Stop And Smell The Concrete

Smell The Concrete

When you think of noticeable aesthetics, where does your mind go? Maybe a website that recently caught your eye, your favorite fashion brand, your dream house, that new building downtown.

Recently, I’ve noticed some awesomeness (yes, it’s a word) — beautiful work blossoming in the everyday, and from unassuming origins. This isn’t a new trend, and it certainly isn’t revolutionary. But how often do we really notice and reflect on simple manmade things that an “artist” never touches?

It’s easy to notice the beauty in, say, a perfectly hand-crafted pot, forgetting its previous form — wet, tan, mud. But how about the wonderfully even, sidewalk you’re walking on? Stopping to consider the fact that the men and women who pave our public walkways are actually fastidious craftsmen, crosses my mind almost never.

Realistically, if someone challenged me to create a perfectly flat, smooth surface for my city’s pedestrian traffic, there would be three outcomes:

  1. Most of our sidewalks would be marked with “Caroline Was Here.”
  2. Bedazzled hard hats would no longer be an untapped market.
  3. I would be a former graphic designer turned lunatic because patience is something genetics decided I would be fine without.

I’ve always been a curious human being, but until recently, I’ve forgotten to stop and smell the concrete. It wasn’t until one of my colleagues reminded me of how beautiful our own home base of Nashville is, and how lucky we are to be surrounded by such creativity, that I started trying to look at everything with a fresh set of eyes and that curiosity that fuels my artistry in the first place. That reminder brought me back to when I first moved here, when everything was brand spankin’ new.

Be cognizant that not just every day, but every outlet, is a blank canvas and each one yields opportunity. Instead of a museum, spend a few moments alone on the pavement.

Make time to be curious about the seemingly uncurious. Make time to notice.

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