When I transformed my den for the One Room Challenge last April I obtained my very first piece of original art. I have quite a few antique oil paintings but for me this was my first introduction to the world of custom original artwork. Luckily for me I was madly in love with my artist so the path to creating the piece was simple, but had I not known the artist or what I wanted I have no idea what that journey would have entailed. I am not the only one who feels that way I am sure and I was so excited to learn there is someone like Mollie Creason of Well + Wonder to assist in those exact situations.
I first learned of Well + Wonder about a month ago when she was introduced to me. I recall thinking ... this is amazing, does the world know Mollie and her amazing company exist? A person to walk you through choosing an artist and the perfect art for you? Sign me up immediately!
My path has been very unconventional but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I believe it would not have lead me here to Well + Wonder. I studied Art History & English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I loved my art studio and art history classes, but have never considered myself an artist, so I did what most of my friends were doing in 2005 – I took English classes and studied for the LSAT. I had a few different careers in law and non-profit settings until I stopped working to have my son William in 2012. I was looking for something to do from home and, through a mutual friend, I found Portraits Inc. I love selling portraits and it was the perfect setting for me to get back into the art world. As I began selling portraits I had friends reaching out all the time asking me the best place to buy artwork. My friends were very similar to my Well + Wonder clients – they were in their first homes and had some disposable income to spend on artwork, but they weren’t sure where to start! They would find an artist they liked on social media, but they were not sure where to buy their art. They found the process intimidating and confusing. I wanted to stop that. I wanted to create a space where you can buy art that is affordable and you can get to know the artist that created the piece. While my parents have always bought art through their travel and from galleries, our generation is very different. We are accustomed to buying everything, even luxury items like china and jewelry online, so why should art be any different?
Would you do anything differently?
I probably would have taken more art classes in college instead of worrying about studying for the LSAT!
How did your path to art enthusiast begin?
Through my parents’ interest in art and design. They are avid art collectors and their art collection is pretty impressive. From an early age I understood what supporting an artist meant.
I also fell in love with art history classes in college. That lead me to study art and art history in Italy my junior year of college which was life changing.
When did you decide to pull the plug and go out on your own with Well & Wonder?
Lexie Armstrong was the first non-portrait artist that I represented. I helped her create catalogs of her work and when I sent those catalogs out to family and friends their interest was so much more than I ever anticipated. I then reached out to a few other artists that I thought would be a perfect fit for Well + Wonder. They immediately fell in love with the concept so I knew it was time to create the site and launch.
Scariest moment for you?
Probably launching Well + Wonder and just praying that people believed in this idea of mine.
Proudest moment this year?
When Serena & Lily reached out to me to partner with Well + Wonder. Obviously I was beyond flattered that they wanted to have Well + Wonder art in their very well curated art collection as well as some of our pieces for their catalog shoot and their stores.
My Dad who is my mentor and my biggest cheerleader always taught me to “follow your instincts and take a risk.” Life is too short to not try to do what you love everyday.
A lot of teachers – most memorable would have been some fantastic art professors at Vanderbilt as well as Dr. Vereen Bell who was an English professor who taught me how to write and how well that will serve you.
Start small. Buying art can be intimidating in general. But if you find an artist you like, buy something small. Perhaps it’s a small nude on paper or landscape abstract on wood panel that will go on a bookshelf. Give yourself time to get comfortable with different mediums and artists you like. Once you begin collecting then you will be more comfortable with splurging on a larger piece.
Also, buy original art. It is a common misconception that original art is not affordable. But oftentimes limited edition prints can be more expensive than original art by very talented emerging artists. Original art is just that - original! You are the only one in the world with this piece and that’s a really cool thing. This painting tells a story and it means something to you and your family and to me that is something to be cherished.
Is there any dos and donts for mixing art?
No, not in my opinion! Buy what you love. I have old, traditional family portraits in my home mixed with contemporary abstracts. And if you are anything like me, your art may be constantly moving around your house.
What would be the five tips you would give to someone choosing art for their home?
1. Buy what you love. Art has to speak to you.
2. You don’t always have to hang art. I love seeing artwork placed in an unexpected way- such as propped up on a bookshelf.
3. You don’t always have to frame art. If a painting is on a gallery wrapped canvas then by all means, go on and hang it on a wall!
4. Mix and match! Mix and match frames, styles, and color patterns.
5. Can’t find what you are searching for? Commission a custom painting! All of my artists work with clients on commissioned pieces. That way you can guarantee you will get the size, color, style of what you are looking for.
On a personal note, what does a typical Saturday look like for you?
Well these days it’s a lot of swimming lessons, soccer games, and birthday parties. Life is busy with an almost 5 year old and 2 year old but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
Taking a walk with friends or having drinks and dinner with my husband. Bottom line would be adult talk.
Five must haves.
Good wine, date nights, weekends away at the beach, good books (just finished “The Art of Hearing Hearbeats” which was amazing and currently reading “Big Little Lies”) and coffee (and in my case a Keurig and a Nespresso)
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
My favorite takeaway was this piece of advice ... "When buying art, DO pick out what you love and you will find a place for it in your home. Enlist an art broker or interior designer to help you place and hang your art."
Don't you love Mollie? I could have listened to her talk about art and the artists she so passionately represents for hours. I am so drawn to people who love what they do and Mollie is one of those amazing people. I learned so much from her and she made the process of being matched with amazing art so simple. I can't wait to chose my next piece ... I will be going straight to Well + Wonder!
What better way to start the week than amazing images of art? Have the best Monday!