We all have our favorite color. Mine is yellow, actually. But did you know that what colors we surround ourselves with in our lives says a whole lot about ourselves, our personalities?
Enter the field of color psychology.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a college level psychology seminar sure to induce a snooze. But as an artist, I am super fascinated with the different effects one color or another has on our mood — and how that knowledge can be used to change how we feel.
Just think about it. Why do you think when you watch “Stranger Things” on Netflix (which you should, in my un-endorsed opinion…), you get that eerie feeling the entire time? And why, on the other hand, does a field of sunflowers make us so happy?
The key is color. Take “Stranger Things.” The people who produce that show and edit the episodes use what’s called “color grading.” They basically apply the fancy version of an Instagram filter to the video to give it a certain “mood” — and that filter is a combination of colors like blue, grey and black that make us feel cold, crept out, spooked. And then they mix in some anxiety-inducing shades of red.
On the other hand, there is the example of the sunflower field: a sea of yellow, with some green stems and leaves sprinkled in. Well… Scientists have found that yellow things happen to make us feel optimistic, out-going and creative. And the color green can evoke feelings of refreshment.
All of a sudden, it makes sense why we can’t stop smiling when we look at sunflowers, right?
You can apply this knowledge and use color to create a certain mood, a certain feeling in your home, too.
One of my teachers, the great Blake Rudis, has created this graphic (see below) that shows both the positive as well as the negative emotions we associate with certain colors (feel free to right-click and download it for future reference).
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What is your favorite color? And what kind of mood do you want to create in your home? What colors work best to achieve that goal?
I’m signing off now to re-watch Stranger Things. Happy decorating!
Now that you understand color psychology, is there a particular color that you'd love to use more in your home of? A piece of art is a perfect way to add a touch of color. I have made it easy for you to shop my fine art nature images by color.