“What It Takes to Be a Top-Notch Interior Designer”

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“The walk was never easy,” says Kezia Karin, reminiscing her own journey. “It takes a handful of determination and commitment, to just stay on the same track and keep walking. People will look down on you. Well, for sure, you are young. They might see you only from the corner of their eyes. But you just have to keep moving forward,” she continues. For Karin herself, to be a true interior designer is a lifetime commitment. Once you decide to walk the path, you should never stop.


From her own experience, Karin shares a few traits one must possess in order to be a true interior prodigy.






1. Learn, learn, learn

To be the best, you must not stop learning. Keep feeding that hungry mind of yours with new knowledge and skills. Steve Jobs said it wisely, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Don’t ever think you have enough, because you haven’t. Research shows that we humans tend to use only less than 10 % of our brain capacity. What a waste!


The easiest way is to learn from articles and other resources available through the Internet. Nowadays everything is up there and can provide us with whatever information we want to know. Not an in-depth learning for sure, but they are a sea of knowledge anyway. It would still be more than useful to support your learning process. It is a few clicks away and it's forever free.


The other way to boost your learning process is to look up to great designers out there who can be your inspiration for creativity. Successful interior designers such as Vincent van Duysen, Kelly Wearstler, Rockwell Group, and Yabu Pushelberg are easily found in the cyberspace, and they share a lot of valuable and useful interior design tips through their websites. When you learn from the best, you are surely on your way to become one. 


On the other hand, broadening your knowledge through textbooks is no less important. There are a lot of details in books that you will not find in the cyberspace. Of course, we are talking about those thick and bulky interior textbooks, not just some coffee table books full of nice visuals. Books with large pictures inspire your eyes, while textbooks inspire your brains. Reading books has to be a habit and a necessity for those who wants to keep up with the ever-changing world of design. 


The next best thing you can do is to find a mentor, someone who has walked the journey far before you do. Together with your mentor, you can try new things under the guidance of an expert. Having a mentor gives you the chance to explore and experiment, steal a practical shortcut, absorb their wisdom, and yet at the same time, stay safe under their wings. 


Don’t forget to also learn from your fellow designers. Share your knowledge to others, because they might know something you don’t. The more you share, the more you know. Believe it or not, people who are afraid to share their knowledge often end up at the bottom of the pile.


Another thing that is very important and often forgotten is to learn beyond interior design itself. Being an interior designer required us to be open-minded and possess a wide knowledge about other fields. For example, your knowledge and good sense of graphic design and human behavior will directly improve the way you compose a new project. Your managerial skill will help you manage the design team and the projects as well, which is actually a compulsory if you want to get every project done efficiently. Meanwhile, learning about art and its underlying thoughts will certainly enrich your thinking process and concept development. 






2. Befriend failures

There will be so many times when things don’t go your way. That is all right. The world will not end just because you fail something. The great Abraham Lincoln failed so many times—until people lost count of his failures—before he finally became one of the most well-known U.S. Presidents. Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career, and have lost 300 games. “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed,” Michael said. So never take failures more than just small bumps on your road to success. They will not stop you if you keep going. Consider failures as the clearest clue to spot your weaknesses so you can improve them. 






3. Be determined.

This one is a must. Without determination, there will be no success. Karin has said it before, but we just love to repeat it again for you so it will stick in your mind for a long time, at least until you have reached your own success. Then you will soon realize how precious this simple advice is.


Be determined to keep fighting for your dreams. Be determined to rise every time you fail. Be determined to keep learning and adding more skills to your arsenal. Your determination is your own key to success.






4. Be consistent

Anthony Robbins once said, “It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” Consistency is about doing the same thing over and over again, until we arrive at our destination, and successfully reach our goals. It is about believing in what we do and keep doing it no matter what, and no matter what other people say about it. Because there will be times in life, when people lose faith in you. Even your nearest and dearest would sometimes question what you do, and doubt you could make it. This is when your perseverance and consistency should kick in. Be consistent, first, with your decision to pursue your dreams.


Secondly, be consistent with the process. Don’t stop in the middle, especially if the middle is where you have sacrificed so much to get. As discussed above, there are literally no shortcuts to success. If there is a shortcut, then just like its name, it would be a short, temporary one. Don’t take that instant path, for it will just lead to nothing good. Choose the long road, and keep walking on that road. By being consistent, you will arrive at your destined goal eventually. Success is a sure thing for consistent people.






5. Discipline

“Discipline beats talent,” said Karin. Whatever talent you have, without the right amount of discipline, it will get you nowhere. Talent only is never enough. We have seen so many talented people out there, but how many have reached their peak of success? Yet we have also seen the less talented ones have paved their way to stardom, because they combined their raw talents with constant discipline to keep exploring and developing them. Because talent is a potential. In order for this potential to reach its maximum quality, it needs hard work and perseverance. It needs training, and more training. Will Smith, the Hollywood superstar even said that self-discipline is actually the definition of self-love. Thus, if you do love yourself and want to go far in life, be disciplined in managing and developing your talents.






6. Build your network and select your friends. 

Your circle will certainly influence the way you think and live your life, and eventually determine your growth direction. These past few years, psychological experts have been discussing about what they call toxic people, and toxic relationships. So this is the bad news, some of your friends might be toxic for you. These so-called toxic people don’t give you a positive influence. Instead, they bring too much negativity that is so contagious it could quickly turn you into the same negative and skeptical person. In building your pathway to success, you have to be able to say a big capital NO to this kind of people. They could limit your mindset and bury your dreams in an instant. Therefore, you need to choose your friends well, and choose wisely. Build your network and be in partnership with people who are in the same value system with you. Mingle with those who have sharp visions. Don’t get stuck with the wrong crowd, or your career will end up in a downward spiral. It is safe to say that your future will depend much on how you choose your surroundings. Choose the right ones and for sure success will come knocking at your door.




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