Have You Ever Had Your Style(s) Change Dramatically?

Disorienting, isn’t it?

Deepti Kannapan
4 min readJul 14, 2022

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Photo by Daria Kraplak on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been reflecting about how change has been sneaking up on me over the past few years. One of the more innocuous of these changes was an expansion of my aesthetic tastes.

I’ve always liked a certain dark, vintage, minimalist style — think Sherlock Holmes’ house on Baker Street, with the dark wallpaper and ebony bookshelves. I guess now it’s called ‘Dark Academia.’ I applied this style mostly to my surroundings and my journals. It aligned with how I saw my personality — serious, sober, and out-of-place in modern life. I related to characters in media who had that aesthetic.

As I expanded my use of my journals to more purposes, I found that the dark, serious look suited some applications, like diaries and writing practice, but didn’t suit others, like planners and idea notebooks. Reaching for some of the optimism I desperately need when tackling my schedule, I tried pastels and florals for a couple of digital planners.

Screenshot of one of my digital notebooks

At first I found the brighter notebooks oddly embarrassing. I’d stopped liking pink and bright colors some time in elementary school. I guess it felt at odds with my evolving gender presentation.

Now, adding pictures of blueberries, clocks and sunsets to my digital notebook undeniably made the process of managing my impending tasks more bearable, even pleasant. Maybe I’m finally old enough, out enough, or secure enough to let myself like more than one thing.

When I moved from my old dark apartment to a brighter, more sunlit house with lighter walls, I needed new furniture to fill the space. My usual decorating style of ‘black and dark brown everything’ didn’t suit the new rooms. As I visualized dark furniture against the bright white walls, and they stood out too much, desaturating everything else in contrast. A lighter honey-color worked much better. Soft teals and blues in the curtains complemented the furnishings.

If I could be a watercolor painter, what else was I mistaken about?

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Deepti Kannapan

Painter, occasional cartoonist, aerospace engineer. Writes about sustainable technology, creativity, and journaling.