A climate for a building a career
Nowadays, an Interior designer is an officially recognized profession and quite a popular one, I would say. Though, back to my childhood in 80’s in the neighborhood, where I was born and raised, there was no such thing as the interior designer at all and you could hardly distinguish what this profession is about. I believe interior designer is not something you could learn or get a degree of in university studies, the key player is a capacity of creativity the one has or does not. In my opinion, interior designers are creative people by nature, they see beyond the ordinary, able to notice uniqueness in daily routine. Today I live and work in Siberia, a place, where winter season lasts for 8 months, the rest of the year is Autumn, Spring and luckily you’ll have one day of Summer. Moreover, our city is thoroughly conservative in terms of approaching new products that are being released in European markets and that nuisance me as a designer. As a result, the city I live, was never a place for a professional development and growth.
Quitting a corporate life
I always knew I wanted to enter the world of design and express my creativity in one or another way. I was raised in times, when people could hardly work in the field of art and design or stand out themselves in a more creative way, than working in factories. Deep in heart my parents were creative people. I remember how my family was transforming our house making it exclusive, as an example, making a floor coat out of fabric, simply by gluing the floor with cotton fabric scraps, which have had caramel-tan background and dark flowers on it, later applying several coats of varnish. As a result, we had a very unique seamless floor coating and no plinth recess. We had this floor design for over 23 years and we’ve changed it, not because it broke down or so, we simply were making a full house renovation, so changing the floor design was a necessary measure. Today, you can have even 3D floor designs, though if you compare the quality and the price, it leaves much to be desired.
My professional career has begun by working in various companies, as the main aim for that time was just to earn money for living. Though while working in different companies, I have been itching for years to break through them and start working on my own one day. My last job was in a construction company. Alongside working there, I decided to get interior design qualification, though by graduation time I realized it was useless. Finally, when I resigned from construction company it felt so freeing, at the same time it was not that easy as it seemed to be at first side, as I didn’t have a traditional background with portfolio to enter interior design market, nor I had a real experience or skills in this field. Most helping thing in my career path was talking and connecting with like-minded people. Following industry luminaries, meeting well-versed people with whom you can share your experience and do not feeling isolated bolster a lot in building confidence of your own. Lastly, I’ve pitched with my portfolio via free internet sources to strike out clients to work on my own and build a name of myself.
Clear working strategy
I remember my first time, when I was asked to create an interior design project for 140 sq. m. apartment. For one, I had a unique perspective of having skills and competence in construction field, but nothing really in the field of interior design. At first, I had no idea where to start, as during the interior design courses nobody taught me that. However, the lack of experience never intimidated me, I was ready to take the challenge up. That was a first and a real jump start to be a professional interior designer. At the beginning I was drawing floor plans on my own and outsourcing some tasks, such as visualization for my created floor plans, which was a big waste of time and money. One day, my daughter showed me Planner 5D application for iPad. Later on, I recognized that I am able to use Planner 5D web online tool as well. Not everything was perfect by this software, though for me the important was to focus on ease of use tool and getting a good support with fixing mistakes and problems, which all in all made me to continue working with Planner 5D. Since 2007, when I started to work as a freelancer I have had over 50 projects done on my own, not counting separate projects made to design separate rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, decoration and interior projects for stores, supermarkets, etc. With my work as interior designer, I instantly get inspiration from blogs, social networks about interior design and decor, I attend various exhibitions, fairs, conferences and other events, widening my network, all this helps me to stay in the know and up to date with the world of design. Working with clients its a two-way street and already I have a clear working and cooperation strategy: first meeting with clients to have a full understanding of the project needs, later on, all the details are being discussed online, during next meetings I present the whole project. Finally, during an implementation of the project, together with my clients we choose separate furniture items, light sources, textures and etc.
Today I live my dream. I believe, You can make your dream come true, all you need is put enough effort on this. Be active and try to use use all launch points that can bring you new contacts. Once you have your first client remember, even if he is a good friend of you, always agree on prepayment :)
- an Interior designer and Creator Tatyana Maksimova (Татьяна Максимова)