I did have a plan for education a lot of it went south. I mean I don’t come from a traditional design background but again a lot of what life has been is exploring for me. I love what transcended from the day I graduated to where I have arrived so far. The plan was to probably solve, sketch & design airplanes on paper and model them on solid works. This comes from a perpetual desire of ‘Joy for creation’. I was recruited at a decent IT job but once in, there wasn’t a choice on what you could pursue. It was more on the lines of, you are an employee number this, from this department, Jr engineer you work on whatever projects are available. That didn’t bode well with me, I went through a whole denial acceptance cycle.
First year was about, don’t want to do this!
Second, was figuring out what I want to do?
Third, was to learn how to do it, a lot of self learning!
Fourth, was blind execution with a few hit and miss projects.
Fifth year was a restart. I began again as a design intern at an agency in Bangalore where I learned to push my own standards and potential to max.
For anyone practicing design I would definitely suggest reading,
A. “Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avantgarde” for visual inspiration into an era. That book sets itself apart as inspiration for Graphic design!
B. “Grid Systems: Josef Muller Brockmann” for a detailed understanding of how we arrived at digital design from print. How if you by heart the rules you can learn to bend them to design things that are still based on rules from 100 years ago yet considered as post-modern or design of the digital age.
C. “Industry leaders podcast by Nikky Lyle on Spotify” That podcast is something that breaks the image of the creatives that inspire you as unapproachable human beings to people, every design studio, every famous designer you ever thought was way up there was someone who started where you are right now. Such a humbling experience to get to know their life stories.
This may not be the best answer you expect from me, but I do look for a certain level of visual quality of work if you are applying for work as a designer, I would look if you cross the threshold or have got the desire to?
Do you also engage in paper and pencil or do you plan your creatives before you get on with them on Adobe illustrator? Reason behind this is ideas happen in your head not on softwares, they are just a medium of expression. What you want to express is important.
I also look for inspirations, what are your inspirations? Why are they your inspiration? What is it about their work that relates to you personally? How have you tried to align your skills and goals to be able to produce that quality of work.
I enjoyed looking at 3D work done by a lot of amazing artists that I came across online. One such person I met was at TDK India bootcamp, Matt. I saw him create 3D work right from modelling to utilising that in a branding project. I was blown, and so this March when the pandemic hit and India went into lockdown, I was super inspired to create! 3D was on top of the list of media, I started churning out a lot of abstract work and putting it out on Instagram. The freedom that comes with learning to create your own world inside a software is so satisfying, you are only limited by your imagination and sometimes by your graphic cards.
Also, after bootcamp I got an opportunity to work with a team of volunteers that are making an App for WHO to tackle this pandemic and maybe next few.
Design I think is moving towards a more open to collaborate, open to learn and lowering the entry barrier for newcomers because of the technological ecosystem we are building, Self learning is the key to maximize your potential. Social media platforms on your fingertips to collaborate with new and upcoming people from different walks of life, it has immensely multiplied the possibility to reach out and choose who and what you want to work with.
I feel in the next five years or so we would see a lot more Augmented Reality design work woven into daily lives not just for awe but for actual utility like – wayfinding being the most basic utility, sharing vitals with your doctors, gesture based interactions with other human beings, AR pop-up shops in your living room!
At the same time the rise of biology inspired designs may become the next big thing where we as designers are working hand in hand with scientists solving problems like sustainable living, environmental change, Biomorphic Architecture all of this is possible because right now we live in an age where you can spend hours online and end up with nothing or you can build a business or product or give life to ideas. I feel after what our generation has gone through a lot more people want to work towards a better planet and living conditions. Like they say, there is no Planet B.
Be mindful of who we choose to work for & at the same time be mindful of the impact our design work has on the society in general. Be a designer who is a catalyst of change, push yourself to work for causes that matter to you, help out NPOs and NGOs that are working for causes you feel is close to your heart. Winds of change.