A Collection in Creativity.


Hello beauties, happy Monday. Hope your week is off to a beautiful start.  In honor of National Color Day - we're giving you the low-down on one of our favorite photography and styling exercises that we do on the regular. We love it for the simplicity, organized beauty and the way it reconnects us to some of our favorite goodies around our space. 

And we're not the only ones interested in these collections. A quick scroll through Instagram, Pinterest or any other visual medium will surely contain a few of these collections. What is the appeal? Where did they come from? Why are they so pleasing?

This style of photography isn't new, just as the human nature of organizing information isn't new to us.  We do this because it helps our brains process large amounts of information.  Think graphing grids, scientific tables and color wheels.  All simple tools to communicate complex theories and learnings.  

In artfully composed images, particularly, Johan Wagemans, an experimental psychologist specializing in visual perception at Belgium’s University of Leuven has this to say in this article from CNN:  

It’s the fascination of the image being something different than a messenger of meaning,” he explains. “Whenever we see things in our environment or when we look at images, the brain is organizing the inputs or trying to make sense of them. Usually, perception is after meaning, but when you start playing with images in a way like this, it’s clear that it’s not about meaning, it’s about the special relationship between things and how they form a group or a composition.” 
— Johan Wagemans

It invites the user to find meaning + connection in the image. We think this is the reason it resonates so strongly as we see it in today’s oversaturated and visually jarring world. Organization, beauty and simplicity in repetition, a break in the visual stimuli coming at us at all times of the day day.

It's quite simple to do. 

1. Pick a topic. Be it color, a subject or a mood. 

2. Gather items from your home + life in your chosen topic. 

3. Arrange in a way that makes you happy. For us, we love to arrange them as art collections - curated and organized neatly.  

4. Snap + smile.

We've compiled many of our collection images here in our collect-it gallery. We’ve curated a Pinterest board just for this assignment, saving many of our favorite artfully composed images in one spot for you to peruse, borrow from or be inspired by. 


A few of the artists + photographers who have made this look their signature style + inspired us all to strengthen our organization game below:

Emily Blincoe.  An Austin + Nashville based photographer whose amazing eye + composition make for one of the coolest bits of calm in our Instagram feed.  

Lisa Congdon.  An artist, illustrator, and author, she began her Collection a Day series in 2010 from items she collected at flea markets, junk shops, garage sales and the sort.  She created a blog + book on the subject, and her Instagram is beyond cool.

Austin Radcliffe.  Austin curates the blog Things Organized Neatly and has made this visual style popular and iconic in today's culture.  Our favorite way to browse is here and his book is equally inspiring.  He's also shared his best tips for creating your own things organized neatly images, our favorite of which is "there are no real rules."  So go on, have fun, start your collection.

A collection photo submitted from Becky Winslow 💛.

A collection photo submitted from Becky Winslow 💛.

We invite you to try building your own composition. To clear + calm your mind, connect you to the environment around you AND see what sparks joy in your being. Free your creativity and soak in what you are making. This activity, as with any we will share with you, is meant to be fun + free. There are no rules, no wrongs, no pressure. Just gather a few items, compose, snap and smile.

Go! Have fun! Get making!