I Always Knew This Day Would Come…

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION I Always Knew This Day Would Come…

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    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I’m getting that program and going into business designing custom place mats for themed restaurants!

    Thomas J. Johnson

    hahahahahaha!!! Thank you Henry. Just playing around a bit… the program is pretty fun. It  encourages child-like exploration of shapes and color. Just drag stuff around until it looks right. 

    Funny you should mention a career in landscape architecture… The first major I declared in 1996 was landscape architecture. I took the intro-class and did well but got intimidated by the professors lecture at the end of the semester about what was to come and decided I’d rather snowboard and screw-off instead, which I did quite well. I ended up graduating with a liberal arts degree, minor in sociology, with a good chunk of journalism in the middle some where… it’s a little foggy, er, smoky, er, cloudy, like an unfiltered beer.

    After working construction for a year after graduation I got a job selling data-mining software in Chicago. A year and a half later I was miserable and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a 5×7 cube with the frat-boys that seemed perfectly happy to. I took a “what should I do with myself” test and at the top of the list was landscape architecture. After kicking myself repeatedly, I decided to go back to school to finish what I started. I went back to Colorado and established residency while waiting tables and working in a bike shop. I got into the LA program at Colorado State on a prayer and a dream and worked my butt off, completing the 5 year program in 3 years. After graduation, I was fortunate to get hired by a hot-shot firm in SoCal where I went and killed myself for 4 months, eating, sleeping(if I was lucky) and *#@% landscape architecture. I basically fit a year of experience into 4 months. Then in Nov. ’08 the world came to a screeching halt and so did I. With nothing to obsess on, I went from 120mph to 0 in .5 seconds. It was grim. All hopes dashed, the dream over, down the rabbit hole I went…

    Things are a bit better these days… I’ve managed to squeak 8 months of employment out of the last two and a half years. A few months at a nursery and 5 months at a very colorful solo-practice. I’m broke but not broken. My design interests have drifted away from landscape architecture but are slowly returning. I don’t know that I’ll ever be as passionate or dedicated to a profession that could so easily cast me, and so many others, aside or maybe I just need to make sure I don’t get bucked off again… either way, I’m ready to get back on the horse. It will be a different ride this time. I’ve learned a lot in the last few years…

    So, to make a long story short, yeah, I’ve considered a career in landscape architecture and reconsidered it… and considered it… and reconsidered it… I might even consider it again…

    Why? Know somebody that’s hiring?    


    “I just need to make sure I don’t get bucked off again…”

    That’s what it’s all about right now Thomas. I continue to hold on by a stirrup with one hand while I get dragged over rocks and briar patches, because I know in the end I will be rewarded for sticking it out. This recession has only made me a smarter LA and a shrewd businessman. I have grown personally and professionally in ways I never could have without going through these serious hard times. It would be a crime to go through all of this shish and not collect the prize.  

    Thomas J. Johnson

    : )

    Roland Beinert

    Disclaimer: I thought we were all being sarcastic. I don’t believe that architects and engineers can do what we do.

    Doug Prouty

    Now there’s a way to turn a negative into a positive! In order to survive you have to be creative and I thing the Dora mats are a seller to kids from 3 to 5 years old. My daughter would love one but you have to include Boots or it’s a deal breaker! If they are already in production, market it as Ivan the Operative with a small characature of Putin and the Rubles will be pouring in!

    Zach Watson

    I saw the title of this post and my first thought was, AAHH not another topic like this….  

    Once I saw the example, I realized that I have spent the last 2 1/2 years spending money and time to become an LA and now…it’s all worthless.  🙁  Sad Day.



    Thomas J. Johnson

    I’m sorry, I tend to have that effect on people… I can’t help it. It’s always made me unpopular… Just yesterday, I think I made a bunch of professional potters feel bad when the first pot I’ve ever thrown turned out pretty darn good… I overheard one of them say, “I spent 10 years learning how to do that…”. Then I had to blow the next three pots and clean up after class as penance.

Viewing 8 posts - 31 through 38 (of 38 total)
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