Whenever you enter a new building, whether it is a home or an office, the first thing that strikes your eyes is its ambience or sometimes, the lack of it. As the old saying goes — “Clothes maketh the man” — so also the interior decoration, which lends beauty and dignity to the interiors of a building.
The interiors of any place can be given a facelift if the person in charge, has a sense of aesthetics, and has enough funds to go through the gamut of changes that the decorator deems necessary for the makeover. All this sounds easier said than done. Many a time, people with a great desire to do up their home, may be lacking in one of the two requirements or may have a little of both, which may not really be adequate for translating their dreams into reality.Perhaps a short course in interior decoration, can help them transform their passion into their profession.
Gone are the days when a course in interior decoration was usually undertaken by well-to-do housewives who wanted to spend their time usefully and learn a few things about home décor in the process.
Here to stay
Then there were a few freelance interior decorators who established their practice by setting up their own office.
These were a few reasons that parents and students of the great Indian middle class, refused to look at interior decoration as a course that could bring in a steady and sustainable income. Today, the course has a definite place in the realty business. The urban scene in India has hordes of well established full-fledged realtors, who not only deal with real estate, buildings, legal nitty-gritty, but even do up the house before actually handing over the key to the buyer. In such a scenario, it is apparent that they have professional interior decorators on their payrolls, with all the attendant benefits of a private sector employee, and it is needless to mention that their hands are always full with work.
Well-known organisations like Chitra Kala Parishat, only insist that their potential student should be a responsible adult with a working knowledge of English, because that happens to be the medium of instruction; some basic mathematics and lots and lots of flair for the arts. For that matter, nearly all the teachers in such institutes mentioned that only if a student has a natural liking for “beauty and harmony”, besides having a keen and observant eye, can be truly successful. Creativity and innovation are in fact, the major qualifying factors for taking up a course in interior decoration and the candidate’s dormant skills are honed during these courses.
Art schools across the country have floated several hobby classes and art appreciation courses, to assist the latent sense of aesthetics in people from several walks of life. For instance, the Chitra Kala Parishath in Bangalore has a six month part-time course for interested candidates. The Ken school of art and Kala Mandir in the city, have hobby courses which help individuals polish their skills and talents.
There are full-fledged diploma courses that span one or two academic years, depending on the course content offered by several institutes. Many students pursuing their undergraduate courses, take up these courses to augment their qualification with vocational value. The fee structure of these courses appears to be very varied, depending on the course content and placement factor.
Once students take up the course, they are re-introduced to some basic units of art, like line drawing, sketching, collage, landscape painting, and rudiments of clay modelling in the initial stages. They are introduced to the world of colours and their psychological impact on people, architecture of historical importance, and the materials used in them, the style and the utility value of certain ideas, the influence of geographical factors on certain constructions, and so on and so forth. These days, students are also being taught the rudiments of Vaastu Shaastra and Feng Shui so that they do not appear like novices when they actually start working.
The students are taught through several lectures, demonstrations, power point presentations, videos and small trips to significant buildings in the vicinity. Once they are exposed to the vastness of the subject, they are tested and counselled on the various areas in which they could specialise. The guide helps the student to identify his or her channel of specialisation and pursue the desired direction. The second half of the course is usually a series of project works, helping the student comprehend the industry requirements. Nearly all institutes encourage students to pursue their area of interest, even if there happens to be only one learner who has chosen a certain subject.
As is the trend these days, there are campus interviews for interior decorators too! Many builders employ versatile interior decorators in their teams, after a test or two. Academic background is never taken into consideration as long as the candidate displays an inexhaustible spirit of creativity, comprehensive knowledge of the subject and a penchant to work in an organised manner. Working knowledge of English and a couple of Indian languages, is considered as a plus point because it will help them interact with clients from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
Besides the realty sector, successful candidates can find jobs in the field of visual art in several capacities.
Students who have distinct drawing and painting skills, can find themselves jobs in museums, art emporiums and archeological departments, for copying masterpieces, murals and illustrations of another era, which are in the process of renovation.
Now that the world has come to a general agreement that aesthetic sensitivity is the key that opens the hearts of millions of people across the globe when they come across a place, one must stop to explore one’s inclination towards the field because it is certainly not very difficult to carve a blooming career out of this quality.