All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A pink flamingo double-wide; one-bedroom in a high-rise; a mansion on a hill...

I just read an article in Men's Health last night titled, "Are You Burned Out?" and I was not too shocked to see how many items on the checklist applied to me. The last few months have been really tough at Ye Olde Dayjobbe (YOD), and the past year and a half has been a rollercoaster ride. I've been offered champagne, been yelled at, been graciously thanked, faced multiple obstacles (and installations) at name it, I've seen it. It's been like a fast-track boot camp for interior design.

But I'm going on vacation this week--and even though I know five days won't solve everything, being in Chicago (a place I've never been!) and seeing old friends and family will surely help.

You know what else will help? Retrograde.

At YOD, I'm seen as an associate designer who finds resources, edits them down, orders them, installs them, and coordinates every little detail surrounding said resources. My past life (and career) as a senior graphic designer and production coordinator doesn't matter to most people at YOD, but my 10+ years of organizational skills and project management benefit them, even if they don't realize or appreciate it.

At Retrograde, I feel more like a collaborator, working with you to help you figure out your needs. I feel like some kind of animated Johnny Cash spirit guide (that's a Simpsons reference), here to empower you so you can make choices on your own. It's kind of like eliminating work for myself--which is something I've often done in the past--but it's what I believe in: teaching you (the readers) design skills and tools, and inspiring you to take risks to personalize your spaces. Even though YOD required me to cool things down at Retrograde, I still relish the two side projects I have remaining because I love designing for with everyday people.

Here are three Living Room concepts I developed for a young family this past week. Of course this is the first round, so there will be tweaking and refinement to come. But I'm really looking forward to developing one of these, and helping the client get it all installed in the next few weeks.

Recently I was the Design Center and was chatting with one of the showroom managers. She asked me what I was doing this weekend and I said I was going to help a friend with some home accessories shopping. That's what Retrograde clients (and readers) are to me--friends who need a little help with their homes. Just when I think I'm going crazy and feeling burned out, I remember why I'm doing all this--for you.

When I woke up this morning, it was cloudy and gray and I felt depressed. But now as I finish this post, the sun's come out, I'm fully caffeinated, and feeling so much better about things.

You guys keep me sane.

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