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Finding my Voice through Interior Design, Dance, & Arts Entrepreneurship

When you hear the phrase “Interior Designer” what do you automatically think of? It might be an image of one of the famous HGTV shows that makes their money on renovating homes for couples and families. It might be an image of what you see when you walk into your local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s – a combination of flowers, mirrors, wall paintings, and various furniture pieces. In fact, it might even be a personal consultant coming to your own home, to help you pick out a new paint color for your master bedroom. If any of those sound familiar to you, you’re not alone. There are people all over the world who don’t really know what interior designers do, and why would you? If you’ve never been through architecture or interior design school, there’s a very good chance that you’ve only been exposed to the reputation created on Pinterest, HGTV, and other multimedia platforms. The reality of what interior designers do, and how closely they interact with architects and engineers on a daily basis would most likely come as a surprise to the general population. The extensive research, programming, conceptualization, spatial planning and materiality studies are loads more time consuming than one might think. Although it is a creative process, that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games, which I think is where a lot of people are mistaken.

When I came to Miami to study Interior Design, I frankly had now idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I loved to draw, paint, sketch, and create beautiful things with my hands. I also knew that I loved to tour the model homes at the front of new neighborhoods, which sounds like one of the most cliché reasons out there to go to school for interior design. Now, as I finish up my last semester at Miami, a lot of things are coming into perspective. Although I know what field I intend on working in after I graduate and am not necessarily struggling to hone in on what my career will entail, taking Arts Entrepreneurship this semester opened my eyes to a new world of what career possibilities are out there. There are so many students that come to college with little to no idea of what they want to spend the rest of their life doing, and who can blame them? Having to make a decision like that when you’re 18 years old is a little intimidating. A lot of the lessons that I learned in Arts Management/Arts Entrepreneurship have encouraged me to take a look at myself in terms of my talents, passions, desires, and strengths and view those unique characteristics a little more critically, in efforts to potentially make a career out of them. Walking into a class full of people of different backgrounds, interests and majors is a breathe of fresh air on most days, especially when we each have an appreciation for the arts as a whole. Regardless of what we’re studying outside of that classroom, it’s been an enlightening, and to be honest, pretty humbling experience to hear stories, struggles, failures and successes that people in the class have taken in hopes to better themselves as artists and entrepreneurs. To anyone out there that has a passion for the arts, whether you enjoy dancing, singing, acting, painting, sculpting, drawing, graphics, or playing a musical instrument, I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and see what you can create. I can almost guarantee you that you’re way more marketable than you think you are.

Diana Hancock is a senior Interior Design major with a minor in Dance, from Indianapolis, IN. She is especially passionate about hip hop, tap, and modern dance, and is a part of Miami's Dance Theatre company on campus. She also works as a Student Assistant in the ARC + ID Materials Library in Alumni Hall.

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