Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did you know... art helps you live longer and healthier?

Did you know that looking at art on a regular basis affects your brain more than you know? Not only does it just affect the way you think and feel in the moment, but scientific studies have actually proven that art can make your brain healthier and even promote a longer life span!

In a study where human guinea pigs were hooked up to a brain scanner and shown 30 different works by world-renowned artists, they found that when the viewer looked at a piece of art that they really enjoyed, blood flow increased to the brain by 10 percent (the same as looking at a loved one!)

The test was carried out by selecting dozens of people who were chosen at random but were picked because they had no prior art knowledge. In this way, they would not be influenced by current trends, the popularity of the artist, and other people's tastes. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measured blood flow in the medial orbitofrontal cortex -- the part of the brain associated with desire and pleasure.

The increase in blood flow was directly related to how much the viewer enjoyed the piece. When they were shown works that the viewer thought was ugly, often times either little or no blood flow increased to the brain. Even though it may seem obvious that looking at something beautiful will make you feel good, the scientific study proved that it affects our brain even more than we previously thought.

This study helps us to realize and define even more clearly that art is not just a luxury, as so many seem to think. Hanging a piece of art on your wall that you love does more than just make you feel good every day (as if that benefit wasn't enough!) If it can cause increased blood flow to your brain that helps you to think more clearly and have healthier cognitive function, then it can also improve your overall health.

Not only then do we want to spend extra time carefully selecting art that beautifies our home and work spaces, but it becomes increasingly important to provide beautiful art in places where it is imperative to our health -- hospitals, dentists, doctor's offices, chiropractors, wellness centers, spas, the list goes on and on. Finding someone who can bring in art that will positively affect the people who will be viewing that art is of the utmost importance.

A soothing image might help an anxious dental patient while they are having a cavity filled. A calm and peaceful work of art can effectively help someone waiting in an emergency room who is worried about a loved one. Or even something as simple as a relaxing painting can help someone who is usually stressed to find relaxation at a massage center.

Art is not just something that you hang on a wall to make a room a little prettier. It is in fact a necessity to our everyday life and cognitive health. This is why budget cuts that slash out creative and art programs in schools can be so detrimental to the health of our children -- often times much more so than we think. Even something as simple as placing the right art in your children's bedroom can make a difference. Consider letting your child tell you what makes them feel good and what they want to have around them on a regular basis. Something that makes them comfortable and happy can help them sleep better, think better, be more creative, and even study more effectively.

Take the time to select the right images for your interior design projects. And if you don't know what to choose, then bring in an expert. OC Designer Source has been studying how interior design and art affects environments for many years and can use our expertise to optimize any interior for any purpose -- we specialize in art installations for commercial, hospitality, and residential interiors.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing Art

Do you ever wonder what not to do when looking to buy art? These are the five most common mistakes made by buyers when looking to purchase fine art.

1. The buyer just wants to cover their walls with something that matches the color scheme.

Color schemes are great, and the art definitely wants to complement its surroundings rather than contrast with it. However, there is such a wide selection of art out there! There is so much to choose from and so many talented artists. Why would you settle for something you only like when you could find something that you absolutely love? Even pieces that seem at first like they might not complement a color scheme can actually be made to complement it nicely when hung in the right place with the right matte and frame.

When looking to purchase art, you should search for something that makes you feel good. If a piece of art makes you feel sad when you look at it, it doesn't matter if it matches your living room. The goal is to create a setting that makes you feel good to come home to every day.

2. The buyer doesn't take enough time to look closely at the art, to search for the quality in it.

There are a lot of cheap duplicates and art knockoffs that are mass printed and sold at a low price. It may seem like a bargain at first, but when you have to replace your art every few years because it's fading or falling apart, you'll wish you'd invested in something a little more quality that will last not only for decades, but beyond that, so that you can pass your fine art on to your children or grandchildren.

Take the time to find out the quality of the materials that went into the art. Seasoned artists understand quality and only paints with the best.

3. The buyer is afraid to purchase art because they think they don't know enough about art.

On the flip side, some buyers can get caught up in the fact that they don't know how to tell the difference between high and low quality art, so they never purchase anything -- which makes them not buyers at all. Don't fall into this trap -- there are so many ways to determine the quality of a piece.

You can do your research beforehand, or take an art appreciation class. Or, if you don't have that much time to invest, hire someone or find a friend who does know a lot about art, and bring them with you when you do your purchasing. Which brings us to....

4. The buyer is afraid to buy what they like because it isn't "popular".

In my opinion, this is the worst mistake of all. Because more important than anything is to find art that you like, personally, that makes you feel good -- and hang it on your wall because you love it. People who are trendsetters don't buy because something is popular. They buy it because they like it, and other people follow their lead.

Follow your personal preferences and discover your own 'Mona Lisa.' If the art on your wall benefits you, lifts you up, makes you feel good, brings you peace, or transports you to another world -- then it is the best kind of art you can buy.

5. The buyer doesn't know how to properly maintain and care for the art after they've purchased it.

Different types of art require different methods of maintenance. For example, original watercolor paintings should be framed under glass, and original oil paintings usually need to be varnished 6 months after completion. Fine art should never be stored in direct sunlight (which can cause it to fade) and should never be touched directly with the fingers.

Doing some research or asking the artist how to maintain your new original art should be of the highest priority to ensure that your new art stays at the same quality it was in when you bought it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Winner's Selections From the Giveaway!

OC Designer Source is excited to announce the winner selections from our Fine Art Photography giveaway where we gave away ten 10x15 metallic prints signed by photographer Tien Frogget! We gave each of the winners a choice, allowing those who responded first to select their prints first. The prints were shipped today.

A little bit about OC Designer Source: we share talented artists that need help promoting their work to different markets. We provide art for all kinds of interiors and manufactured products. Our company has worked on large residential projects and even has a new online art program available to builders. We also do commercial buildings, offices, hospitals and hotels. If you would like to know more about us or see an opportunity that may help our 40 artists, please contact

If you like Tien Frogget's work, be sure to check out her website at and like her on facebook. If you're bummed that you didn't win, her prints are still for sale in the OC Designer Source gallery. She has some of the best prices for fine art photography that you'll find anywhere, and the quality of her work is fantastic!

These were the images that were selected, in order of who chose first! It was fun seeing which pieces went quickly, and it looks like her digital artwork was the first to go.

Valerie V. from Chicago, IL selected
"Glowing Berries 2"

Jamie J. from Weatherford, TX selected
"Colorful Roses 2"

Evelyne G. from Henderson, NV selected

Suzanne K. from Grass Lake, MI selected
"Angel's Landing"

Noelle M. from Phillipsburg, NJ selected
"Peace Stones"

Shawn S. from Sewickley, PA selected
"Horseshoe Bend"

Anne H. from Emmett, MI selected
"Scarlet Geranium"

Michelle W. from Stoughton, WI selected
"The Old Railroad"

Phil R. from Kokomo, IN selected
"The Heart of Zion"

Nitya S. from Sacramento, CA selected
"Kohala Coast"

And that's it for our giveaway! To make sure you don't miss out when we do this again, follow our blog, like us on facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter at

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Fine Art Photography Giveaway Has Ended

"The Heart of Zion" © Tien Frogget

OC Designer Source is excited to announce that we have selected our 10 winners of the Fine Art Photography Giveaway! These ten people have won a free 10 x 15 print on metallic paper signed by photographer Tien Frogget.

E-mails were sent out to everyone who entered the giveaway notifying you of whether you won or not. A large number of entrants who didn't win a print were selected to win a free room recipe from Homemade Design.

Congratulations to the winners!! Thank you to everyone who entered – we over 1,000 entries from all over the United States! The art will be shipped out soon and we’re excited to see where you hang them! Feel free to take a photo of the piece and post it on our Facebook Page, if you like.

"Horseshoe Bend" © Tien Frogget

For those of you who didn’t win, Tien Frogget’s gorgeous fine art photography is still available to purchase at her gallery on the OC Designer Source website. Its not too late to pick up your favorite print to hang on that blank wall you’ve been glancing at that needs some love.

Also, a very special thank you to Homemade Design for making this fine art photography giveaway a possibility – without you, this raffle would never have happened! They are America’s leading online interior design service and they offer an array of design services to help you beautify your space. If you haven’t had the chance to check out their website yet, I recommend it!

Thank you again to all who entered. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list and like our Facebook page so you will be notified next time we have a giveaway!

"Scarlet Geranium" © Tien Frogget

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Elizabeth Khorey Featured In LGOCA!

Elizabeth Khorey
We are so excited to announce that OC Designer Source artist Elizabeth Khorey has been selected to hang her work in The Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) in Laguna Beach, CA. Her gorgeous encaustic fine artwork is a perfect fit for the prestigious gallery that showcases some of the best photographers, sculptors, and fine artists in California.

More than 300 artists were interviewed to fill the gallery space, and out of all of them they selected Elizabeth Khorey. It’s no surprise to us, as her art is a breath of fresh air to the art scene and at the same time easily accessible to a wide audience. Layers of beeswax, plasters, and organic embedded objects come together with Elizabeth’s knowledge of faux finish, old world Venetian plaster and encaustic techniques to create works that are truly one of a kind. Her work will begin showing on June 1st.

"Aqua and Graphite" © Elizabeth Khorey

Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art
Located in downtown Laguna Beach at the corner of Legion and PCH, the exclusive LGOCA’s vision is to bring both mid-career and internationally recognized contemporary artists to Laguna Beach. They represent just 24 artists with 2 guest artists each month. You can take a look at their website to learn more about them.

If you’re as excited as we are to check out her work in the gallery setting, the best time to see it is the First Thursdays Art Walk in downtown Laguna Beach. Just like the title suggests, there is an Art Walk on the first Thursday of every month. Since her work will begin showing on June 1st, the Art Walk on June 6th will be an ideal time to appreciate her work as well as enjoy many other talented artists along the way. Take a stroll through downtown Laguna at night with the streetlamps sparkling and the galleries all lit up and beckoning. Many galleries serve free wine, vodka T’s, or sangria, as well as snacks like cheese or cookies to nibble on while you explore all of the incredible art that is available.

"Colors in the Bay I & II" © Elizabeth Khorey

OC Designer Source is so pleased that we have been able to help Elizabeth get into a gallery of this caliber, as she is incredibly talented and her work really has a way of making interiors shine. With her background in interior design as well as art, it’s no surprise that she has such creative flair and vision. We consider ourselves lucky to be working with her and are so excited to be able to promote her in this way.

So what are you waiting for!? Be sure to mark the evening of June 6 on your calendar and make the LGOCA your first stop for the evening.