Is it just me or does everyone want to be an interior designer these days? I guess because it sounds like a super-glam job to get into, floating around the world, designing hotels, bars, private residences – it’s also extremely tough. So how do you crack the code?
I went into interior design back to front – long story short, I landed a job as a lead interior designer in a US company by mistake – a miscommunication in the interview. Anyway, I landed the gig, felt sick, threw up, swore a lot and pretended to be one during the day and studied at night and at weekends. If you want to be a designer as well as studying it (and everyone should) you cannot simply assume you have ‘taste’ people will pay you to create a portfolio.
On the other hand, no one will pay you without a portfolio (more fool them if they do). So, overhaul your own pad and your friends pad, hire a photographer, shoot it put it on your website and to the press. Make sure you document your work on social on blogs everywhere and all the time, religiously.
Study at night, in the day, just study – knowledge is power whether you follow the rules or not you need to know the rules in order to break them.
WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE
Learn the ropes and find a mentor, it helps endlessly. My American boss, Doug (sadly no longer with us) was the most inspiring man I have ever met. His passion, work ethic and humour are with me to this day. I think of him often, strangely enough now more than ever. He inspired me with the hours he worked, the relentless passion and carism, he poured into his business. It gave me the inspiration to create my own biz. I got lucky meeting Doug, he gave me a compass, built my confidence and the tools to go out in this world and be experimental. For that, I am entirely grateful.
Clients have issues, architects and contractors are a pain in the ass, people behave in weird and strange ways – try if you can to deal with it graciously and kindly on the surface – then go home slug some whisky and bitch and moan!
Knock on doors, have confidence and don’t give up – you have to believe in yourself as no one else will. If I had the confidence I have now 20 years ago, who knows where I would be?!
READ & LEARN
Buy magazines, look at the web, learn as much as you can all the time. I never stop learning and being inspired it keeps me on point.
SWEAT THE DETAILS
To be ahead of the game you have to be a perfectionist and obsess over the smallest detail. Yes, you need passion and of course you need taste but it goes without saying you need an exacting personality. Oh, and never let clients see you sweat do that behind closed doors. On the surface you are all smiles!