
Sure, we all have our own personal tastes, but swearing off art altogether? How can people do that with a straight face? The answer is simple – they don’t really understand what art is. To them, art is something that hangs on a museum wall, pretentious and dead, not something they can feel, wear, touch or, God forbid, play with. If you know someone who dismisses art with a wave of the hand, don’t give up on them. Instead, win them over slowly by introducing them first to art that lives and breathes. Made by artists with an eye for design, these products could just change the way you (and the art haters in your life) think about art.
5. The Art of Play – The worst part about visiting the museum? Being reprimanded for getting too close to the art, of course. Lean in to feel the texture of a German expressionist painting and within seconds you’ll have an angry docent tugging at your elbow. Art is so much more fun when you can interact with it – and it’s even better when you can play with it! Luckily, several artists out there agree, including Heidi Kenney. Kenney makes (among many other things) super-cute plush toys . These toys go far beyond your boring teddy bear. Pizza, donuts and even toilets – she’s made plushie versions of them all. Thanks to her artistic background and her unique eye for the absolutely adorable, Kenney can turn even a wooden log into something worth cuddling.
4. Shaking up Makeup – Makeup itself is an art. Need proof? Just visit Promise Tamang Phan’s Youtube page and watch as the makeup guru transforms herself into everyone from Pocahontas to Drake (yes, really). Makeup products can do some amazing things – but the makeup itself? It’s not always that exciting. Luckily, more and more artists are making their mark on the beauty-product scene, including Simone Legno, the creator of tokidoki . Legno’s signature characters and bold designs have appeared on everything from handbags to skateboard decks, and now that he’s teamed up with Sephora , his art can even be found on eyeshadow palettes, fragrances and brushes. If you use makeup every day, why not fill your purse with something a little more artful?
3. Pint-Sized Prints – Not all of us can afford to fill our homes with original masterworks, which is why printed reproductions of paintings are so great. But why stop at your bedroom walls? Prints can be applied to anything, including baby clothes. And let’s be honest – if you’re a new parent, smiling bumblebees and happy pandas are everywhere. It can get a little nauseating. Don’t despair, because Wordsation, the new baby clothing company, is here to help. Each Wordsation onesie is designed by an artist and features an out-of-the-box print that’s a welcome departure from traditional cutesy attire. The coolest part? If you sign up for their subscription service, you’ll get an entire collection of onesies delivered right to your door, timed for when they’ll best fit your own little work of art.
2. Fine Furnishing – Sure, the assembly instruction booklet for an IKEA dresser is as indecipherable as an abstract painting, but that doesn’t make it art. And while IKEA hires renowned designers to create their tables and chairs, seeing your furniture in the homes of everyone else you know isn’t exactly inspiring. This is one area where art and function can combine to make your daily life far more unique and beautiful. Instead of following the floor arrows around the IKEA consumer maze for hours, head to Etsy to shop for furniture instead. You’ll find hand-crafted coffee tables , refurbished vintage buffets , and even baked-potato bean bags that are perfect for decorating you kids’ play room. Why replicate the décor of every house on your street when you can surround yourself with art instead?
1. Customized Kicks – Each time Nike releases a new pair of Air Jordans , people go nuts, and if you’re a self-proclaimed “sneaker freak,” you understand why. But while many fans view their own sneakers as works of art, truly dedicated shoe collectors take their obsession to a new level – with completely unique, customized sneakers. Artists from all over the world make a living tearing down sneakers and rebuilding them with custom designs. Sole Brother , GourmetKickz , and P.R.O.O.F. are just a few of the companies created by shoe-savvy designers. So if you want to enjoy art and gain some street cred at the same time, a pair of custom kicks could be the answer. But be warned. At around $500 a pair, shoes like this are way more expensive than a yearly membership to the local museum.
Do you have a friend who claims to hate art? Do you? Maybe it’s time to update your definition of art, to explore just how vibrant and alive it can be and to see how many ways it can fit into your life. True, most of us don’t have much use for enormous Greek statues or million-dollar watercolors. But chairs, toys and sneakers? Those are things we all buy and use, and once you start to see the art that surrounds you, you’ll begin to see it and appreciate it everywhere. Even in museums. So don’t swear off art completely. Explore the world of artist-crafted products and add some artistic flair to your everyday life.