Between an intern meeting with the Home and Market departments, runs to an off-site studio space where we are shooting our new upcoming cover, the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with my boss and the creators of a new paint company called Jolie Paints, and my regular work involving credit sheets and product returns, it was quite a busy week.  But, the most exciting part of it was that I was given the opportunity to work on a story on my own.

On Monday I was given the very intern-y task of doing some initial research for an upcoming story section where we feature various shots of rooms created by interior designers as inspiration and then we create a “get the look” page accompanying each image that feature products and paint colors that mimic the designer’s work.  I was meant to hand off my research as a jumping off point for a full-time employee to use to start work on the story; but, my boss and the market director liked my progress and let me work on all the images from the art department for that story on my own.  So, this week I created three presentation boards, which I filled with each type of product shown in each of the images, from flooring to paint colors to light fixtures to knick-knacks on the shelves.  For each item, I have to provide multiple choices within the right price range without repeating companies; then, I print out the images and write their source information and organize them onto the boards.  Because it is often not possible to find perfect lookalike products, I have to be creative in finding alternatives that capture the essence of what the designer was going for.  I also have to color-match all the paint used in the images so that readers can copy the exact colors of the room.

For these cabinets, I had to match two different greens because the color looked different in different lightings.

For these cabinets, I had to match two different greens because the color looked different in different lightings.

I worked on my boards as much as I could between my other tasks so I could finish by my 3pm Wednesday deadline.  Of course, at 1:30 on Wednesday one of my bosses sent me out to our cover shoot to deliver some last-minute props; this was obviously a time I would have rather have spent making my boards as complete as they could be, but as an intern your own work can never be put ahead of anyone else’s.  After giving my boards to the lifestyle director (my boss) and the market director Wednesday afternoon, I had a meeting with them the next day where they performed an unofficial board review in the conference room.  This is where they went through my boards, moving around the images they wanted to keep, moving to the back the ones they don’t, and spitting out dozens of revisions I need to make regarding items I should look for that I never considered, redoing some of my selections, specific companies to look for, adjustments in my price range, etc.  I scribbled out 6 pages of notes from that meeting.  Some of them were very specific, like, “find a narrower black mirror with an attached iron shelf,” “look for a different couch in this color but it has to be ultra suede not microfiber,” “this is a good match but too expensive,” or my favorite, “find better art.”

Setting up for my unofficial board review

Setting up for my unofficial board review

I thought by the end of the meeting that maybe I was tanking, until I remembered from when I sat in on an actual board meeting a couple weeks prior that this is the way all of the meetings go.  It’s part of the revision process.  I have a lot of new work to do on my now disorganized presentation boards before I show the two directors again by end of day (EOD) Monday.  If all goes well, I will get to present my boards at an actual board review on Tuesday for the Editor-in-Chief, Creative Director, and Executive Editor.  From there, my work will hopefully progress into becoming published in an upcoming issue.