Can you tell us about yourself?
"I am Aryk Garcia, born in San Antonio, TX, however raised in McAllen, TX. I attended Memorial High School (GO MUSTANGS!) Where I was on the swim team and always had an art class. My college career was pursued on the North East Coast. I earned my Bachelor's of Science in Interior Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I’ve also had the pleasure to intern at some of the most prestigious architectural firms in the world, including IKM Inc., where I was hired out of my internship."
What determined your passion for design? When did you find out it was your way to go?
"I’ve always had a flare for spicing a room up or anything for that matter. I started decorating Christmas trees (for relatives) and that carried over to offices and homes. While I was working at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in the PAS department, I had a little desk and sitting area for my patients. Well, of course I had to dress it up really elegant and sophisticated... Boom that was the start to the rest of my life!"
What and when was your first design project?
"In Pittsburgh I designed for IKM Inc. Government projects which included Fort Sill, Fort Bliss, White Sands, and Westinghouse. I also designed several projects for Burt Hill however the projects were shelved due to the economy. My first design project here in the valley was for Rio Grande Regional Hospital Women’s clinic north side. Since then I have designed and completed close to 15 residential and commercial projects, each with their own flare and personality."
What is the most interesting field of design for you?
"My passion is lighting in the field of Institutional Design (schools) particularly the affects natural light Vs. Synthetic light has on children and faculty. The potential for light to do more than just provide energy for our day to day living is much more. I can go on forever on how light affects the human body and emotions but that will be in future articles."
What type of interior design is your focus now?
"I am currently the principal designer at Charisma Construction a company with impeccable morals that has withstood the test of time with its 27 year old track record to show for it, I am blessed to have such an amazing work atmosphere and capable company at my side. There is such a great demand for the understanding of architecture and interior design with the preverbal “cherry on top” of lighting design in South Texas it is truly amazing. I currently design commercial and residential projects and pushing the RGV into the future, one design at a time."
What inspires you?
"It’s corny to actually put it in writing, but life, people, and light is what inspires me. We all have our good days and not so good days, but the wickedly awesome adaptability of the human body and psyche are awe inspiring to witness. I've had to design extreme ADA homes and businesses and to know that whatever "we" put our minds to, we can achieve and overcome."
How would you define your personal style?
"If I had to be public about my personal style we’d all be here forever. I see myself as a mix of traditional and contemporary, industrial and sophistication, loud bold colors, clean lines with a mix of antiques and splashes of bling. I don’t want to feel as if I live in a museum but want the “homie” feel with minimal clutter."
What is the most frustrating part of your job? And the most rewarding one?
"With today’s technology (3D renderings, AutoCAD, REVIT, and other programs I use) there really isn’t anything truly frustrating, maybe some miscommunication. But for the most part, my job isn’t a job for me, I can honestly say I LOVE what I do. It’s weird, I forget to eat at times, or stay awake because of a design solution is challenging me. I find myself waking up way before the clock goes off, and staying at the office much later than normal. I believe I’m doing exactly what I was put here to do."
What is your favorite part of the interior designing process?
"The design solution is the most exhilarating part of what I do. Seeing my creation come to fruition and the look in the client’s eyes when we’re turning over the keys is priceless."
Do you consider interior design art or science?
"I won’t dare pick one. I’d have to say both art and science, the understanding of what works best for the client, the aesthetics of the design, codes, materials, etc. The science is what specs are for, the art is the design process and finished product. I truly enjoy knowing people are living, learning, working, healing, or playing in my art, I’m shaping the human experience and it leaves me without words."
What are some of the common decorating mistakes made by homeowners?
"Simple do it yourself tasks are OK. But, please leave the cutting, drilling or anything else that deals with power tools or heavy lifting or demolishing to the professionals. Call us and watch the magic happen before your very eyes!"
What does someone starting an interior design career need to know? Any advice?
"I remember being in college and thinking...this is too much, too much crazy detail. I can never achieve this...years later I realize that anything hard is worth doing, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. Keep going, head up, shoulders back and one foot in front of the other, it’s your “art/science” that makes you unique, keep pushing the envelope, progress is ever changing."
Charisma Construction, MISSION TEXAS, Commercial & Residential: Interior Designer / Lighting Designer
•Residential Projects Include: Constance & Fernando Miner New Build, Iris & J.C. Guerra New Build, Misty & Martin Valdez Remodel, Marcela & Daniel Duncan Remodel, Damaris & Jesse De Luna Remodel. All in which I supplied all necessary documentation and 3D renderings (Interior Design, Lighting Design, & Architectural Plans), managed budget & oversaw construction.
•Commercial Projects Include: Valley Baptist Medical Plaza, McAllen Medical Plaza, St. John Episcopal Church, Adobe Wells, Ruby Tuesdays, Rio Motors. All in which I supplied all necessary documentation and 3D renderings (Interior Design, Lighting Design, & Architectural Plans), managed budget & oversaw construction.
Granchelli Construction, McAllen, TX, US, Commercial: Interior Designer / Lighting Designer
•Projects were vast as well as high momentum, thrilling and challenging encompassing many different areas of the Commercial design. Projects included: Chris Automotive Service, Bentsen Tower Federal Building, Rio Grande Regional Hospital’s Woman’s Clinics, South Texas Eye Clinic, Dr. Husain Pediatric Clinic, Lincoln Harris CSG, Greg’s Ball Room, and East Edinburg Medical Plaza. All in which I supplied all necessary documentation and 3D renderings (Interior Design, Lighting Design, & Architectural Plans), managed budget & oversaw construction.
Apple, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Visuals Team Coordinator / Concierge
•The understanding and undertaking of corporate issued visual changes to the store on a weekly basis, organization of staff (schedules / responsibilities) in conjunction with management issued orders. The Concierge role is a literal translation of networking; to provide a warm welcome and fond farewell to every person whom walks through the apple store doors, to have a complete understanding of Apple products, know the strengths of all specialists and pair them with the appropriate customer as well as sales and metrics.
IKM Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, US, Interior Designer / Intern:
•The designing of floor pattern and material selections, details drawings, detail selection of hard surface material, comprehensive color selection. The construction of Structural Interior Design binders (SID), Comprehensive Interior Design binders (CID), Exterior Structural Design binders(ESD) X 12, for Baker Engineering i.e.; Fort Sill/Oklahoma, White Sands/New Mexico, Fort Bliss/Texas.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Bachelors, INTERIOR DESIGN
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pa
•Major: Interior Design / Specialty in Lighting Design –BS CIDA Accredited
•National Deans list; 2006-2007