I think one of the many reasons I became a Jewelry Designer is because of a life lesson my mother unwittingly taught me many years ago. She said simply "Always surround yourself with color". The context in which she made this statement had more to do with a lifeless outfit I was about to wear than some profound life change she was prescribing for me. But I've always held those words close and have recalled them at various times in my life. For instance, when things may have looked bleak. Instead of wearing a shroud of gloom, I always try to fill my mind space or any room I'm in with a sunshine attitude or at the very least some of my favorite bright, cheery colors - lemon souffle yellow, tangerine orange, bubblegum pink - in the form of fabrics, flowers and/or food. I've learned that even the smallest dose of color has the power to change the darkest of moods.
The alternative medicine practice of Chromotherapy makes claims that color can be used "to balance energy wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental." (ref. Wikipedia) While there is no real scientific evidence to support these claims, as a color specialist in my image consulting firm, I personally worked with clients who walked into my studio depressed for various reasons, with long held fashion beliefs that certain colors were not meant for them because of their auburn hair color or pale complexion. They were "told" by TV, fashion magazines, their closest friends and family that they should stay away from that brilliant chartreuse green or royal blue but held secret desires to buck the naysayers. The beauty of color is that it's multi-dimensional. My own theory is that anyone can wear any color, as long as it's the right shade for their personal attributes and more importantly, it makes them feel spectacular. I've draped color-filled fabrics around women who'd only felt comfortable and safe in sedate neutrals - beiges, browns, grays. I've seen demeanors uplifted with the addition of a golden-bronze scarf, blue-violet sweater or cherry red lipstick. I've seen introverts become extroverts, the risk averse become risque. It may not be scientific, but I believe it's quite evident that color therapy works wonders on the fear of living out loud.
I design jewelry with colorful gemstones, using palettes that evoke rich emotional reactions and stimulate my senses. My hope is that my work elicits the same spiciness for my customers. I love getting inspiration from fashion trends and nature's bounty but also from my pencil box, fabulous foods, the COLOURlovers community, Pantone and good old Benjamin Moore paints. I guess you can say I live my life deep in color therapy.
Art Stix Image Courtesy of DickBlick.com