Sunday, September 29, 2013

Be the color!

From the graphicmac.com
From mood rings and chakras to seasonal color analysis and the psychology of color in design, we use color all day, every day to navigate our world. Companies use it to tell their story and sell to us. (Look at the cool color chart of logos here.) We use color to get dressed each morning and tell our own story. Color draws us to people, places, and things. It communicates our feelings. We use color to express ourselves.

Ask any child on earth her favorite color and she will have an answer for you. Color is innate to us as children. But as we grow up it gets a bit murky...literally.

Ask a child and she might say: "PINK! Purple! Aqua!" or even, "EVERY COLOR!" But the gusto is always the same. Children are completely sure of their choice. It might change tomorrow but they are committed to that color at least for that day.

Now, ask an adult about her favorite color or even the color she will use to paint her house. Here is what she might say: "I like warm colors," or "I want it to feel Tuscan," or "I like earthy colors." Beige. Taupe. Grey. Beige, Taupe. Grey. Beige Taupe grey beige taupegreybeigetaupegreybeigetaupegrey BEIGE. TAUPE. Grey, oh my!

From www.creativedesignshowcase.com
For 16 years, I owned a faux finishing and mural painting company with my husband. We worked in luxury real estate (high end residential spaces). And I can tell you I loved when I had the chance to paint a child's bedroom mural because it was a break from the monotonous variations of taupe we used every day.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not judging taupe, putty, cream, beige, grey, greige, or any variation or taupey-beigey-putty. In fact, my whole house is painted a lovely shade off off-white (except for my children's rooms which are colorful). But I did do on-the-ground research about my clients as I was working for all those many years and what I realized is that by comparison to children, grown-ups are extremely safe and timid with their color choices in their homes. Somewhere along the way, we get a bit scared of expressing ourselves through color. We want safe, soothing, simple colors that won't get old after a few months. But there are a million colors that can be soothing, comforting or safe, other than taupe. To examine this requires a tiny bit of trust and and a whole lot of risk. What do we risk as adults as we open up to color again? We risk doing it wrong, maybe? We fear that we aren't enough or that we don't know enough? We don't trust ourselves as much as a five year old does. We aren't totally sure anymore what we like.


Source: http://imgfave.com/travel_photos1
So how do we explore color again? It is a simple action. BE A KID! Be like a child and decide right now, what is your favorite color today? Maybe it will be different tomorrow or next year. Right now, for example, mine is orchid. It is a bright purpley-pinky-magenta that is hot. You can see it in my COLLAGE fabric collection here. I still love it. I just bought an orchid sweatshirt yesterday. So, try this exercise: OWN your favorite color this week. Buy it, wear it, paint something in it. Sew with it. Play with it. Scribble it on a piece of paper. Look at it. Make a Pinterest board for it. Explore the meanings of colors. BE THE COLOR! Fall in love with your favorite color and it will worm its way into your life. I promise. That is the magic of color and of intentions. What we think about is where we go. Our thoughts become our reality. So think about your favorite color and make some magic in your life!

Color is:
Personal
Visceral
Intuitive
Expressive
Emotional

There is no right or wrong in the world of color.  Color contains the power to communicate a story, our feelings, an idea, or a sentiment. So, what is your color story right now in this moment?

 A few interesting sources for color psychology and meaning here, here, and here.

GOOD LIST OF BOOKS ABOUT COLOR HERE.

Color Theory Infographic from Sean Ferguson on Vimeo.

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