A life in the Arts of a Design Consultant

High School ・Art ・MLA ・1 Sources

The design consultant Olivia Wicks who works for Ethan Allen can be located at the Bellevue Design Centre, WA. She has won many awards on both national and international because of her terrific work. She is a polished design expert, she is vivacious and an adorable woman to converse with. She affirms to be a news addict and she loves reading. She is always up to date with news headlines. She adores spending time with her friends, live music and practices meditation on absolute basis. The award winner of the Circle of Excellence agreed to respond to certain questions I had in mind and the interview turned out to be for me an adorning experience. When asked the meaning of art, she echoed my thoughts and said, “Everyone is an artist in their own way and art is an expression of one’s inner passion”.

I am really passionate about interior photography and the art of interior designing has fascinated me to a certain extent. When I see a real pro, I believe I know it. I had always admired interior designers for their ability to make a bare place look full of life. And thus, Ms. Wicks was the perfect person for this project.

A mother of two, Olivia, was into designing from a really young age. She claimed to have been called upon by her friends to rearrange their rooms in high school. Initially a student of journalism and political science, she switched her major to Design and Arts when she realized her love and passion for interior designing. According to her, politics has a lot to do with art. Politics and culture contribute towards arts immensely.

Being a photographer, I was curious about her goals of bringing out the personality of the subject of the art in consideration (in her case, the occupant of the house she designs) rather than leaving an impression of her own personality. This was one of the major reasons why I chose her. Echoing her words, “One needs to be chameleon-like in my profession. I need to be able to get into their skin and know what they (client) want, how they think…” Explaining the absence of a portfolio on her website, she shares her belief that every work of an interior designer should be different than the other.

At this stage, when her son is 31 and her daughter is 28, she is left alone at her home and is free to give in to her midnight urge to work. Usually, she works in her design studio, but - like a number of artists – she gets her inspiration after the clock strikes 12 at night. “There are times at night when the whole project is in front of my eyes and I’m up working till 2 a.m.”, she says.

For Olivia, the real fun that “pushes” her interest in interior designing forward is the challenge it brings. She loves the fact that every new project has a new obstacle to overcome and that every project turns out to be a beauty in itself.

Being a woman, the major challenge she had to face to become a professional interior designer was: choosing between career and family. She had kids to tend to on one hand and a budding career on the other. To put a stop to her designing activities would have been a negative point for her future. Nevertheless, she balanced this situation beautifully by managing a ceramic tile studio when her son needed her home. She took a break from interior designing and got herself a floral studio when her daughter was really young.

It was a great opportunity for me to explore the world of a professional artist and have an insight of the life I may lead one day. She has never had an art exhibition of her own but has got a number of things published since her high school days. When I asked her about her first award, she grew silent for a moment, thinking hard. Then she replied, “I don’t really remember, I don’t acknowledge them much.” For her, as she put it, real rewards are the positive emotions visible on her clients face. She treasures the joy that her clients express when they like her work and that is what matters most to her. I realized that it is useless to run after success. Rather I should become an artist worthy of praise and success would definitely follow. And this change in motives does reflect in one’s art, or so my clicks say.

Olivia turned out to be stereotypical artist. Her mannerism were what you’d expect – an open approach to life, complete indulgence and hundred percent loyalty to her work. As an interior designer, she is amazing at adapting her style according to the place she is to work at. In her words, “I am from California and love the sun. In Seattle, everything is filtered due to rains. My style has accordingly changed.” Unlike many artist I know, who struggle to balance practicality and creativity, Olivia knows how to do it and perhaps that’s the secret to her massive success.

At one point, I questioned her about the scariest or the most embarrassing moment she has had to face. Maybe a client who kept complaining? To this she smiled falteringly and said that the memory she’s about to relieve wasn’t scary or embarrassing but concerning. She went on to narrate the incidence, “A particular client referred me to her friend. This friend was a very unhappy woman and thought that changing furniture would change her psych – which unfortunately didn’t happen. I wish I had the magic wand to do so…”

For her, interior designing is more classical than fashion. The furniture is an investment, as she claims. “Not everyone might agree with me, but that’s how I see it,” she said.

On deeper reflection, though an amazing artist, she is not the one I would emulate. I did pick up a few positive traits of her characteristic at the end of this interview, but to follow her style wouldn’t be my way of dealing with arts. I have a tendency to leave my own reflection on every snap I take. I aim at capturing the view of the image/scenario that I want others to see. Of course it wouldn’t suit Olivia as she’s a well launched commercial designer, but I have the liberty to go about my own raw way. And this is what my form of art calls for. I shared her passion towards art and her views on purity of art in every form but somewhere along the line I differed with her belief that a slight personal touch to our work is unnecessary.

We represent completely different forms of art and yet the belief that everybody is an artist binds us.

As E Degas puts it, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” and that’s the motto I live by. It was great interviewing Olivia Wicks and reflecting upon the mindset of another artist. At the end of the day, it isn’t what you’ve earned but what you’ve created. And that is what matters to a real artist.



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