The Nesting Magpie

Sunday, 5 January 2014

I hope your new year is happy.

Post image for Happy New Year!
(via bldg 25)
I've never really made much of New Year's Eve. Probably because for about 8 years straight I babysat every New Year's and celebrated with a glass of 7 Up and some 6 years olds, excited to be staying up past their bedtime. I suppose I got into a habit of having time to myself to think back on my year, and to fantasise about all the wonderful things I'd do in the year coming. But, I never learnt guitar or dyed my hair turquoise, and most other things I wanted to do never quite worked out. And during my university years, I would become frustrated that another year had past and I still hadn't made any headway in my career. Okay so I was 19, but I felt like it was still one year into adulthood, and a lot could've happened in one year.
In 2013, a lot did happen in one year. Much more than I imagined when I moved into my first big-girl-in-the-city digs. I mean, I knew I'd go back to college and that I'd have to get some kind of work afterwards, but in such a depressed economic climate and with such a downturn in the interior design industry, I wasn't counting on getting much. Well, dare I say it, I've found there's a lot to be said for really wanting something. And loving it, and having a dream and being willing to work for it. In my case, that has mainly meant unpaid and unsteady, but something nonetheless. After I finished up my studies in Interior Architecture and Design at Griffith College Dublin, I handed out what felt like millions of CVs, which felt like a terribly unsuccessful exercise. A couple of days later I got a call from the owner of a homeware store I had applied to. He explained that he didn't have a long-term post available, but that he remembered me among other applicants as being enthusiastic, and that he wanted to give me some experience in visual merchandising. Just to help me out on my way. So off I went with my nifty staple gun and wallpaper and transformed what was a storage area into a pretend dining room. I learnt how to merchandise and style a store for website photography and I learnt how to conceptualise with customers. A week or two later I began my summer internship with Martin-Hudson and Gibson, which I blogged about here. It was probably the best and most relevant experience I've got to date.
It was nice to feel my boss, John Gibson, have some faith in my ability and encourage me to learn as much as possible. So when I got a chance take a couple of weeks to help out on a cookery book shoot with the lovely Sharon Hearne-Smith of Blueberry Pie food-styling and TV cook and photographer Donal Skehan I jumped at the idea. I had worked with Blueberry Pie before for a grocery store Christmas catalogue as well as some magazine contributions and found I really enjoyed working with props (Finally! A use for all the Moroccan tea glasses I lugged home to Ireland from Brooklyn thrift stores! I knew I needed to have them!). You can be sure to check out my handy-work when this bad boy gets released. I also can't wait to also have a game of "Which props are mine?" when I get my hands on Sharon's finished product. Come its June release date, you, too, can join in the fun!
When the shoot finished up, it was back to Sandycove to complete my internship, and after spending the first part of my internship hearing about connections made and workshops attended through the Interiors Association, I decided to become a member. I attended each of their Continuous Professional Development courses for the rest of the year. And so now, if you need somebody to explain feng shui, or advice you on Gerberit sanitation, I'm your girl!
There were many things I learnt from my summer experiences, but I suppose the most important was that THIS is definitely what I think I should be doing. Better still, it's what I WANT to be doing. However, I did realise that there is a lot of business in the design business, and if I want a career in it, there was a lot more I needed to learn, and so, I found myself a 'Start Your Own Business' class. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that part of the syllabus wasn't how to decorate your office, or what stationary to choose for your tax returns, because I would have been f-ing amazing at that, but even still, I found myself really enjoying it. Starting my own business isn't something I want to do right away, but I wanted to take the class now to provide a basic understanding of what I may come across over the next few years.
Which brings me to my next point; the next few years. What do I want to do, see and go to? Simply put? Lots. As much as possible. Learn something new everyday. Lucky for me, I'm set to do just that, as just recently, I was offered pretty much a big-deal dream internship. It's a bit of a 'To Be Continued...' situation as I haven't started yet, but I'm excited. Not only for the internship, but for the kinds of experiences I'll, hopefully, be writing about in this blog, the 2014 edition.
And for you, well, I hope your new year is happy, and healthy and that you do something you enjoy.
With Love... Louise

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