04 November 2014


I've been thinking a lot, lately, about what it is I do. This particular line of thought started when I tripped over a box of glassware I had stashed in our laundry room; annoyance led to a sudden/overwhelming desire to P U R G E all my crazy collections and stashes of STUFF, and the next path I took was that of justification – at any given moment I could totally need four or five different styles of white plates for a freelance styling gig, or three shades of blue yarn for a Topaz + Arrow workshop, or that tiny little toy microscope I couldn't NOT buy at the thrift store last week, because...well, I just feel like I'll have a use for it at some point. File under GENERAL STYLING ANXIETY.

I do recognize that it's a luxury to be able to collect, and to have (let alone to have too much, even of things as insignificant as yarn skeins and glassware and tiny little toy microscopes), and that it goes far beyond privilege to be able to assign value to objects based solely on their visuals. I do this daily and I do this for a living, and I do this in Washington, DC, within arm's length of people working tirelessly to end gender inequality and human trafficking and all the rest of the injustices of the world. It keeps me humble and it keeps me grateful, and it steady keeps me laughing at myself when I'd otherwise be stressing out about having issues counteracting the glare that's shooting off a fork and ruining my otherwise beautiful food shot.

Don't get me wrong – I'm enormously and, I think (I hope!), rightfully proud of my skill set, and especially of having carved out a career for myself "making things look good," which is often how I'll sum it up for people who are having a hard time grasping what, exactly, I spend a million and one hours a week working on. People need visuals and they need escape and inspiration and sometimes they just want to lay eyes on something that makes them happy. Is my work important? It is not as important as the work of the aforementioned injustice fighters. But art is necessary, and I am an artist. I am also somewhat of a hoarder, and as I wrap up this diatribe that has seemingly led to nowhere, I'll direct you to this much-shared NYTimes article about decluttering, and invite you to think about the visuals that "spark joy" in your day-to-day – IRL or on the w e b , and to give yourself a little license to indulge.


Labels: ,


Blogger Rachel Weaver said...

I really enjoyed the article because even though it is advocating "minimalism," the spark joy idea resonated with me. I love letting my eyes wander around my stuff and it makes me happy to look at trinkets and gifts and weird found objects.
While I love how beautifully sparse spaces photograph, for actual living, I like my home infused with love and stuff and whimsy. And I'm all for getting rid of the extra clutter that starts to make me neurotic.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Panda Head said...

Rachel - TOTALLY with you. I dream in minimal but it doesn't match up with my wabi-sabi life tendencies ;)

9:26 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home