Bare walls make me feel uneasy. A bare wall says to me: put something on me! Adorn me with pretty things that make you feel comforted and at home! But I also love a bare wall because it’s a work in progress – something awesome waiting to be created. And when something is ON that bare wall, and you get to come home and look at it every day, and exist near it and in its midst, it adds to a sense of wellbeing that grows the more you come to love the space that you have made your own.
I tend to put my own photography on my walls. Because it’s mine, and I like it (I wouldn’t take photos of stuff I don’t like!) and it makes me feel at home and adds to my own sense of wellbeing. But I don’t print my photos that often. Isn’t that weird? I used to, but then the digital age grew and I got used to uploading my pictures to Instagram and Flickr and I got used to having everything RIGHT NOW – but that also meant that I stopped waiting around for photos to be developed. And this meant that I never got to the stage where I would even consider how I would display my photography. But recently that changed, and I got out of my photography comfort zone and into a new way of thinking – or perhaps an old way that I had forgotten about.
The Print Foundry came along. Fine art printing, mounting and framing is what they boasted, and they asked me to send them my favourite photo to print and turn into a canvas. I won’t lie – I was sceptical. I’ve never been a huge fan of the photo canvas; but then again, my only experience of it was a bargain photo canvas on sale from a high street printer and it didn’t turn out great, so it put me off. Also, as mentioned before, I had got out of the habit of having my photos printed. I thought – what if it turns out that in ‘real life’, it looks rubbish? But I decided to give it a go. I chose a photo that I took in 2011 in Deal, Kent. It is of a boat. Nothing that will change the world, but it’s pretty, and my mum really likes it. I sent it to The Print Foundry vaguely imagining a small but nicely presented photo canvas and then if I’m honest, I forgot all about it.
A couple of weeks later, a large package turned up at my door. So large that I nearly fell over getting it inside. I took off the packaging and there, staring back at me, was my boat. In MASSIVE. And so beautifully presented that I could have immediately hung it in a gallery. It looked….professional. The canvas itself was sleek and classy and they had framed it too! And did I mention it was huge? I noticed details in my own photograph that I had missed when it was sitting on my computer screen. The texture of the sand, a bird in the sky and a tiny, barely visible sailing boat on the horizon. And there in the front of the frame, bold as brass, was the red and white fishing boat I had photographed on a sunny day all that time ago, during a sudden heatwave in October. Everyone else in the entire WORLD had got stuck in traffic going down to Brighton that day. I had chosen Deal, and it was a near perfect day. The picture of the boat is a nice memory that I now have beautifully printed and mounted for me to keep for ever and display on a bare wall, thus making it into a thing of wonder and joy. Just like that, and with a lot of help from a newly discovered printing company, I had transformed my entire view of photography, and thanks to The Print Foundry, I’ll be printing more of my photographs from now on.
The Print Foundry, it turns out, offer a wide range of services including different mounts and frames, and a bespoke framing service too. My only criticism is that in order to view a price list, you must create a trade printing account – which is worth doing if you intend to print and mount a lot of your photographs. I had been casually looking for a printing company that I could trust to come up with the goods for a while now, in the hope that one day I can have my very own exhibition of photographs that looks as professional as if I were you know, professional. And now I have found one.
Not only that, but doing something a little different with my photos meant that I have a whole new outlook on photography and won’t rely only on digital photo galleries to display my shots in the future. A comfort zone well and truly stepped out of.
Check out The Print Foundry if you’re looking to have your artwork printed and mounted, but if you’re looking to step out of your photo (or any artwork for that matter) comfort zone, try these tips to shake things up:-
Even if it’s just your local high street printing store, take the memory card out of your camera and go get your photos printed. Sometimes it’s so nice being able to hold your prints in your hands rather than just looking at them on a smartphone or computer screen.
Get yourself a cute photo frame (I love Paperchase for quirky little frames) and display your photo or your art, whatever that may be (I have recently started experimenting with framing cross stitched creations). It’s amazing what a frame can add to something you created. You can then display it in your home or give it as a gift.
Find a bare wall and adorn it with artwork. Whether it be a photo you took, painting you painted, or something one of your friends created, or something by an artist you love – transform a physical space and let it make you feel GOOD! I haven’t put my beautiful canvas print up on the wall yet but I’m looking forward to doing so – and that in itself adds to my wellbeing several percent! I love having something to work towards and making my space look lovely and like it reflects ME is definitely a project I’m a fan of.
Disclaimer: The High Tea Cast was not paid for this review
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