“I feel all of us are born with our own set of interests and skills and that is what each one of us should embrace. Because individuality matters a lot”
Tell us a bit about the beginning of your career as an artist. What made you decide this was your calling?
As a kid I loved to draw, paint, do some craft and stitch clothes for my dolls. But I wasn’t sure of how I would build a career around it as a child. So when it was time to actually choose a career I was absolutely clueless. Building a career around your hobbies like drawing and craft wasn’t considered as a substantial career in my family and I wasn’t even aware of these design courses and institutes. Some of my relatives and Dad’s friends suggested that I should take up Architecture because well, I was good at drawing. So I did. Within 3 months of joining college I realised that it wasn’t for me. It was very very difficult for me to convince my parents that I wanted to do something else because by the time I realised that I wanted to pursue design I was too late for the applications of some well known institutes and my parents didn’t want me to waste a year. But I applied to some other colleges and got into Symbiosis. Well, the story doesn’t end here. I wanted to pursue fashion when I got into Symbiosis but after foundation year I realised I liked graphics more so I switched in my second year. It wasn’t easy but I’m glad all the pieces fell into place.
What kind of formal training did you undergo to become a designer and what role has it played in your growth?
As I mentioned earlier I opted for Communication Design In Symbiosis Institute of Design.
Before joining college I always used to have these ideas but I could never arrive at the end product. And I think ideas are just crap without proper execution and follow through. In my design school I was taught the step by step process to arrive at a unique concept and its successful execution. My professors were quite open-minded and never restricted my output, I had a lot of scope for experimenting. They always believed in me and encouraged me. We had a wonderful library and amazing workshops with all the possible equipments. We were also allowed to explore other disciplines to some extent as we could do collaborative projects. Apart from academic skills I also developed my soft skills. I remember I would have so much anxiety while talking to strangers in my first year but by the end of second year I was a part of the event core team talking to all the possible strangers.
What is your workflow pattern right from planning to execution for any assignment?
The workflow pattern differs from project to project. You don’t need to have a solid plan always but you have to be sincere. Getting to know your client’s requirements is very very important before jumping onto conceptualisation. Because most of the times the clients don’t know what they want. I research on my topic a bit, before starting with the concepts. It not only helps in understanding the target audience but also gives you cues for your concepts. It also helps in deciding the main components of your design. Research is very important when you are making something for others. Once that is done I sketch/make doodles to make myself comfortable with the topic and then discuss them with my clients. Final stage involves digitalising the artwork and then making minor tweaks to it according to the client’s requirement.
Your work involves being creative. Where does the inspiration come from?
There are times when things just come to me mostly when I’m lying in my bed or showering. Also, I think there isn’t like a particular source. For me inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes its from nature (which is the best source according to me) or from the people surrounding me. I love music. So sometimes the inspiration comes from the pieces I play or listen to. It also comes to me from the excerpts I pick up from various books I read. But there are times when things get monotonous and I find myself stuck, but a little brainstorming provides the spark that gets me going.
Typically, what does your day look like?
I’m not an early riser but I manage to be up by 7:30. I meditate for sometime before I start with my day. Once I reach office I jot down all the tasks and prioritise them. But sometimes you just don’t get to do the work you want to and then you don’t really feel motivated. So I make it a point to pursue my other passions like music, making clay miniatures, crocheting and embroidering after getting back from work and during weekends. I also make some time for reading books or articles before bed or during office breaks.
Which has been your most memorable project and why?
I think my degree project was my most memorable project. I tried to push myself really hard to produce the best because it was my first internship with a big firm. I created around 40-45 individual illustrations for different business magazines as a part of the project. It was challenging because I had to understand the context of each and every article before illustrating. And this was the first time I saw my work getting printed in a mass quantity so that was the best part of it.
What is the most challenging task you face in your job?
I think every project comes with different challenges. Understanding what the client exactly wants is the biggest challenge and there are times when you have to step out of your comfort zone to create stuff.
What skills, you feel, should young creatives bring to the table in such a competitive industry?
I feel all of us are born with our own set of interests and skills and that is what each one of us should embrace. Because individuality matters a lot. Rest of the skills can be mastered over time. Give it time and develop your own style, it could be one or multiple. And that will be your USP.
Any final words of wisdom?
Try exploring every other field or the things you think you like, to a certain extent, maybe not professionally but as a hobby. Don’t restrict yourself to just one thing. Sometimes this helps you in finding your love for multiple things, you will only know if you try it at least once. ( I didn’t even know that I could sing till the age of 18 🙂 ) So just remember that we are all gifted beyond our wildest expectations so keep exploring and find your hidden creative genius.