I studied Digital Design at Vancouver Film School in Canada. My first freelance job right after VFS was for Grey Group in Vancouver, where my mentor Maria Kennedy was the newly appointed Managing Director. After a month, I got a full-time job at Fueled based in NYC. I worked with Fueled remotely from my beautiful co-working space in Granville Island. At Fueled, I created design and animations for explainer videos and developed micro-interactions for some of the apps. I worked with Fueled for more than two years before starting my studio back in India.
I have two different practices. The first one is a design consultancy providing branding and product design to clients. It’s just my name ending with the word design, Amrit Pal Design. I mostly work on my own, hiring other designers according to the project requirements. So, I wanted the name to reflect that and build my personal brand. The second one is Mister Bumbles Interactive, a design and publishing firm focusing on storytelling and childlike wonder where we create and sell a variety of products like card games, books, mobile apps, and merchandise. The name Mister Bumbles came from my graduation project at Vancouver Film School, where I branded a fictional toy museum and created a 3D animated video introducing the museum of the same name.
It’s hard to pick the top five, there are many brilliant designers I adore. Jessica Hische has been a huge inspiration ever since I attended her session of CreativeMornings in Vancouver. After her talk, I took pride in being a solo designer and stopped pretending to be a small team or an enterprise. Apart from her brilliant lettering skills, I also admired the importance she gave to her personal projects and hustling.
My favorite illustrator is Oliver Jeffers. I own every book he has written and Illustrated. His work inspires me every day and pushes me to do better. Then there is Paula Scher, I have followed her work and interviews ever since I first learned about Pentagram. The way she talks about her work and process is a blessing to the design world.
Lucas Zanotto maker of stunning apps like Loopimal and Drawnimal has been a huge inspiration. His work is mind-blowing and makes me want to do more with my life. One more name I would like to add to the list is Ilya Milstein. His illustration style is outstanding and I can look at his work for hours.
My advice to anyone who is graduating soon is to make a good portfolio and build your online presence. A good portfolio gives you a lot more than just a good job. It enables you to receive opportunities you aren’t even aware of and helps you to shape your career. Due to my decent online portfolio and presence, I was able to switch between being a freenlancer to a full-time employee several times in my career. By regularly updating my portfolio and sharing my work I was able to get opportunities from the best companies in the world. I am not fond of promoting my work on social media but it is absolutely the best way to reach thousands of people and show them your work.
Everyone starts small, it’s been seven years I have been working on my portfolio and online platforms like Behance and Instagram. Also, don’t find excuses like platforms are over-saturated or that you can’t afford a domain name or hosting. Your portfolio and habit of improving on it will go a long way, so find a way to get it done.
A year ago, I left my job at a fintech company as the Head of Design and started working on my passion projects. I created two card games Doggo Cards and Monarchs of India. Doggo Cards is a set of easy to play card game featuring original illustrations of real-life pet dogs. Each box sold helps in providing food and shelter to a street dog in India. Monarchs of India is a trump card game that allows you to play your favorite Indian Monarchs against each other and engage in Indian history like never before. Each box sold helps in preserving and restoring an Indian monument. Next, I am working on an interactive web space where people can learn about Indian art history.
Be conscious of what you are designing. Try to be diverse and inclusive in your work. Explain to your clients why it’s important to have inclusive designs and how this strategy will benefit them as well.
Work on your passion projects and do pro bono work for charities and causes close to your heart.