Feng Shui and Artists Make For a Happy Combination
by Drina Fried, member, Henderson Art Association, Contemporary Art Association, Vegas Art Guild, and Bakersfield Art
Association There are more and more REALTORS® who understand Feng Shui and who are applying it
to their listings, thanks to Tamara Tyrbouslu (Ta-mar’-a Tiboosa is the closest pronunciation) who teaches Feng Shui for REALTORS®. She uses both traditional and New Age styles, and applies this to her own niche as well, which is international real estate. In High School her art studies started with painting and drawing; however being a “people person” it evolved into a living art she describes as personalized and
energetic, not focused on solely the aesthetics.
Using good listening, she finds out what style others are “into”, and strives to feel the personalized energy
between herself and her individual clients. In order to find this synergy she actually meditates before
consultations, then listens to whatever the client wants to share and has to say, as well as taking cues from
the visual indicators in their environment.
Sometimes the essential part of art is the symbolism or the shapes. For Tamara the most essential part of
art is how it makes you feel.
I have gone into some clients’ homes and think: ‘I would never be able to sleep with that in my home.’ I
reserve judgment but when I ask them about how it makes them feel, I’ve had people say, ‘Oh I hate it. It
was a gift’ or ‘I never wanted it. I didn’t pick it out’, I suggest, ‘Get rid of it’. But if they adore it, I reserve my
opinion because how it makes you feel is so personal and is more important.
Some clients are into nature, others might be into art and dancing. Their artwork is of dancers and dancing.
She then speaks to them “in their own language”. While some people might say things such as they like
“anything tropical” or they like jaguars (whether it’s the animal or the car), Tamara is not into a particular
style of design. Instead she might ask a client, “When you spend time with this piece (e.g. vase) how does it
make you feel? How do certain colors, certain textures, etc. make you feel?”
Regarding colors, for example, the color black: once I saw something that reminded me of death. But the
client liked it. A little (black) is great, it’s provocative. It brings out thinking. Too much black can lead to
being too absorbed in thinking. It could be depressing. Red is good for bedroom accents and in some art
in the bedroom is fine because it inspires passionate energy. But doing the whole room red is likely to
cause insomnia… and arguments - because of too much passion. ‘You'd like to sleep eventually’.
Tamara commented that people are so sensitive to scent as well as to air quality – these immensely affect
feelings….how we relate to different environments psychologically and emotionally. Senses take art from
something superficial to something higher and deeper.
Tamara works with several interior designers, and has requested that one of them find her art for her
office. She is looking for colors and shapes, as “they have power. A triangle is symbolic of both a mountain
and also the energy of fire”.
Mountains give strength and stability. So they are excellent to have behind you in an office because they
give a sense of safety, security and strength… You are protected from behind as well as alongside of you.
Ideally you’d have three mountains; a huge mountain behind you and two smaller mountains beside you.
Regarding the particular medium, size of artwork, and realism versus abstract- for her it’s about the energy.
She asks clients, “What is your goal for the space…the final outcome for the space?” Art could also be a
conversation piece, engaging people with the environment; it sets the stage, as in the living room.
Personalizing for Tamara, a very unique piece would most likely be photography or something more
realistic. “In one room I have Ansel Adams, and in another room paintings along the lines of pastels, and
Monet. “More realism or impressionism for me….It would take a very unique piece to draw me to an
abstract….and I’m not attracted to contemporary….It’s just not my personal taste.” A unique piece of jewelry
crystal is the last piece of art that made her think, I wish I had that.
Size makes a big difference. A profound experience was seeing one of Matisse’s originals in a museum in
Paris for the first time. “Huge, floor to ceiling. And I had only seen it on a postcard before.” Art is a part of
wealth creation. We all have our own definition of wealth, and for Tamara it’s freedom.
She doesn’t buy art for her clients. She gives general suggestions, such as something needing a water
element, and then they go out and choose something pleasing to them. They might choose a waterfall here,
a lake there. Tamara suggests more plants in homes, but not dried/dead plants or potpourri. She is
interested in the impression, the life energy, and the aesthetics of a space.
The trend Tamara sees developing in communities “is about sustainable living”. Art galleries, ecofriendly
communities; yoga studios and wellness centers—as a whole living lifestyle brought together. When we are
out to our favorite places and at businesses with empty wall space - "there can be many more outlets for
local artists to get in front of the average everyday person who’s not otherwise going to see art" - ask for
the manager, and make an appointment with somebody in charge. Also, when with somebody who wants to
add art to their home, look to give personalized service. E.g. If you are talking about a possible commission,
you might ask, “When you are in this room, looking at this wall, how would you want to feel? Look to help
them harmonize their home. “The front entrance to your home is very important. It dictates the “spirit” of
the rest of the home. You want to start to “create the conversation” of buying art and developing an
Luxury in interior design and real estate used to be so sophisticated and so exclusive with refined taste,
and now it is more customized, in part because things are accessible to most everyone (at least until this
Should the artist change their art in order to sell? Tamara answered this question by noting that people
have different personalities. (In Feng Shui there are 8 different archetypes), artists are usually “Creators -
innovative and visionary coming up with a lot of ideas, while not always so good at following through on
them... So artists might try to accommodate somebody else’s tastes in order to sell their work, and end up
being frustrated and compromising their creation; whereas by staying in their FLOW they will more likely
create treasures. When artists step outside their flow and anticipate the end user, their audience, there is
a block because they aren’t creating from inspiration, but rather from a realm of ego, which is entirely
Therefore, stay in “flow” and also partner up with another person, somebody who is equally excited about
your creations, who will actually promote them, getting them into the modes of distribution; whether it is
getting them into a gallery or a showing, prints, etc. While it could be another artist, it usually works out
better with a more “people oriented” person. Websites also provide so many opportunities for artists to
get their work out and be introduced to others. Consumers get to see artists’ different pieces while
exploring the artist’s site in comfort. Anything allowing artists to stay in their own flow while connecting
better with buyers is important. Having something or somebody who does it for them, a liaison - a dealer,
manager, promoter, even husbands or wives can enlist other advocates for the artist. Past patrons can be
the artist’s best promoters. Keep in touch with them. With them, it's a soft sell.
Find a way to attract more than push or propel….Often it’s easier to attract standing still.”
Tamara Tyrbouslu is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire- with a dual degree in International
Affairs and Women’s Studies. She studied in Cannes, France, worked in Boston, MA, and then moved to Las
Vegas in 1998, later a founder and coordinator of the Las Vegas International Alliance.
Aside from teaching Feng Shui for Realtors®, she contributes monthly articles on Feng Shui to national real
estate trade magazines and often speaks to organizations such as the Asian American Association of
Realtors® and the Women’s Council of Realtors® on the benefits of both Feng Shui and real estate staging.
She likes the feeling of a garden in a home, perhaps because of her memories and affinity for her mother’s
garden on the farm she grew up in New Hampshire.
For more about Tamara Tyrbouslu go to www.tamarasgarden.com
Certified International Property Specialist
Las Vegas International Alliance, CEO www.MyLVIA.com
Integrated Real Estate Services
Feng Shui, International Real Estate and Wealth Profiling