Knowing your stuff
Singapore 1st October 2010
What a difference it makes when you talk to someone who knows his stuff… don’t you agree? It feels very comforting to deal with someone or an organization who seems to be on top of things and anticipates issues, has a great forward planning and a clear view around any problems. I had such meeting with the organizing production company for the upcoming Marina Bay Smart Light Festival in which I am participating.
Organising such events requires a lot of planning, coordination, preparation and consultation. Ordering the lighting equipment, agree on the location, get the necessary approvals from the local authorities, coordinate with the nearby building owners, arrange for power supply and since our Artwork is on the water we need additional coordination with the “water” authorities and arrange for boats and floating platforms! But we are getting there, no thanks to the determined and skilled support from the production company.
“Knowing your stuff” is the difference between success and failure most of the time. An experienced lighting designer can anticipate problems and issues because he or she has been there and knows how to avoid the pitfalls that potentially can ruin an installation. So unless you have gone through a project cycle (from idea to realization) a few times you will in my opinion never been able to call yourself a professional lighting designer. Considering that some projects take up to 2-4 years from conception to its successful launch a minimum of 5 years in the industry at project management level is required before you can confidently face a client with experience to match.
Dealing with “professionals” makes meetings fast and efficient. No sweet talk, no need to impress, you can cut straight to the point and the issues at hand. For your client a re-assuring feeling and you will notice they will be much more inclined to be hands off and leave it to you to handle. If you deliver the goods as well you have a happy client and you in the process are a happy designer.
Right now, after 30 years in the business, my experience and my references speak for themselves. Therefore I confidently know that I can call myself a professional, because I know my stuff!