Below is an excerpt from an interview that recently appeared in the lifestyles section of the Marin Independent Journal. The writer asked me how the ideas in Growing More Beautiful can be applied to tending your home or garden.
“The more you learn about design is that you discover that it applies to everything,” artist and image consultant Jennifer Robin says. “Design principles can be used in how you choose your clothes to how you decorate your table to how you create a home garden.”
And how people are choosing clothes, decorating tables and creating home gardens is today more innovative and design-oriented than in the past where, she says, following fashion was, well, the fashion.
It’s a mistake, she says, “to think that the experts are in the know and we have to run and catch up to them. It’s not natural.”
While her book primarily focuses on clothes and accessories, she insists it’s “not a fashion story.” It’s about guiding readers through their own journey as they explore design choices using an artful approach, getting insight into their personal styles, developing their eye and living more open, creative lives.
Remember, she says, “design principles have been around for thousands of years, and there’s a reason that people esteem great painters. Their principles of design anchor our ability to see and understand.” And, although not everyone will like the same thing, “good design principles are appreciated by all.”
So, she urges readers to “study closely design principles like texture, scale, proportion of the things that visually appeal to you,” she says.
“Everything that pleases you is something you can study and learn from.” Doing that, she says, “frees you from the do’s-and-don’ts that hamper confidence.”
And, even though a painter should make a bold, rather than a tentative, brushstroke, she says, “painting is not wildly slinging paint on the canvas any more than overloading an outfit, or a room with a haphazard mix of color and texture.”
With exposure to the good design principles that she explores in “Growing More Beautiful,” readers don’t have to “err on the side of caution,” Robin says. “You can always take it back a little. Life’s too short, let’s make a statement, let’s have fun.”