I'm going to let you in on a little secret. On nearly every single project we work on, inevitably we hear a version of one of the following statements:
UGH I'm so embarrassed. I know I need art on the walls...
We just hung that here because the nail was already there from the last owners...
I know these pictures are too small but...
I've had this since my first apartment a thousand years ago...
I just impulse bought this up from HomeGoods and I don't love it anymore but this wall needed something....
Does this sound familiar!?!
Take heart because it happens to everyone. Most of us like art want to have some in our homes. We enjoy looking at pretty things. Being reminded of our favorite places. Or surrounded by our favorite colors. We appreciate how it can bring a room together. But for many people it is a struggle to pull the trigger and start buying it. Partially out of fear of spending money on something purely decorative and not technically functional (though I'd argue that feeding your soul is function aplenty). But mostly because if you're going to spend the money you want whatever you buy to have meaning.
All of our favorite items in our home are connected to a story. A connection to when you bought it (oh I love this piece! I got it at the San Francisco Farmer's Market from a street vendor on a work trip). Or a connection to what's being portrayed (our honeymoon was in Hawaii and I love how it reminds me of that time...and how great I looked on the beach when I was in the best shape of my life). Or a connection to the artist (they have such a great story! Did you know that he's local and used to be a lawyer but then figured out he loved to paint and he just went for it?!).
So let's get past art buying paralysis and onto bringing more things into your home that make you happy! I put together a roundup of local DFW artists to help you go from that frustrating starting point of empty walls to finding a piece that you love in just a few days instead of a few years! And with the current pandemic it's a great way to support local artists and small businesses. Win - win! This list is by no means exhaustive, but man are they good! So here we go (in no specific order):
Scout Design Studio
Okay, so Scout isn't just one artist BUT it has one of the best and most diverse collections we know about in DFW of unique modern and iconic art from artist current and past. Frida Kahlo sits pretty in their lineup next to book art, crayon art, vintage photography, and classic modern paintings. Their site has much to offer, and just about any of their pieces will help your home tell a story.
Kelly is a man of many talents. An interior designer, furniture designer, jewelry designer, and artist, this guy obviously immerses himself in art and design. Not to mention a new line of designer masks, because it's a wild world we live in. But if you like bold colors, abstract art, and a healthy balance between modern design and historical relevance, you'll want to check him out!
Lovely feels like the right word to describe Heather's art. It's abstract and modern with bold brush strokes, but also often very soft and natural. Her color combinations are muted and to die for. She large scale prints, and some small acrylic block art ready to go on her website, but in her own words, custom commissioned work is the "heartbeat" of her business because of the personal nature of it.
Lauren's unique Boho style fiber art ("Canvas with Movement" as she's dubbed it), was born when she was seeking an alternative to canvas paintings for her home. She dips every strand of her (super nice) wool yarn into dyes, hangs them together, and the result is layered, texture-rich, and certainly a successful alternative to paintings. However, she's not knocking painting, because she loves that too. And on top of that, why not design some incredible area rugs? Bottom line, if you bring one of her beauties home... it'll be to dye for! (see what I did there).
Rachel began her art career as an art therapist and paired that passion with her hope of acquainting emerging artists with the public. She offers individual and group art therapy for people of all ages and hosts pop-up art shows to display her work and the work of other new local artists. And isn't it fitting that the art of an art therapist is so calming... I'm thinking if you put one of these babies on your living room wall you'd really never leave your couch
If black and white is your thing - click to your hearts content over to Alli's site and feast your eyes on all the contrast of her large scale paintings and murals! The clean simplicity of her style is refreshing and easy to love. It's floral, it's black, it's white, it's edgy, it's feminine, and it works! You might realize you've seen her murals around town already. So next, scoot on over to her online shop for a plethora of goods from phone cases and throw pillows to coloring books and wedding veils... too many cool things to list, just check it out!... Oh and did I mention her podcast and her art lessons?
Kyle's abstract, bold, colorful, and geometric art has caught the attention of people far and wide. He's one of the most well known Dallas artists, and you can find his murals on local shop walls, and city hotspots. He's created large scale commissioned work for heavy hitters such as Marriott, Paypal, and Mercedes Benz (to name a few) but his smaller works and photography show his broad creative capacity.
Jenn Thatcher claims that her lack of formal art education has allowed her to feel more free in her painting process, and the results of her relaxed and optimistic approach are dreamy. Her art celebrates nature and aims to evoke emotion and it's clear that she accomplishes that! Hang one of her pieces in your home, and try not to smile as you pass by it... I dare you.
Jon Flaming is a Texas artist through and through. The subject of his art is focused on small town Texas, but he uses a wide variety of media to share his love for the lone start state. His illustrations, paintings and prints have earned him features in magazines, newspapers, and online publications, and I'd be willing to bet, they're also in a number of game rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms all over Texas.
That does it for now, but it also feels as if we've opened the Pandora's box of DFW artists and art galleries worth talking about and hanging on our walls, so be sure to peep at these amazingly talented people's work, and let us know in the comments which your favorites are, and if you know of other great local artists - we know they're out there! Support local, friends!