Chicago designer needs advice...

I am a Chicago based scenic designer with many years experience of freelance. My dissappointment with earning potential in theater is coming to a head as I get yet another great review or award but my rent check just barely slips through my account. I am ready for something else.

I have co-designed two exhibits and a commercial event, and want more. Been taking a beginning interior architecture course for the sake of honing prefessional presentation skills, and have been showing my portfolio to anyone who will have a look, but I am interested in what direction you folks might suggest I take as a next move. I draft in Vectorworks, know a lot about building and am great at interacting with clients and builders, am passionate about pushing the design envelope, have 9 years of freelance under my belt, and show a portfolio loaded with exciting images. Problem being that I am neither officially an interior nor exhibit (nor window display, for that matter) designer, but am confident I would be capable of, and excited by it all.

What would you do in my thin soled shoes??

First off. find out who uses vectorworks in Chicago. seriously just call up places and ask their design department who uses it…if they don’t do they know anyone in chicago who does. believe me. somebody must. -like architectural firms.simple. those are the companies you should be hitting up for a job. I’ll give you a hint. (cough cough hack hack museums). i happen to know of two who use it off the top of my head. chicago Children’s museum and Chicago Historical Society. i am probably screwing myself outta a future design gig with them by telling you this. but damn. i just landed a job i luv and i wanna send out some positive energy to thank the universe for it… anywhoo. :Peace. good luck. you won’t need it anymore.

email me if you want at, and i’ll give you some more friendly advice. maybe in a coupla years. i might need to network with you for a gig. :peace

There is a ton of POP and exibit work here in Chicago. Why not try some of the POP houses or Ad agencies that do POP?

If its just an application you don’t know then learn it. OK maybe Pro-E is out of the question but is Rhino out of your budget?

Rhino US$895
• Students and teachers $195

My wife used to put up fliers in the bathrooms at the Merchandise Mart to get Merchandising gigs, especially before the Holiday Season. They have bulletin boards in the bathrooms just for such a purpose. This may get you some good seasonal accounts (my wife helped out a Decorating Company with Christmas Mountain at the Sears HQ in Hoffman Estates).