“At the heart of great design is the ability to tell a story”

Give us an insight into your journey from being a student of art to being a successful Graphic designer today.

The one big revelation every art student needs to have if they want to become a designer is that you are no longer creating purely for yourself or out of your emotions. The key to great design is communication. This is a lesson I had to teach myself the hard way. At the end of the day if my designs looks beautiful but does not communicate what it’s made for it defeats the purpose. The second thing that has helped me on my journey is my willingness to learn from other, for once you decide you know everything you cannot move forward.

Heart Over Head / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Heart Over Head / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Where did you undertake formal training for the same and how important do you feel is international exposure in the design industry?

I did my B.Sc. in Animation & Multimedia from Birla Institute of Technology where I learned the softwares. Most of what I learned is self taught based on my experiences on the job. I think international exposure is very important for the design industry.  Exposure to new and the unknown allow us to explore avenues or craft forms we might never have considered. When we limit ourselves to only what we know we limit how far we can grow.

Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

How would you define your personal style? Where do you draw inspiration from?

My personal style of illustration is always intertwined with a story. It is hard to pin an exact description of my style, I guess it’s usually whacky with a hint of deep truth. I love stories, I’m inspired by them. There is something about a story that can touch someone’s heart and make an impact that lasts a lifetime. I am an avid reader, love comic books and graphic novels. Most of my illustration are an expression of my thoughts and my storytelling ability.

Which has been your most memorable piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it?

My most memorable piece of work for me at the moment is the most recent illustration I was commissioned “Without Love”. I was approached to visually represent a chapter from a book in the Bible; Corinthians 13. This was a challenge as it was summing up a whole chapter in in one visual picture. I was very happy with the result of the project.

Without Love / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Without Love / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

What are the challenges that you face while working on such projects?

The usual constraint for any project is time. Most of the time I have a short deadline with a need for quick results. The other challenge occurs when clients are not sure of what they want and I need to guide them through a process of educating them on what my job as a designer is and how I can best serve them.

Dead Creative / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Dead Creative / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

What is your usual workflow pattern for any assignment?

Once I get an assignment, I usually try to sit down/call/skype my client and talk about the project to ensure we are on the same page. Once I know exactly what the client wants do, I start any work with research followed by thumbnail doodles. After presenting a draft the client , I begin the final piece on final approval. Communication is the key throughout the process.

Truley Live / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Truely Live / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

What are the tools/software that you use regularly as a part of your work?

Pencil, paper and inks are at the base of every project. As for software I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Which technical skills or otherwise does the industry look for the most in a fresher?

If you are getting into this line of work make sure you know your softwares well, but understand that that is only a tool. What good design companies look for is if you have an understanding of design, are you willing to learn and are you dedicated or passionate about your work.

Freedom Rebel / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Freedom Rebel / Pic Courtesy : Ashwin Chacko

Any message for the aspiring designers?

Love what you do and do what you love. At the heart of great design is the ability to tell a story. So learn to listen to your clients and understand their needs. Then tell their story with your ability.

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