*Picture is not mine. From a real estate listing.
If you are ever in my company, I’m sure you’ll hear me say, “That’s so my aesthetic.”
Everyone keeps asking what I’m talking about when I can’t stop talking about my aesthetic.
I’ve looked for resources online, but the definition of a vast philosophical topic is hard to pin down to any one thing – and now the word is actually evolving in our modern culture, becoming an adjective > see this YouTube video. It is also entirely possible that I have just fallen in love with a word that does not fully encompass what I am trying to say.
Aesthetic: a set of principles underlying or guiding an artist’s work
This definition of aesthetic, the noun, is too superficial for me. Or maybe it’s written so vaguely because the concept is unique to every individual. I am left with too many questions:
What are the principles that appeal to me and WHY?
Why do some principles seem universal to the human experience and how is this possible?
In what way is the artist guided to the principles they possess? How and by whom/what?
The definition of aesthetics, the philosophical school of thought, is the study of beauty, its universal aspects, and what this tells us about the human condition. This gets closer to answering my questions, though they are still largely unanswerable at this point. I am partial to the way Oscar Wilde described it:
“Aestheticism is a search after the signs of the beautiful. It is the science of the beautiful through which men seek the correlation of the arts.
It is, to speak more exactly, the search after the secret of life.”
I am fascinated by defining my aesthetic. It is far more than a hobby, more a life pursuit. I am trying to do so in the most relaxed way possible – to just let it completely flow out of me in a meditative state, without questioning or copying or doubting. It is not subject to any one thing or dominant trend, and yet it is subject to everything and all sensory input I’ve ever received.
I believe an individual’s aesthetic, defined more broadly as the way in which they live their life and thus lifestyle can be considered a synonym here, is always trying to be in alignment with their inner truest self. The more harmonious the alignment, the more you are in contact with God/Source/Spirit/Love/Light/Peace (can we please come up with a term, devoid of cultural connotations that fully embodies this presence? Maybe our little words are nothing). I get closer to that harmony every day.
I seem to be some sort of visio-spatial empath: my “aesthetic canvas” is primarily the home. (By visio-spatial empath, I mean that I emotionally feel space and visual input – this is what draws me to homes and photography. When I am in a house everything “speaks” to me.)
You spend a significant portion of your life in your home. Your home, whether you are consciously aware of it or not, is a statement on the way you’ve chosen to live your life. It tells other people about you, your interests, your habits both good and bad, your cleanliness, your creativity. It also tells YOU all those same messages, both the overt and more subtle ones. (Become aware of them – the unexamined life is not worth living!)
I want the literal and figurative messages on the walls of my home to motivate me, to guide my path, to remind me I am and who I can be.
What is my aesthetic?
Part of it can be conveyed visually, which is why I post photographs here. But “art comes ancient to the eye” – I love this quote because it so perfectly encapsulates how I feel when I look back at any of my photographs. They always leave me unsatisfied, because the moment was the moment, and the photograph is merely the two-dimensional record of the moment. It can’t carry much more than the visual data.
(This is my new photographic goal though: http://i.imgur.com/hyPvnWp.gifv )
At this moment, my aesthetic is best experienced IRL – to walk into my home is much different than capturing reality in a pixel array. But then, I always wonder – is my aesthetic so “aggressively” Taylor that others won’t feel it? I think this thought should be filed away as “self-doubt” because when I have posted to the great wide internet, the only responses I ever receive are positive and almost a surprised sense of “Whoa this is good and I didn’t know it was something I was looking for but it resonates with me.” And I love finding those moments myself, so yeah – filed away into “self-doubt” trash bin.
I’m still trying to figure out how to translate a description of my aesthetic into words. I do like writing and I think I am decent at it so this is the next creative barrier – to become more fluent in translating my aesthetic across all creative mediums.
Isn’t it amazing that we can hold “knowingness” in our heads in a form of non-verbal language? It is hard to hold onto, it leaves me and comes back. But it is known.
MY STYLE: thrifted, salvaged, faded, natural, honest, gray, green, northwest – inspired by the colors and textures that surround me – imbued with a sense of place and landscape – locally and ethically sourced to the absolute best of my awareness – overcast light, warm wood, dusty & western.
My style is not defined by any one book, field of study, trend, or experience. It has been cultivated over the last 26 years through the countless moments of my life, influenced by every like and dislike, by every person I have met, city I have traveled through, home I have been into.
In some sort of reality-bending inversion, I am externalizing my Self (all aspects of the character of Taylor) through the medium of my home in an effort to get to a more intimate, pure state of being with my internal/eternal Truth. This is what I mean, this is the goal, when I talk about pursuing my aesthetic.