When I completed my time at university, and was done with all the theoretical analysis, searching for symbolism, study of semiotics, and whatever else was oh-so ‘de rigeur’ for art history academics; I came to a relatively abrupt halt asking myself “so what now?”
Like many Bachelor of Fine Arts students, I loved my time at university. I loved being able to explore the creative and the absurd, the practical and tangible side of things that were seemingly lofty, the discussions with fellow students that came after controversial lectures from leftist professors and hopeful revolutionaries of academia and the ability to say I spent my days studying the aspects of our world which made it truly beautiful. That was all perfectly delightful, but then it stopped. After the “what now?” question stared me bluntly in the face, I realised I had to find an answer to this daunting predicament.
After a two year diversion from answering the “what now?” question spent working as a wedding & event planner (an all too easy segue after a tenure in the hospitality industry throughout my studies), I realised I truly did have to answer the question if I wanted to have a normal schedule, stop working nights and weekends, be home with my future husband and do something that really interested and challenged me…..and ideally, integrated and didn’t put to waste all that I had learned during my undergraduate studies. I toyed with the idea of architectural design, and after one architectural drafting course quickly learned that the class full of bookish boys and numbers/formulas that were integral to architecture (and integral for a good reason-after all, who wants to be in a building that isn’t structurally sound, and supported by accurate engineering!) was not for me. Though I was passionate about architecture in terms of its history, and how it affected the people who were subject to it, I was not at all passionate about numbers, engineering, or being in a program for 2-4 years where I felt and looked about as conspicuous as a polar bear in the Sahara Desert. This all led me to interior design.
Although many people view interior design(ers) as essentially akin to decor(ators), it is so much more technical than that. So while it does not (often) require complex formulas and calculations, an understanding of buildings, structures, how things are made, how things are built, and why we put what where is fundamental to being a designer. All this is not to say that the decorative aspect of design isn’t important, it is fundamental, for what is a well-planned space if it isn’t appealing to be in from a visual and comfort perspective?
After I had finally answered the question and was well on my way to advancing myself as an interior designer, over two years of additional schooling and countless hours (and I mean countless!!!) of drafting, sketching, AutoCad, rendering, and perfecting and re-perfecting said tasks had gone by. I had graduated, and with confidence could say that I was ready to begin work, working in the field of interior design. In the end, although I fondly hearken back to memories of analysing sculptures, paintings, and buildings, I know interior design was the right career choice for me, and cannot imagine my life otherwise. As a designer, I am still able to surround myself with the aspects of our world which make it truly beautiful, however I am now also able to assist in creating these aspects rather than singularly analysing them.