Let me tell you, the journey to get here hasn’t been linear but it damn sure has been rewarding. Where is here exactly? Here is deciding to become an architect and taking the route of interior design to get there after knowing I should have made the leap several years ago.
When COVID initially hit, it was a prime opportunity to reassess where my life was and where I wanted it to go. At the time, I was working and studying physical therapy. I know, it's quite the switch. From an early age, I've always been aware of my creative nature. While studying and working in the world of physical therapy, I realized I wasn't creating anything and had virtually no time for anything else. This was problematic! Even more so because my body and soul began to show physical distress to the point where my friends thought something was wrong. There was!
The switch was an easy decision to make. Since I was already enrolled in a school that offered interior design (and a heavily applauded Beforeinterior design at that) but did not offer architecture, I figured I would transfer whatever credits I could over to the interior design program and then obtain my master's in architecture. This was by far the best decision I could have made for myself, my joy, my mental health, and my future.
I've bounced around in my interests over my lifetime but they all have led me to acquire skills that will be helpful in my career as an architect. Before interior design and architecture, I loved drawing, writing, photography, and fitness. Initially, I went to the Art Institute of Seattle for Photography but fell in love with designing/drawing buildings while taking a prerequisite class there. The summer of 2017 saw me write a book, cash in on the photography degree I acquired, and begin a digital marketing business that built websites and provided images to clients for their site and social channels. Even with all of that, there was still something missing. They were all fulfilling to a degree but getting paid for it took the joy out of it for me so I went to the "safe" option in physical therapy.
Once I realized how much I missed creating, I knew where I needed my life to go. That old interest that was left ignored would not go ignored this time around. The vision is clearer than it ever has been before. I could see how all of my interests had led me here. The valuable lessons I learned, albeit the time it took, had a purpose.
Drawing: I learned creativity and true exploration at an incredibly young age. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nurtured, therefore it fizzled out under the pressure of culture and the pressure of choosing the safe option.
Writing: I learned critical thinking and structure. Most importantly, it taught me how to be succinct.
Photography: I learned lighting, color psychology, composition, and from a class at the start of school… fell in love with architecture/design but didn’t make the leap.
Fitness/Physical Therapy: I learned leadership, discipline, people skills (along with a load of other soft skills), efficiency, and professionalism, and realized I missed creating. It was time to make the change I should’ve made a long time ago.
Arch/Interior Design: Best decision I’ve ever made in my life. All of those skills and experiences can be applied now in a way I never thought or would have seen being possible.
With the vision so clear (and no interests left to explore), a support system in place, and the path/my actions aligned, there is no doubt in my mind that I'm in the right place at the right time. There is no way I could have had the focus required early on. It only gets harder and better from here. I'm ready. Join me on my journey @noirandneutralsstudio on Instagram. With love, see y'all next time!
Are you an interior design or architecture student? Are you a design professional? Have something to add? Let's connect!