I inherited my love of fine arts from my father, and my love of decorative arts and interior design from my mother. Life would have been so much easier had I inherited their athleticism, too (they were true renaissance folk).
Growing up, our home was an artistic collectible and antique museum. One of my dad’s hobbies is oil painting (as was his mother’s) and Dad also collected prints. My dad has an uncanny knack with displaying art (most people hang art too high – the key is that the focal point of the artwork should be at eye level. Whose eye level is the knack). My mom collected 20th century discarded treasures and “encouraged” me to move out of the house at age 21 so that she could remake my bedroom into a 1940′s room complete with an imaginary inhabitant who left her period eye glasses and elbow-length lavender gloves on the vanity (next to some vintage postcards, of course). My mom frequented the Sally Ann (Salvation Army/Thrift stores) where she collected green Depression glass, antique irons and much more. She also had a modern sensibility and in the late 70’s painted one of our living room walls chocolate brown when everyone thought it was unwise. It looked amazing.
After growing up in this environment, I took my own path initially with a varied career starting with teaching English in Japan, Vancouver and Nunavut, followed by a stint as an HTML editor, and finally the bulk of my career was spent in IT sales and marketing in Vancouver and Toronto. In my early 40′s, my interest in home decor and the history of furniture and home design became irresistible. I read Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go and it made a very strong impression on me:
“And it started to dawn on me, I suppose, that a lot of things I’d always assumed I’d plenty of time to get round to doing, I might now have to act on pretty soon or else let them go forever.”
(from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro)
At age 46, I dashed my career trajectory to take a traditional upholstery course in England. Now I’ve augmented my Communications and Marketing career as a reupholstery hobbyist. You can view my upholstery blog: Bespoke Life via this link. It’s the best of both worlds.