Aha Moment ?!!!

While at Blogfest, we were encouraged by House Beautiful editors to write about what inspires us, what might have been the moment in our life that prompted us to choose this profession, or what “AHA moments” we encounter in our daily work.

I have to say Aha Moments abound in my life. Like the time I realized very early on I was happiest creating and working with COLOR.

A little French girl growing up in Washington DC, bound to the rigid system of the French School I attended, I quickly found the freedom and joy of color in illustrations I created inside my French “cahiers” (notebooks) :

Illustration in my “cahier” at the French School.

Later as a brooding teenager, I perfected my craft to include realistic illustrations of other brooding creators (here Baudelaire, as a child):

Illustration of Baudelaire, enfant, by Barbara Elza Hirsch

I fancied myself a talented designer in the making: my goal was to be a fashion designer. From age 10 on, I had developed a mad crush on FABRIC and spent my time making little outfits for my barbies, or inventing little bags and decorative boxes out of Marimekko fabrics.

A vestige of my passion for fabric and creating (note the little ruby stone patiently sewn on to the bustier):

After high school, I moved to Paris and went to Art School, and later, to Studio Berçot, one of the top Fashion Design Programs. I madly scribbled and created designs for diverse collections:

Fashion Illustration by Barbara Elza Hirsch
Sweater line created by Barbara Elza Hirsch back in the 80’s.
Little summer bags created by Barbara Elza Hirsch while a student at Studio Bercot.

Alas, my career as fashion designer was never to be. I HATED the fashion world! If you’ve ever seen The devil Wears Prada, you know what I am referring to.

Little did I know that somewhere deep inside, was an interior designer in the making. Years later, as a wife and mother still enamored by COLOR and passionate about DESIGN, I found my true calling : Interior Design!

Interior designers were a friendlier bunch, and the freedom I encountered in creating designs was thrilling. Aha! I thought! It’s all coming together:

My love of fabric:

Windsor Smith fabric for Kravet on wing chair with contrasting piping. Custom creation by Elza B. Design, Inc.

My love of color:

A color scheme on a current Elza B. Design project. Inspired by a beautiful painting my client owns.

And just the joy of seeing it all come together:

Living Room created by Elza B. Design, Inc

But, wait! Look at what I just found in my childhood notebooks:

“Life is a Big Room” by Barbara Hirsch, done as a child.

Aha! I should have known :-) There was a room in me after all.

12 thoughts on “Aha Moment ?!!!

  1. Love seeing the evolution!. Thanks for sharing your childhood works, as well – wonderful drawing of Baudelaire!

  2. OMG Barbara, I cracked up reading your post because I too thought I wanted to work in the fashion industry. I obtained a degree in fashion merchandising and wanted to be a buyer. That quickly changed when I discovered that I HATE going to the store and shopping for clothes. I can’t stand the crowds and the lack of decent presentation in some stores. I think what turned me off was Filene’s basement (please tell me you remember this store) HA. I too loved colors back then and still today I adore colors. Thanks for sharing you memories!!! xo

    • Marilyn, thanks for sharing your own experience in fashion, and YES, I do remember Filene’s basement..:-) So glad you enjoyed the post, yay! I have to go read yours but as you can see I am back to back on zillions of posts for blogfest! Promise I will visit soon :-)

  3. Barbara,
    I love this post! Seeing the evolution of your art work and creativity. I WANT one of those striped bags that you designed, like now! for THIS summer season! I worked in the fashion industry for over twelve years, and by the time I hit my dream job, I had my first child! I too, as I child wanted to be either a fashion designer or an interior designer (my mom is an interior designer), and took art class after art class – loved drawing more than painting. I love seeing all of your work – your illustrations and your drawings – all the way up to your current work. It’s such a personal post and I loved learning more about you!

    • Cecilia, so interesting to hear the reactions on this post. A lot of us in interior design seem to come from a previous fashion detour!!! I had no idea you too worked in the fashion industry as well! I love reading your comments, and am so glad you enjoyed my post. Can’t wait for your interior design website to launch! Keep me posted!

  4. What an amazing post – all your talents leading you to interior design! Your drawings are so beautiful. It’s nice to read something so introspective and personal. Seeing that last drawing” Life is a big room” says it all. Great Aha moment!

  5. Pingback: {Ei3s} Elsewhere in 3s – Water & Main Trunk Show, Aha Moment, Rue Magazine | everything in 3s

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