“I’m attracted to darkness; I like the mystery and masculinity that comes with the palette," he says, admiring the sexiness unrivaled with other colorways.
- Sean Anderson via Elle Decor
Sean Anderson is an interior designer in Memphis who I discovered via Instagram. My Instagram popular page knows me well enough to show me ALL the design with black walls... because, well duh. Sean's home was featured in Elle Decor, and Instagram basically exploded. His black walls and white washed floors were an instant hit. I followed him immediately and commenced stalking his design in a way that I'm sure came off as, well... stalkerish. As you guys who have followed this blog for a while know, I've had all black rooms in both my houses, and they've always been my favorite. To be honest, I'm sitting here writing this in a completely black room surrounded by family antiques, crisp white bedding, and about 15 paintings stacked against the wall that need to be photographed and shipped (just keeping it real). There are not that many people out there who have the guts to paint something completely black, so when I found Sean I knew he was my design soulmate, and I was convinced he'd someday know it as well... even if I had to leave a gushing comment on EVERY SINGLE POST - I was determined.
Eventually Sean and I became virtual friends, and I enjoyed watching his projects take shape. He truly is such a talent, and being able to witness that felt like an honor.
Around that time, I was in kind of a slump. Trying to create my own path as an artist has been hard. There's no map. Nobody else's path can be my path. I felt like I was just constantly casting nets and dragging them in empty. It was frustrating and also made me feel like a hack... like, was my art really not going to work? I remember during that period I would go to bed every night, and the last thing I would say in my head was, "I just need one well-respected person to believe in me, and I'll be ok." It was my mantra.
One day I got an Instagram message from Sean asking me if he could buy a piece of my art for one of his projects. I called Jimmy at work no less that 50 times. Jimmy has a strict "no calling me at work" policy, so I'm sure he thought I was dying - whatever. It was important. I immediately made him look up Sean's work, and I wish I had recorded Jimmy's voice. He said, "oh honey, I've never seen anyone who is a better fit for your work. This is the thing you've been waiting for." And he was right. Working with Sean gave me confidence to believe in myself. If he liked my work, and he was my idol, everything had to be ok, right?
As soon as that happened, my career fell into place. Within a week I got into Anne Irwin, my pieces sold out at the Emerging Artist show, and I got the collaboration With Shayelyn Woodbery for the Atlanta Holiday House. The collaboration with Sean was literally the first domino in a string of career milestones, and I will NEVER forget it.
This is the piece we worked on together, and he ended up using it in a project where he designed the entire house. There was an opening party, and I flew up to Memphis to go. I met Sean in person that night, and I have to say he was the kindest, most humble and grateful man. His family and friends, as well at peers in the design world, all traveled to Memphis to support him. The house was full of people who loved Sean and his work, and it was such a phenomenal event.
I will always remember what Sean did for me, and I wish him SO MUCH continued success - he deserves it.
When it came to outfitting his own space, Anderson wanted to create an environment that would immediately convey who he was at his core to a stranger walking in.
- Elle Decor
"I respect history and I love the idea of taking something old and giving it a new life in an entirely different way.”
“I’ve never said to myself, ‘I found the perfect piece, but where is it going to go?’ What works for me is not waiting. If I love it, I buy it. I know it will organically find its home, somewhere, amongst all its opposites.”
- Sean Anderson via Elle Decor
Have a great weekend everybody!