WHENEVER interior designer Adrien Ritzal talks about art, he starts sounding like a hopeless romantic.

“I like beautiful things, and I enjoy being surrounded by any kind of beautiful environment. That is how interior design fuels my life,” said Adrien, whose fresh, modern-romantic and minimalistic ideas have helped him find quite a bit of success even at the tender age of 25.

You can see his work at trendy F&B joints in the Klang Valley like Food Foundry and Butter & Beans, both in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. He’s currently working on a luxury cafe at Changkat Bukit Bintang, one of Kuala Lumpur’s top hang-out spots.

His passion for interior designing, however, started in his bedroom. Since he was in secondary school, Adrien has always enjoyed drawing and decorating his own room.

“I’ve always been the black sheep among my siblings, because I’m the only ‘creative’ one. I would be decorating my room instead of playing video games like other kids!” added Adrien, who is also a part-time model.

His parents were always supportive of his creative pursuits. “I feel very blessed. I was the only one of my siblings to attend a private university and it was very expensive for my parents, so I’m very grateful for that.”

Due to some problems at his university, Adrien decided to drop out after five years of studying. It left him feeling lost for a while, but he pulled himself together and scored his first job in 2009 – designing show units for property developers.

“I didn’t know what to do at the time, so I just went on (an online recruitment portal) and applied for an interior design job. To my surprise, I got it!”

He believes experience is more important compared to academic qualifications in the creative industry, because employers will always hire based on skills and portfolios.

But like any other industry, the creative business is always competitive, and Adrien believes it is essential every designer has a distinctive style.

“(The creative line) has its ups and downs. But I think the kind of stress in my job is good stress. It’s very rewarding because when you see your finished work and receive compliments from your customers, that satisfaction is just priceless,” said Ritzal.


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