Life in Images – Occupational Hazzard

After 25 years of working in interior design and architecture, I cannot help finding design in everything I see. I think it is a kind of occupational hazard. I chose to use photographs of flowers that had been in my garden in combination with design sketches to show how nature inspires me.

Design Project ‘Black List’

After two decades of working in the industry, I have learned some projects are just not meant to be. It is important to recognize those potentially problematic projects early. Taking on wrong projects results in misery for all parties involved. 

Here are some signs when a project is not right for me:

  • Unethical and/or Harmful to people, animals, or the environment. 

I became a professional designer to do good. I adhere to my set of codes of conduct.

  • Not complying with codes and regulations.

It is too much work trying to get around the codes and regulations. And it is usually not successful.

  • Order to Comply

I do not enjoy ‘reverse engineering’ and trying to make sense of a completed project based on a not thought out design. (If it was well designed, it would have gotten a permit.)

  • Post disaster with insurance involved.

These unexpected projects are complicated with many moving parts. Owners are not prepared to manage the project and also want to add on to the scope of work. It is too much for my small one-person studio to handle.

  • Unrealistic timeline and/or budget. 

This is a common situation. Most people do not have knowledge how long and how much things can take.  

  • Drafting only.

I am not interested in clients acting like designers and only wish to pay for drafting. It is a disaster when the person handling the design aspect is not qualified as a designer.

  • Demanding 3D rendering.

I am capable of communicating my ideas through sketches and drawings. If necessary, I create 3D study models. Clients should trust my abilities as a designer, not computer generated images.

  • Product-purchasing oriented.

My studio currently doesn’t have the manpower to manage product purchases. With large projects, I partner with an interior designer that is equipped and experienced in handling this task.

  • Disagreement to my business terms and conditions.

As a professional designer, I know how to conduct my business to ensure the best project outcome.

  • Wrong area of expertise.

I am not the right designer for every project. I know my limits and will recommend other experts if the project is out of my area of expertise.

  • Charity project.

The problem with giving away design ideas is people are often too grateful and don’t want to bother me to follow up when it comes to time for executing the project. 

  • It just doesn’t feel right.

Sometimes, without reason, the energy just doesn’t feel right. 

I don’t mind being seen as difficult to work with. My job is providing the best design solutions and seeing them through. It is important to do the homework before acting on any design projects. Most experienced professionals, myself included, will provide consultation services to sort out preliminary ideas. Ultimately, I want to only work on projects that ‘spark joy’.

William Morris – Master of Timeless Design

I was working on a graphic design class assignment presenting the life and works of William Morris on a 8-page layout. Through my research, I found William Morris’ nature-inspired designs are still relevant and beautiful. 

Here is a video I found showing the Red House with interior details. 

I was working on a graphic design class assignment presenting the life and works of William Morris on a 8-page layout. Through my research, I found William Morris’ design is still relevant and beautiful. 

Here is a video I found showing the Red House with interior details. 
I reformatted the infographic of Morris & Co. timeline by Sanderson Design Group into ‘slides’ below..

Design Consideration Checklist

There are so many aspects to consider when designing a space. Budget, timeline, and style are usually determined first to define the scope of work. Here is a (evergrowing) list of topics to review throughout the design process.

  • Location
  • Orientation
  • Climate
  • History
  • Architecture
  • Neighborhood
  • Circulation
  • Codes and Regulations
  • Building Standards
  • Biophilia
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Sustainability
  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Lighting
  • Acoustic
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Daylighting
  • Audio/Video
  • Automation
  • Furniture
  • Ergonomic
  • Finishes
  • Equipment
  • Hardware
  • Health and Wellness
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Comfort
  • Special Needs
  • Accessible Design
  • Universal Design
  • Aging in Place
  • Maintenance

[Guest Post] How to Get Your Art Noticed

Photo Credit: Eddy Klaus via Unsplash under License

Getting Started

The art business is notoriously tough to break into. Getting your art noticed by art galleries, potential employers and art enthusiasts requires a lot of hard work, the right platforms and persistence. Building up your portfolio, creating a strong social media strategy and online art presence, and making connections are the key steps to gaining recognition for your art.

 

Harness Social Media

These days, social media is one of the most effective ways to get your name out in the world as an artist. The right social media strategy can make all the difference in how many people view and share your artwork. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all excellent tools for promoting art.

Think carefully about the content you post. You need to give people a reason to follow you in the first place. Post content that you don’t have on your blog or website, like beginning sketches or the first stages of home sculptures and home paintings. Works in progress are a great way to let fans see your artistic process.

But posting good content isn’t the only part of a good social media strategy. Interaction is key. If you want to gain followers, you need to actually get involved in the online art community. Follow accounts similar to yours, leave comments and ‘likes’, and you may find yourself gaining much more followers. It’s also a good idea to join online communities exclusively devoted to posting art online and connecting with other artists. DeviantArt – the largest online social community for art enthusiasts and artists – is a prominent example.

 

Build Your Portfolio

Every artist should have a media kit with a portfolio. If you want your artwork noticed by the curators of art galleries, you need to build up a substantial and impressive body of work. Without it, there is not much chance you will be taken seriously.

As most artists know, the art world is very competitive and you must stand out to be noticed. Your media kit should accurately represent who you are as an artist, and should include a portfolio of your artwork, an artist statement, a brief biography, your press releases, published articles, and an artist business card and brochure.

Photo Credit: NeONBRAND via Unsplash under License

 

Interior Design

Targeting the art gallery market is not the only way to go. There are other ways to sell your art and get exposure. The interior design market is a great example of a massive industry that is always in need of new art. Interior designers are constantly in need for home paintings and home sculptures.

Before approaching designers, do research to make sure their work is in sync with your own, then put together a wide array of pieces for them to choose from. If they find the piece they’re looking for, they won’t mind if you lack experience and training.

Interiorart designers often hang around studio tours, art shows and art galleries – from where you can also gain inspiration. Remember, connection and interaction is essential to getting noticed in the art world. Going out to these places is a great way to meet potential interior designers, employers, art lovers and other artists.

 

Harper is an Auckland-based freelance writer who loves discussing home and lifestyle topics. She has enjoyed the privilege of writing content for local businesses such as Sea Containers. Harper keeps her home simple by choosing minimalistic décor and design. You can find more of her written work on her Tumblr page: Harper Reid.