During the last 6 months since being unemployed, I have put together cover letters with my resume and samples of my work to various job postings that I found or forwarded to me by friends. I knew getting hired during these economic times was not going to be easy. There is competition for these positions and employers are seeking a candidate that can do it all! I also noticed many positions seeking freelance architects. I kept an open mind about being a freelance architect and sought out advice and tips from architects via Twitter. In February, I accepted a small project with a previous employer to test the waters at being a freelancer. It has been an interesting experience, which I will share when the project is completed.
Soon after taking on a project as a freelancer, I was approached with two commissions. One is a graphic design project, and the other is a small residential interiors project. I am excited about both these projects for more than obvious reasons, which I will expand on in a future post.
I’ve also reconnected with a former colleague and friend, a great guy. When we used to work together, he was one of the people who developed an AutoCAD and drawing organization and standards that I continue to use today. He is currently, an “expert” on Revit. He teaches the program at various institutions and works for one of the large corporate architectural offices. If anybody is going to help me to accept and embrace Revit, he is that person. After speaking with him about, I have become more open-minded about the new architectural documentation platform.
In addition to trying to find a full-time position, I have been lending some of my time to giving back to the community. I volunteer at the Museum of Chinese in America. You may have read one of my posts about the current special exhibit, Chinese Puzzles. The post I wrote was of my own will. I was not influenced, solicited, or asked by MoCA. I recently met Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen, the curators and owners of the Chinese Puzzles exhibit who, on their own, found my post on the fascinating exhibit about Chinese puzzles. They were appreciative of my post on the exhibit, and complimented on the photography. In fact, they liked my photographs of the exhibit and of the puzzles, that they have asked me to do additional photography for them. I was flattered but you can imagine how pleased I was, too. I can add photographer as part of my repertoire of creative experience and skills.
I still want to return to a full-time position at an architectural practice but I am more than pleased to have these wonderful opportunities to develop as a self-employed architect/designer. This has been a long time coming, I suppose. I have considered it but always as moonlighting, though. It is a wonder to me how life seems unexpected at times. One minute, you’re just going about your life, your daily routine. The next minute, you find yourself lost and wondering what to do to pass the time productively. Without realizing it, the little things that you do in life and the what you say to people have an effect. And that effect has been positive for me. It has opened my eyes and my mind about possibilities, about my life, my career path. These events has helped me to realize that I can live a life that is not routine and traditional. I am curious to see how this new life as an independent architect/designer develops and how long it will last. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I’m in it for the ride and will go where it takes me. I hope you will ride shotgun with me?
**Disclaimer: I know I referred myself as an architect but please note that I have not acquired my license yet but I don’t want to deny my professional training and experience.**