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Do you have to be good at art to be an Interior Designer?

I'm not an artistic person at all but I enjoy decorating rooms and homes. I am interested in the décor part but not sure about the art part when I start to take classes for the career. So, if you could enlighten me on how artsy you have to be that would very much appreciated. #interior-design

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Steve’s Answer

Art is subjective. What you like, others might not. So, I'd day that if you like doing it, go for it! Watch shows and see what designers do. Most of the time, they take direction from the homeowner and then help match colors for themes, etc.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Madison
Thank you comment icon I'd also add that there are so many positions within the world of interior design that a person doesn't need to be artsy for. I would look up some of the careers within interior design that might interest you!! Kristie
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Courtney’s Answer

Hi Madison! I am glad to hear that you are interested in Interior Design as a profession. You ask a very good question and hopefully the information I leave here for you will answer it and give you some more information about the field.
To answer your question first, I would say yes you need to be good at art. As an Interior Designer you will need to have enough eduction in fine art to be able to sketch in perspective (2 and 3 point) as well as have a good understanding of scale, proportion, light/shadow, and an overall understanding of space and form. You do not need to be a master painter or a fine artist but you should have a good handle on how to effectively communicate your design ideas.
As for your comments on, "liking the decor part but not the art part", that is totally valid. Since you seem to enjoy the decorating aspect you may actually be better off considering a career as an Interior Decorator instead of an Interior Designer.

There is a great distinction between the two titles, I'll explain. As an Interior Decorator you can work in the job market with an Associates Degree in Interior Design and sometimes even without a degree, though it's more difficult. You will learn fine art skills (the basics I discussed) as well as have lessons in color, lighting, furniture, ethics for business, and art history. With this education you can work as a decorator helping clients choose paint, furniture, fabrics, accessories, etc. and will work mostly within the residential field.
As an Interior Designer you will need a minimum of a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from an accredited college; the accreditation is CIDA and makes your degree legitimate within the field.

With the 4 year degree you will move beyond the lessons I listed previously and will learn about commercial design which requires extensive knowledge of state and local building codes, ADA codes, architectural knowledge of building systems, construction, lighting, and plumbing. You will design whole spaces and the interiors of full buildings. You will need to have working knowledge of computer aided drafting (CAD), 3D rendering programs, and digital presentation skills. (This is all taught during the 4 year degree).
Additionally, to become a licensed Interior Designer, you will need to have a minimum of 2 working years in the filed under someone who has their NCIDQ license. Once you have this experience you will sit for an exam which has 3 parts and takes several days to complete.
The best way to work in the commercial field, ie. (Restaurants, Retail, Medical, etc.) is to have the Bachelor's degree and find a job working at either an architectural or deign firm.
Either career can be very fulfilling. I admire your early interest in your education and future. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your endeavors!

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Elaine’s Answer

Hello,
As an interior designer, having an art knowledge is important because you will need to know what style your client want, what aesthetic you want to create, how colors and lighting work, how the past design style influence your new design etc. All of your design will begin from research/programming, concept, schematics design, Presenation and maybe construction document. All these steps involved sketches, drafting and rendering. In short, you wil need to be creative.
As an interior decorator, having an art knowledge is also important, but you can get away with not too " artsy" The only different is you do not need to create a design from starch. You probably won't need to sketch nor draft as much as an interior designer, yet You still need to know the design style, color, lighting and rendering etc. All of these subjects consider as an art subject.
You are still in early stage and I do encourage you take art classes. History surely not a fun topic but try to take it as a story your grand parents or your elderly tell you. I will say I'm not great with sketching but as long as I'm able to express my ideas, that's all counts.
Just to give you something to think of:
Would you want to be an interior decorator or interior designer? (They are different)
Do you get inspiration or love seeing some amazing architecture and interior design?
Do you like to draw?


I hope I answered your question and good luck!

Thank you comment icon Elaine, thank you! Brianna
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Dear Madison:


The short answer is yes, you should be artsy, and here’s why I say that…


Most good design schools require a design portfolio for enrollment into an interior design or interior architecture program. The portfolio can be minimal or just enough to demonstrate some artistic ability. Art samples can come from work you did in high school, community college, or any other source where you have put pencil (or paint brush) to paper. Now, of course, art can be commuter generated so ability with computer-aided programs can produce a design portfolio, as well.


A professional career in interior design can become very, very technical and the best designers fuse the technical portion with the artistic. If you wish to avoid an education in the highly technical aspect all together you may consider a career in the high-end furniture retail or sales environment, or the home staging (pre-sale) business, which has become incredibly popular, of late.


Best of luck and let your heart lead your way.


Sincerely,


Elizabeth Aurelia

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Susanne’s Answer

I know two interior designers, one who trained in it and one who didn't. Both have their own businesses and are successful, although I don't know their differences in salary.


Both of them say there is a 'science' to design, legitimate theory as to what people find pleasing. Art is subjective. However, there are things to be learned about the way people perceive color, texture, space, and light. You'll want to know the basics of color palettes (even if you plan to break tradition & combine some crazy things together) and the psychology behind these considerations.


Design is 'artsy,' but what you're REALLY doing is figuring out what people like, what gives them the desired reaction & feelings so they'll pay you to create & decorate. (a win-win-win: you earn a living doing something you love & are good at) As with every job, you'll want to learn the basics of sales and hone your customer service skills. At the end of the day, you're selling a feeling and an experience - that's what turns someone into a paying customer and keeps them coming back and referring others to you.


As with most jobs, you'll have better credibility and earning potential if you train and get certified or some kind of industry affiliation. This doesn't mean you have to get $100K in student loans to go to an art school. Search for designers on LinkedIn and view their profiles to see what they studied, where they worked, and their stories. With caution, you can also reach out to designers and ask for advice on getting into the field. My daughter did this when deciding how to map out her degree and career options. (USE CAUTION because these are professionals but still strangers to you. Keep others in the loop as to who you are communicating with.)


You should do well with some education or training in design (it could be a few classes or an apprenticeship or mentoring under someone in a job for a while - good because you'll get paid while you learn), membership in a guild/professional designer association, and lots of hard work and good time management.

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Anna’s Answer

Hi Madison,


In order to be successful in interior design you will want to be good at math, particularly algebra, pre-calculus and trigonometry. If you do your best you can do architecture, and I believe that's really what you're question is about.


Interior design is a great career, but if you do not go to college for architecture, you will have to start from the ground up, and that can be very hard. Best of luck!

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Madison,

Can You Succeed as an Interior Designer Without Being an Artist?

While artistic talent can be a bonus in interior design, it's not a must-have. Interior design is a rich profession that demands various skills beyond artistic prowess. Here's what you need to know:

Creativity and Vision: A creative eye and the ability to visualize space transformations are key for interior designers. Artistic skills can enhance these abilities, but creativity can also grow through practice and exposure to diverse design concepts.

Technical Skills: Interior designers need to understand building codes, space planning, and materials and finishes. These analytical and practical skills are as important as artistic ones.

Communication Skills: Working with clients, contractors, and other professionals is a significant part of an interior designer’s job. Good communication skills are critical for understanding clients' needs, sharing design ideas, and collaborating effectively.

Design Principles: Art can play a part in interior design, but a solid grasp of design principles like balance, scale, proportion, and color theory is vital. These principles, which underpin good design, can be acquired through education and experience.

Collaboration: Interior designers often team up with architects, contractors, and other specialists. Being able to collaborate effectively and incorporate different viewpoints into the design process is crucial for success.

In summary, while artistic talent can be a plus for an interior designer, it's not a necessity. A blend of creative vision, technical skills, communication abilities, design knowledge, and collaboration skills can pave the way to a successful interior design career.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used:

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID): ASID, a professional body for interior designers, offers resources, education, and industry insights. Their publications and guidelines provide useful information on the skills and qualifications needed for a career in interior design.

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC): IDEC is committed to advancing interior design education. Their research and publications explore various aspects of interior design training and curriculum development, highlighting the importance of different skill sets in the field.

National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ): NCIDQ sets standards for interior design practice and certification. Their resources outline the core competencies required for professional interior designers, emphasizing both artistic and technical skills.

These sources were used to ensure the information provided about the role of artistic skills in a career as an interior designer is accurate and reliable.

May God bless you!
James Constantine.
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