What She Does: When you think of art on your walls, you probably picture hanging a painting there, or maybe placing small sculptures on a shelf. Something like that. Doni Langlois of It's an Artful Life has a different philosophy. Her passion is turning the wall itself, or even a ceiling, into a work of art to bring a room or space to life.
Ever since her teenage years, when she worked making stained glass, Langlois has been a passionate interior designer. Tapestries and wall hangings using decorative paint finishes are her current passion, and it's truly remarkable what these large-scale coverings can do to a room. What may have been just a solid-colored barrier between places in your house takes on a texture and vibrancy that you probably had no idea were even missing.
Why She Likes It: "The best is having my clients be so excited with the finished plan. I enjoy encouraging them to take risks and to get creative themselves."
What Inspires Her: As you might have guessed from her work, it's texture that really gets into Langlois' head. She's fascinated by the look and feel of corroded or deteriorating surfaces, and loves the challenge of recreating that in paint form. Her favorite source of inspiration includes items made by hand and touched with their own unique look thanks to age -- such as European wall decorations from the last several centuries.
She's had many mentors artistically, but Pierre Finkelstein in New York holds a special place in her heart for teaching her an iron work ethic. Finkelstein started out as a sign painter in France and went on to be a master decorative painter, specializing in woodgraining and marbeling.
If Not Here, Then Where: "I have to say that as far as work goes we have it pretty good here in the Houston area. There is sooo much building going on that work is always available. But I've always thought that it would be awesome to work in Hollywood on set design!"
If Not This, Then What: Langlois' other passion is clay. She's in love with ceramic sculpting and does it every chance she can.
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What's Next: "Educating my clients about the value of original art and supporting the local art scene is one. I do this by speaking and making presentations about decorating and designing with paint and faux finishes as well as promoting the local art galleries or artists.
Also, I've developed large scale painted tapestries for spaces like niches, over mantles or big stairwells and curved walls. There are so many large walls in the homes in Texas it seems. My clients have always expressed difficulty in finding artwork for these spaces that are affordable. These were being sold through the Interior Design Mart in Dallas but I found that 90 percent of the sales were from this area. I decided to bring the inventory back and put it in a local store. All ten of them sold within the year as compared to the eight I sold in the previous two years. I'm developing more of them as well as other types of hand painted decorative items."
More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).