My Brilliant Career: Paint Life a Little Differently
- What does your job involve?
In short, keeping abreast of what is happening in the colour world globally and telling people about it.
I do a weekly blog and I also manage Plascon Spaces magazine, which I started. It is the only South African décor magazine dedicated to colour. I also write articles for other publications and give talks on colour.
I work closely on Plascon’s annual Colour Forecast and have done so since it started in 1999 as the first-ever colour forecast in South Africa.
The forecast is launched at Decorex. I am also a panel member of Mix Trends, an international colour forecast bought out by Global Colour Research in London.
Another part of my work is giving paint colours their whacky names, some of which are the cause of much embarrassment due to double meanings.
- How did you find yourself in this job?
I started at Plascon many years ago as a brand manager in the marketing department. I was intrigued by how colour not only transformed the look of a space but the entire feel of a room, and colour became my passion.
I started doing paint-effects classes and learning all I could about colour and eventually created the position I am in now.
- What qualifications do you have and how do they help you to do your job?
I have a BCom degree majoring in economics and marketing, so when I joined Plascon 17 years ago I didn’t know the first thing about paint and colour.
I had just painted my house with a cheap paint and remember feeling sick about it when I learnt how important it is to use good-quality paint on your home.
I was blown away when I saw the effects of colour.
I arranged paint-effect courses with Garden & Home magazine and invited international decorative artists to come to teach. One of those artists was Charlie Vettori from Angel Interiors in London.
I assisted her on many of the workshops and, once she felt I knew enough, she invited me to join her team on a project in Jordan for a month painting King Hussein’s palace.
I left Plascon and travelled the world doing paint effects for a couple of years. I rejoined Plascon in 1999. I did a diploma in colour therapeutics in London and stayed with legendary colour therapist Theo Gimbel.
I also completed the colour design course run by Leatrice Eiseman, the director of the Pantone Colour Institute.
- What is your favourite colour?
I have two, at least: indigo, which I am mesmerized by – I think it has a lot to do with my love of the ocean. I find it inspiring, strong, creative and beautiful.
I also believe it heightens intuition. My other favourite is turquoise – another ocean colour. Turquoise is invigorating and refreshing and I love its sparkling energy.
Turquoise heightens communication, creativity and sensitivity. It also helps to alleviate mental strain.
- How do colours become trendy for a season or two?
Colours become trendy because of a number of factors. They reflect the general mood of society – cool colours like blues and greens are calming and relaxing and become very desirable in times of stress and worry.
Uplifting colours like reds and oranges may also become popular in these times.
The tints and shades of these colours are promoted further by what is happening in fashion, the time of year, pop culture, movies and TV shows – for example, Downton Abbeyand the colour burgundy, which has now become very trendy.
- What role does paint play in home décor?
Colour is the first thing you notice when you walk into a room. It plays a vital role in setting the mood and atmosphere of your space and giving an impression of the people who live there.
- How do colours affect our moods?
Colour affects our mind and body in the following ways:
We respond physically – as a general rule, colours on the red end of the spectrum make us tense whereas colours on the blue end of the spectrum help us to relax;
We respond mentally – the same room appears larger when painted blue as opposed to when it is painted red; and
We respond emotionally – a colour will have an effect on the way we feel. This is based on physical and psychological responses, but, generally, red excites and motivates us whereas blue is more relaxing and calming.
- What is National Colour Day?
Colour is all around us, yet most of us take colour for granted. National Colour Day is a day when we stop and think about colour for a day – whether we wear something colourful to uplift us, plant some colourful flowers in the garden, or paint a room, a wall or a door a colour that makes us, or somebody else, happy. Colour makes the world a beautiful place to live in.
This year, National Colour Day is in September, so keep your eyes open for the announcement.
- What did you want to when you were a child?
I wanted to be an air hostess. I never got to be one, but I did get my private pilot’s licence when I was younger.
- What do you love most about the work you do?
I love learning and am inspired every day by what people achieve with colour and paint.
- What would you like to change about your job?
I wish I had more time. I usually have 10 projects on the go at once and so it gets pretty hectic at times. However, when I really think about it, I realise that I create all of that myself and I love every minute of it.
Author: Margaret Harris
Source: BD Live
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