We thought this recent Vogue article, "Decorating Rules to Live By in Your 20s, 30s, and Beyond," offered some interesting thoughts about how to incorporate art into your lives in your 20s, 30s and 40s and Beyond but missed the mark on how soon art can play an incredible role in your life.
Vogue perspective: Vogue doesn't mention acquiring art in your 20s. Instead they generally discuss design themes like "be adventurous", "keep it fun, colorful and inexpensive" and "pay attention to how your home makes you feel...emotionally, spiritually and from a healthy standpoint."
Keenlee perspective: They're dead on with the themes, but later suggest that it's in your 30s that you should start to buy art. We disagree. Nothing better aligns with an adventurous spirit, fun and color, and something that can enhance your emotional and spiritual well-being than art! In your 20s you are likely to have friends who are making a go of it as artists (and if you don't, you should broaden your circles to meet the creative types who are pursuing these professions). There's no better way to support these friends than by acquiring a piece of their art, which will typically be very inexpensive and, more importantly, will be art that you can own for a lifetime with happy memories of that friendship and that time of your life. These might be small sit-on-the-shelf pieces that offer intimacy (and fit better in your starter apartment!). You're less constrained by feeling the need to fit something to the living room of your "forever house" and less biased by a refined decorating style. Further, this is a great time of life to explore the intersection of your social life and the art world - search out art events at galleries and studios where you'll meet incredibly interesting people in exciting settings. So what better time than your 20s to start your exploration of art? And Keenlee's free service can help with this exploration at any budget level - it's a great way to have the art world bring ideas to you based on your personal interests.
Vogue perspective: Now is the time to buy art. They recommend that "every 30-something add one key piece to his or her space"
Keenlee perspective: We agree that your 30s are a great time to buy art (but we think this should start in your 20s)! Your 30s are when you might start to solidify and develop confidence in your personal preferences and styles and develop confidence. You might also be buying your first home, which can lead to the anxiety of filling new rooms and the pressure to do so rapidly. This is where we see people get tripped-up the most with art. They treat art like a furniture purchase, to be done quickly and functionally, and end up with mass produced big-brand retailer "art". Or, more often than not, new homeowners end up with blank walls because they don't know how to find art that fits their new environment, don't have the time to find the right art for their space, or believe that they don't have the budget for the art. This is a very unfortunate missed opportunity, but makes perfect sense! Filling your living space with personalized art that speaks to you takes time and effort, and this might also be the time of life when you're starting a family and accelerating your career and time is highly limited. This is Keenlee's sweet spot - we're able to do the work for you, finding great, unique, high quality art that fits your new living space, is personalized to your story, and fits your budget. We can find you a statement piece that you'll always cherish!
Your 40s and beyond
Vogue perspective: This is the time to build your collection. Your style is refined and sophisticated, and you should invest in statement art.
Keenlee perspective: While this is a fantastic arc to be on, it's also a very intimidating picture to paint (no pun intended). Even in their 40s, most people haven't explored art enough to be making collection and investment decisions. In fact, this is a great time to really broaden your exploration and refine your style, which you may not have actually done in your 30s (remember how busy you were in the last decade of your life?). And guess what, you're as busy as ever now. But, your broader personal style is more likely to be refined at this point and you've very likely settled into your stride as a confident adult who knows what you want. So this is a great time to start to make confident decisions about art. And, if you have made some art purchases already, this is definitely a great time to focus your collection goals and expand your collection. Or if you're buying art more for decor than collecting, this is a great time to upgrade those remaining walls that are displaying art (or "art") that doesn't speak to you personally or doesn't enrich your environment (or are still blank!). Finally, this is a great time to start making art part of your children's lives to balance their environment and expand their creativity. Find room for some unique art (prints are often a great idea) for their rooms or playrooms, and let them participate in your art selection process. Keenlee is a great resource for all of this, whether you have a specific style or collection preference you'd like us to help you expand, are still filling up blank walls, or are looking for playful, whimsical pieces for your children's spaces, we have experts who can help.
We find that for the vast majority of our clients, working with Keenlee initiates a highly rich exploration and discussion for them about the role they want art to play in their lives and how it should be best personalized for them, often in a way they've never put thought to before. And it's free! Whether your a 40-something exploring art for the first time, a 20-something with an emerging collection looking to expand, or on the "Vogue-art-arc" we look forward to helping you with your art. To get started, simply fill out an art profile here.