My Life in Color: My Unexpected Journey to Being a Muralist
A bathroom changed my life, and my relationship with color, forever.
Through a combination of leaving my job, breaking my leg, and entering a global pandemic, I had some time on my hands. I was weathering the brunt of the pandemic at my parents’ house when my mother suggested I add some color to the bathroom. With white walls, white counters, white tiles, and white fixtures it had all the ambience of a hospital.
I could definitely slap some paint on a bathroom wall. But it was my mother’s innocent suggestion—“Why don’t you paint some flowers on the wall?”—that set me on a path blooming with color.
I feel like I should note here that I had technically worked as “an artist” in high school when I ran my own henna business. But it was mostly copying pre-fab designs, and the henna we used only came in one color—no guesswork needed. Also, this cow was our most popular design. Truly high art.
At this point in my life, I rarely even doodled. And if I did, I only doodled in black because I was afraid. Afraid of color, afraid of not being “artistic” enough, and struggling with the loss of confidence and creativity that many of us face in adulthood.
So, painting the bathroom meant approaching the world of color from scratch. I was terrified. I tried to explain to my mother how this was a grave mistake, but she was having none of it. She dug up pictures of the magical Maison Atelier Suzanne by Nathalie Lété to act as a guide and sent me on my merry way.
View this post on Instagram
I worked seven days a week for five weeks during that long, hot quarantine summer learning how to choose colors, mix paint, and get literally anything to look good on the walls. By the end, I had to repaint the first wall I’d done because it looked so amateurish next to the others.
The bathroom was completely transformed, and so was I. Did you know you have the permission to just transform spaces with color? It’s WILD.
From there I couldn’t stop dreaming about building a more colorful world. The fear was still there, but it was assuaged by the idea that even my beginner effort had brought joy into the world. The only permission I needed to work large and make big, colorful mistakes was my own. I took online art classes and spent hours with the Procreate app and painting projects trying to figure out what the heck to do with color.
A year and a half after my first mural, I launched my very own mural business: Anne Meredith Design. A couple months after that, I went full time. Color has helped me take charge of my spaces, my career, and my life. And now my whole life revolves around transforming spaces with the power of color!
With each new project, I get to help others take control of their spaces with color. One client had been slowly trying to make her home feel truly hers. We painted beautiful fat naked ladies in her living room—and now there is absolutely no doubt that the space is hers. Another client had a windowless “zoom room” at their corporate headquarters that was so depressing, staff would vie with each other to not use the space. After we added a wrap-around flower garden, the staff now fight to be in that space.
Before launching Anne Meredith Design, I worked in the world of history and museums. And that side of myself needs to tell you something. For thousands of years humans have expressed themselves, their culture, their status, their dreams, and everything in-between by adding color to their clothes, walls, pottery, and furniture.
At no time in history have we had this much access to color–whether it’s in paint, dyes, inks, etc. Nor has it ever been this cheap to use it. We’re pretty much obliged to use color these days. It would be rude not to, right?
If there is a time to approach color without fear, it is now. I’m not saying you have to paint your whole house pink and wear yellow crossed garters. But maybe paint your room white with a tint of color in it, and let the joy of self-expression in a little (and make your ancestors jealous).
Embracing color, creativity, and pushing past fear changed my life. It’s been just over a year since I launched my business, and I’m in awe every day that this is my life in color now. Come paint the town red with me. Or even just your bathroom.
You can find Anne:
Follow her journey on Instagram
See more of her work on her website