Twelve months ago, as I was formulating my architectural career plan, I laid out the following steps as yearly goals:
2017 – reading books about architecture, design, history, etc.; going on tours; writing about what I learn
2018 – drawing, sketching, learning software; continuing to read and write
2019-2021 – hopefully by this point I’ve made some connections and can work or intern with a firm, building a portfolio, until…
2022 – my daughter graduates from high school and I go back to school
(I love crossing tasks off lists!)
Since 2017 was so rewarding, I see no reason to change course for 2018. The “what” having been decided, it’s time to lay out the “how.”
One of the underlying criteria for my self-study goals is to (try) not to spend money, and instead use what I already have. This includes the web hosting and domain we’ve owned for years, the free WordPress theme I use, and the drafting tools from college. Other than buying a few books, mostly used, I’ve saved a lot by not buying a new domain or hiring someone to set up a slick website and logo for my blog – all things I really wanted – but those things would have only been expensive distractions, with no more return on the investment than having gone the economy route. Plus, I’m rather proud of my DIY logo.
In the software department, I currently have AutoCAD 2004, Photoshop Elements 11, and Home Designer 2014. At the used bookstore, the oldest manuals I was able to find were for AutoCAD 2005 (75¢) and Photoshop Elements 12 ($6). Close enough. Luckily, Home Designer has free online tutorials, as there were no books available on that program. For $4 more, I added a textbook from 1994, The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings, that belonged to a former University of Tennessee architecture student. Seeing that my tiny laptop screen would not be ideal for learning design programs, I commandeered the 24″ monitor from my husband’s desktop computer.
For Christmas, remembering what Glenn Murcutt said in “The Thinking Hand,” I gave myself Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures and – in the spirit of hands-on creativity – I thought a couple of Lego sets wouldn’t hurt, either.
With the momentum of accomplishment from 2017 and all these new-to-me tools, I’m all set for another successful year of getting closer to my dream.