How I went from publishing to interior design
Changing careers from the newspaper-publishing industry to interior design is a big jump, but here is my story of why I made that decision.
I have always been a storyteller, and one thing I came to realize at the newspaper a good page layout can tell a story just as a well-written article can. As a special-sections editor at a major newspaper, I loved that my job enabled me to not only apply my writing skills, but also to edit and design page layouts, as well as work with artists and other writers to incorporate their creative talents into a project I was managing. Sections that I oversaw varied from the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix to the Best of Orange County, from a weekly Motoring section to Employment.
I quickly discovered that that telling stories visually as well as verbally came naturally to me. A good page layout doesn’t simply look pretty; it informs the reader and guides their reading, helping them home in on what is most important and readily see how all of the information connects.
Stay-at-home dad and freelance writer
With a growing family, I decided that I belonged at home with my kids. Thankfully, my connections at the newspaper made it possible for me to write from home while focusing on being a dad. I wrote an article on the Orange County job market that ran for more than 10 years, as well as feature articles on local employers and other various assignments that came up from time to time. I also coached soccer, led a Cub scout den, sang in a choir, taught classes at church, maintained a newsletter for a local civic organization and more.
From time to time, I also embarked on home-decorating projects that I enjoyed planning and completing. What I would learn later is that my approach to such projects was basically already along the lines of that of an interior designer, in that always thinking about how a space was to be used and how the design could facilitate functionality.
Becoming a designer
As my kids entered adulthood, I decided that it was time to focus on work again, but the newspaper industry had changed and so had my passions. My projects in my own home led me to take an interior-design Masterclass taught by Kelly Wearstler, mostly out of curiosity, but that only whet my appetite for more.
Through Ms. Wearstler’s class, I began to see interior design as not only a visually attractive coordination of various elements within a functional spaceplan, but as yet another means of telling a story. Good design engages the people present, telling them something about the owner of the space and what the owner desires them to experience with it. It shapes the mood and influences the activity of occupants in ways that occupants often never realize.
Eager to learn even more, I signed up for an interior-design certificate program at Interior Designers Institute, which was enough to convince me to enter the school’s associate-degree program. I have only four classes remaining for the associate degree at present, and I intend to continue on and earn a bachelor's degree in interior design as I gain working experience in the field.
I am now looking for work opportunities where I can apply the knowledge and skills I have been learning in my online classes. Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss ways that my skills within the program might serve you. My résumé is available on request.