Saturday 11 February 2012

A Designer’s Life- Why We Do It

I knew that being an interior designer would be tough work, but five years of college failed to prepare me for the reality of it, which can be summed up in one word- FRUSTRATION!
No one warns you about the extra hours, the weekends lost, the frustration of slaving endlessly for a paranoid sadist with a giant ego who uses your ideas to further their own reputation. You aren’t really prepared for the jealousy and self-doubt you experience when you see your friends becoming successful while you are still a ‘struggling artist’.
And when you finally do branch out on your own, no one warns you about the crazy clients- you know the ones I’m talking about-the ones who expect you to perform miracles on a shoe-string budget, the ones who have you confused with a draftsman, the ones call you every 2 minutes because of an ‘emergency’ on site and the ones who disappear when it’s time to pay. Nothing can really prepare you for the times when chaos rules at your site or for that sense of trepidation you experience every time your phone rings because it’s probably news of another possible disaster on site.
And sometimes when it gets too much, when you’ve been yelling all day because you have been yelled at all day and you’re up at two in the morning trying meet a deadline, you ask yourself, ‘is it worth it?’ and ‘why?’ And you have no answers.
Then a few days later, you visit the site and you notice order emerging from the chaos; you see your vision taking shape, and you have your answer.
Why do we do what we do? Because we are the lucky ones that get to go to work every day and do something that we love. Because we get to translate an idea- something that may have started as a tiny doodle on a paper napkin- into a reality. Because what we design and see built is a monument to our creativity and vision- it’s there for everyone to see and has a lasting impact on the lives of its users. Because every once in a while you come across a rare, special client who shares your vision and you develop a relationship that makes the project a joy to work on. Because we are the lucky ones who can drive down a street and point out to a house or a building and say with a sense of pride that I did that. Because at the end of it, when you are through with a project and you have a chance to stand back, exhale and actually take stock, you are filled with an emotion that is a combination of joy, accomplishment, wonder and pride; it’s an amazing feeling that far outweighs all the other craziness we have to deal with.

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