“Keep it simple and user-friendly”
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey that you have covered to become a Graphic Designer
I have been into UI/UX or Visual/Graphic design from last 12 years and I have seen the trend of designing change significantly. When I started my career as a graphic designer, in 2004, there was no concept of UX designing. Also there were no mobile apps or responsive design as desktop sites were the only big thing. We now see mobiles and tablets overtaking desktop/laptop, so the need of adaptive design for all the latest devices.
The growing need of UX design is remarkable these days. Before you even start to consider how you are going to put the layout of any design, you need to think of user’s point of view, how it is easy to use for the target audience and how it will be unique than most of the applications available in the market. This is where the UX design comes in to picture where you create a lot of prototypes or wireframes to define above important things and how significant are the layout and use of graphics or icons are.
The journey so far was one of the best experiences being in designing field for so long and you always need to be updated with current trends and technologies to sustain in the world of designing.
As far as being an artist, I will say that this was in me from very early age. I used to sketch a lot of things while in school and developed my skills. It’s after the school that I decide to be part of an art institute where I enhanced and developed more skills over a period of 5 years.
Have you undertaken any formal training for the same and from where?
I haven’t taken any training as such, I learned everything when I was working in my 1st company. I think learning in an institute and learning while on your job are two very different things. You get to learn a lot while you are working on a project. You know that there are people who are dependent on your design. Project deadline makes you work harder makes you more efficient.
You will have lots of other people, designers like you, to help you or to mentor you if you get stuck somewhere and it’s the biggest advantage of working in professional environment.
As far as sketching or creating artworks concerned, I did my Commercial Arts from institute called Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay in Pune, India. I will say that this course enhanced my ability of sketching. I used to create drawings from very early age and this is what inspired me to join the art institute.
How would you describe your personal style? Also, how is your workflow pattern or your approach towards a project?
Personal touches or styles develop when you create something different from others and when you get praised or acknowledged for it, you start doing the same for your future projects and then that will become your own style.
My personal style is nothing but keep it simple and user friendly.
Sometimes it happens that we create something too creative which is looking great to the eye but when you actually use it then you come to know that this is not what we are looking for. So always keep in mind that whatever you create, it has to be user friendly and easily usable.
My approach to any project is simple. Keep it straight and follow the basic guidelines.
Sometimes it happens that we create something which is pleasing to the eye but we miss some important parts that we need to remake that which is time consuming and hence the danger of missing the deadline. That’s why you should always follow the basic guidelines.Make as many wireframes as you can till the flow is simple and understanding and then only go ahead with it. This way you will never have to do any rework.
Recently I developed a style by using charcoal as medium for creating huge artworks. Charcoal give you depth like no other medium and you can use your fingers to create different gradations in an artwork. I always start from blank paper and pencil and create outline first and then start applying charcoal where needed. I always use very light shade first and then apply same over and over again to make it darker. The small details are where you need charcoal pencil which is easy to use and very effective
Which has been your most memorable piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it and the tools that you used for the same?
As far as UX design concerned, every project I created is memorable for me because every time you do something different from the first. I don’t like to use same things again and again, but I use my style in every design. I use simple tools available in the market to create these designs. Tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver etc.
You work as a Senior Visual Designer. What does your day typically look like?
The day usually starts with the meeting for the tasks to be done in a day, if I have any hurdles or anything which is not working, we can discuss it there itself and go ahead with it. The usual day will be working on the tasks or projects you are working on and take them ahead the best way you can. Exciting day comes when you have something new to design where you want to do research and then come up with the strategy to overcome the problems you are facing.
Who or what motivates you to generate new ideas and unique concepts?
Being a designer you should always look for new things. Observe everything around you, the smallest details as you can. The observation makes you think differently from others and new ideas can form in your mind. You should also follow the design blogs which are available on the internet. They make you think differently and you can relate things while designing.
You make some beautiful charcoal paintings. What goes into making one?
Charcoal is the medium these days for my recent artworks. For the details like, eyes, nose, ear or hands or feet, I use charcoal pencil which is easily available in the market. Below are some of my favorite artworks which I created. I have started this series called ‘Highlights and Shadows’ where I have created a bunch of charcoal artworks which has highlights and shadows. These artworks usually take 6 – 8 hours from start to finish and I try to complete them in one go. This is the best way to keep going.
What does the industry demand in terms of technical / soft skills from a fresher artist?
Ideas. Ideas are the only thing which make you different from other artists available in the market. The desire to do something different lead to new ideas. Before start of the charcoal series of “Highlights and Shadows” I used to create simple pencil drawings. One day I saw something on the internet and was amazed to see the depth charcoal creates. This made me work with charcoal as a medium for my drawings. If you see some of my sketches, they have amazing balance of highlights and shadows which makes the picture come alive. So the simple thing you need as a fresh artist is new ideas.
What message do you have in mind for the aspiring artists?
The message would be, be original and never copy things.
Copying things will block your all thinking about new ideas as you will always keep copying other’s work. Taking a reference, for example if you like some photograph on the internet and then you made that as a sketch is a different thing, but copying directly from the sketch is not a good thing. You not only copy composition but you copy their style as well.
So never copy but come up with something new and different.
To see more of Rahul’s work, click here