Coloring our Present/Colors of our Past

While skimming a few websites today, I came along a great article on how color impacts our lives, depending on our history, our upbringing, and our visual attachments. Thanks to the Kreative Ways & Solutions Blog for including the following exercepts on their blog!

Excerpted from Colors For Your Every MoodBy Leatrice Eiseman: href=””>

Color and Your Background:

Where Were You And Your Parents Raised?

If you were brought up in an area where social pressures, traditions, and rigid color rules were enforced, it may be difficult to shake those old dictums or clichés. For instance, one of the oldest of those dictatorial color taboos was that blue and green should never be used in combination; and, until the 1960¹s they rarely were. This was an especially ludicrous dictum since blue and green are so beautifully combined in natural settings-a beautiful blue sky providing a background for a lush green meadow or reflected over tropical turquoise waters. Some of the most fabulous combinations appear together in natural scenes and we never challenge Mother Nature¹s ability to use color harmony.

Although questioning where your parents grew up might seem irrelevant, it truly is not. Your parents and their parents and all of the generations before you are the products of cultures whose beliefs and color traditions, no matter how subtle, have been passed on to you. A second or third generation Japanese American might consider themselves part of the melting pot mainstream culture, yet there may still be the vestiges of traditional beliefs. They may be drawn to the same quiet neutrals with accents of rich reds, teals, and golds of their family furnishings.

A man of Spanish descent might have difficulty wearing pink even in a casual tee shirt because in that culture, from earliest infancy, pink is strictly for females. It takes a strong will, a rebellious nature or a very open mind to defy tradition. Interestingly, most men of any culture don¹t have any problem snuggling under a cushy pink blanket or looking especially healthy in the reflected rosy glow of a pink bathroom, just as long as a woman has done the decorating and shares the space.

Women are more likely than men to have pleasant color associations and men are more apt to be indifferent to many colors. Why? Color is rarely part of a man¹s education; they simply haven¹t spent enough time involved with color. Maybe now tha there are more girls than ever sliding into home plate and boys learning to cook, this will change. But it is still the case that girls spend more time dressing and coordinating their doll¹s wardrobe or decorating their doll house, while boys are involved in more active pursuits that are generally less artistic. Little girls shop with Mom, observe her making color choices and emulate her as their primary role model, while boys are busy pummeling each other in sports activities. If you are a man with many pleasant color associations, you probably have an eye for color or were encouraged (fortunately) by parents or teachers to exercise your *right brain* activities. Lucky you! Your life will certainly be enhanced by a greater appreciation of the colorful world around you, not to mention the unleashing of that creative urge that lies deep within you, as it does in,every human being, male or female.

March is National Color Therapy Month. Sherry Burton Ways of Kreative Ways & Solutions Blog writes, “Color Therapy used in our interiors teaches us how to create an aesthetically pleasing environment but also helps us feel good about ourselves. We can use color to alleviate problems we have, whether they are mental, spiritual, physical or emotional. This does not mean that we have to be ill in order to benefit from color therapeutics, but we can use it for creative and spiritual inspiration in our homes.”

Their first teleseminar series Color Healing Home: Wellness In Your Decor is coming up next next week on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm. It costs only $18.00 and you can register online at

artdc Gallery’s “Material World” Reception tomorrow (3/12) @ 6pm

Our neighbor, artdc Gallery, located at the Lustine Center in the 5710Creative suite, has announced its upcoming reception TOMORROW evening opening frmo 6pm to 8pm. The exhibit looks fantastic, but don’t take my word for it, visit artdc Gallery shares its space with VM Photography & Makeup, LLC. and ourselves. While you’re there, check out our studio space, hehe.

Material World An exhibit bringing together six artists using materials in unique ways

HYATTSVILLE, MD (February 22, 2010) – Material World, an exhibition at artdc Gallery from Saturday, March 12 to Sunday, April 3, 2011 will feature works by Sherill Anne Gross, Michael Janis, J. T. Kirkland, Matthew Langley, Katherine Mann, and Marie Ringwald. “The commitment these artists have for their materials and craft lets their processes inform the content of the work, not overwhelm it,” notes curator Stephen Boocks. “While viewers will inevitably wonder how the works were made and will marvel at the technical prowess, the pieces selected ultimately transcend the materials used, allowing each finished object to stand on its own.” An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Two artists talks will be held: Michael Janis, Sherill Anne Gross, and Marie Ringwald on Saturday, March 19, and Matt Langley on Saturday, April 2. Gallery hours are Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located at The Lustine Center, 5710 Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland. “Material World features exceptional work diverse in style and serves as a testament to the rich pool of talented artists from or with close ties to the DC area,” adds Boocks. “These six artists at varying stages of their careers all have a clear vision of what they’re trying to achieve with their preferred media. ”

Artist websites:

artdc Gallery – 5710 Baltimore Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20781
Contact the gallery for appointments here.

A version of this post is also posted on the Soulstrong Arts Blog at

An Interview with Justin Fair on

Our own Justin Fair has been featured with an interview as the February Artist of the Week with Art 4 the Masses! Art 4 the Masses is a great space to buy students’ artwork online. Affordable AND local!!!

Congratulations Justin! We’re so proud of you! Keep up the FANTASTIC work! Check out Justin’s arts blog at

Check out the interview below from Youtube:

Grow: New York New York!

Coming across photos from a visit to New York I am once again amazed. Erica and I went to New York City to visit Demont ‘Peekaso’ Pinder’s artwork at the Soho Apple Store early in January, and on our way leaving the city, we stopped by a little store called ‘Grow’ at 214 W 30th St. Immediately captured by its display of interesting pots, decorative items, and of course plants outside the shop, as well as a nifty font face above the storefront, we wandered inside. And what did we find? An amazing oasis/escape into a design studio and store for Rebecca Cole Design. What do I remember the most from the visit? A wonderful fusion of natural and man-made materials, allowing visitors to recognize how they too can merge nature and city life into their homes: Tall branches, warm accent lighting, the use of brick, and the smell of water (and wonder!). I wish we hadn’t been in such a rush, if you look at Rebecca Cole Design’s website like we did, you’ll see some great examples of green design!

Wish I had taken better photos but we barely made it the bus on time!

This blog has been turned into a review on Yelp

This blog post is also on at

This blog post is also on Soulstrong Arts Blog at

Twitter’s Usefulness

For a while now, there’s been a growing question on my mind as I work on my new arts blog, Soulstrong Arts @soulstrongarts as to the usefulness of Twitter. Maintaining not only my personal account, but also the Riggio Design account @riggiodc, and now my new Soulstrong Arts account, means a lot of people finding one another and exploring new ideas. How can I effectively contact people and help people find what I’m writing about?

If you’re wondering what Twitter’s purpose is, it’s a quick way for anyone to share a sentence or two about something they’re thinking about or caring about. In 140 characters, it’s a mini-blog = known as ‘microblogging’.

I recently came along a great article on that helps businesses recognize how to use Twitter efficiently to better reach their customers/friends. This article will help me designate how to utilize Twitter without wasting time so that I can improve outreach to art-lovers across and outside of the District. Rather than tell you about the article in depth, visit and feel free to learn: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Get More Out of Twitter.


My favorite points here are:

1. It’s A Social Tool – Remember, Twitter isn’t just about promoting the business, it’s about talking with people and actively following up. That means finding conversation points and using Twitter to share event info and nifty ideas for self-development and community growth.

3. Engage With Your Followers – That said, recognize that if you’re using Twitter for a business, like I am with @thesoulstrong, find conversation points that relate to your business’s field and as it says in the article, become “followers” of peoples’ lives. There’s nothing better than sharing a story or an idea and having it influence someone’s life miles upon miles away!

4. Autoresponder – It’s easy and commonsense that if people follow you, let them know how to better find your product and thank them for doing so!

8. Twitter Etiquette – It’s quality over quantity. Something I see regularly on Twitter are people with a bagillion followers but if I look, there seems to be no connection or even relevance in their posts. The keywords from this part of the article are: “Listen, be relevant, mind your brand, engage, and give more than you get.” What great advice!

Discuss! And if you care to learn more about how social media can equal social good, $$$, and the growth of ideas and communication, regularly check out (amongst other mashable categories)! 🙂

This blog is also online at and online at Soulstrong Arts Blog.

Article by Justin Fair. Justin is Gallery Business Manager at Riggio Design in Hyattsville, MD and an Administrative Assistant at the Gateway Arts Center in Brentwood, MD. He is a graphic designer and painter at Soulstrong Designs and owner and editor of Soulstrong Arts Blog at Justin can be reached at

A New Direction

We’re Moving…
But we are still close!

Several exciting changes are on the horizon for 2011! Design Studio Art Gallery will now be known as Riggio Design: Interiors | Gallery | Showroom. Our location will also change because our space is no longer available for rent as of January. However, transition is positive in this instance.


I am pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration. Design Studio Art Gallery, now Riggio Design, will share space with artdc gallery and VM Photography & Makeup. Collectively, we will refer to our individual businesses in this shared location as the “5710Creative.”


We will continue to curate exhibits at our new location and continue our work in Interior Design in this new, diverse workspace. Look for details on our next exhibit, “LUST” in conjunction with artdc in February 2011! Remember how fabulous “LUST” was last year!
Please stay posted for details on gallery happenings, newest trends in Interior Design, new blogs, and the redesigned website! As soon as we finish designing everything, we will send the links!


Thanks so much for your support over the last 2 years; we are so grateful! And, we look forward to your continued support as we grow!


The Entire Design Studio Art Gallery & Riggio Design Consultants Staff!