It is December 9 and there is no snow outside. That’s unusual for Minnesota. But the temperature is only 11 degrees (Fahrenheit) so we still have a real winter. I have never been a fan of snow, and the cold just makes me cranky. Yet here I am in Minnesota, held by my heartstrings to family and friends in this geography.
As soon as the weather begins to change sometime in October I start to strategize about how to prepare myself mentally for this season so I can get through the cold months with a good attitude. I have a few scarves and some fluffy earmuffs that I like to wear, and bringing those to the front of the closet shelf always seems to help. I remember that I go to Europe three times in 30 days starting the second week of January, and that helps too (getting away from sub-zero temperatures, even if it is for work instead of a holiday and even if 30 is the top temp in Europe is still a must!). Then I start thinking about color.
I have always known that I respond emotionally to color. My first awareness of this was when I was about four or five years old and I announced that my favorite color was Blue. It wasn’t that I just liked to look at Blue it was that I felt comforted by Blue, and consciously sought it out. Red knocked Blue out of the running when I was about 10. I remember that as a very physically active time in my life, a time when track and field events–especially short distance running and the high jump–took up most of my time and thought. By the time I started my junior year in high school, though, I was immersed in devotion to the cello, reading science fiction and gazing at the stars. My love of Purple during that phase shoved every other hue aside.
Today I still look to color to comfort, energize or inspire me. After reading many books on the subject, I feel even more strongly that color has a tangible impact on everyone’s emotions. I believe that it can play a role in everything from encouraging conversation to raising the spirits, and that this is true whether the color is used consciously or unconsciously.
Yet the more I speak with people as I travel the country and the world to speak about color and design trends, the more I learn that people are using color more consciously today than ever before. They are interested in the power of color and want more information about it. That’s why we developed a product called Color Equals Emotion. It’s a mini-deck of colors accompanied by key words about how that color makes you feel.
Everyone has at least one crazy dream that they hold onto. I have two. The first is to live in a place where there is no snow and cold (our youngest, Alex, is now 12 years old, so I am within six or seven years of that goal). The second dream is to write a book about color healing.
I think it would be delightful to spend the winter huddled under a blanket, writing about a subject I love, but that will have to wait. I am busy now preparing for January’s Showcase trade fair in Dublin, where I am directing the trend exhibits for the Craft Council of Ireland. After my three trips to Europe, I will write Trend Album™ CD-ROM trend reports about the Heimtextil, Ambiente, Christmas World and Maison & Objet trade fairs (you can pre-order any of these by emiling Janice). And I am speaking at the Las Vegas market on February 1 and also have a talk scheduled in Arizona in March. By that time, winter will be nearly over.