As a kid, I used to absolutely love drawing on any and every surface I could find, be it the walls, the furniture, the shoes, except for all the paper my father used to buy for me. We had to get the house whitewashed quite a number of times!
I am working from home at this point, which has had its own pros and cons. The pros being that my commute time has been replaced by yoga and meditation, an activity which has helped me stay creative, positive and productive during the pandemic. As creatives, I feel that taking care of our mental health is so important, our work being based on our own thoughts, ideas and experiences. Another upside is that I have had more time, post work hours, to work on personal projects, pick up new skills, experiment with existing ones and read on topics within and outside the realm of design which I have always been interested in but never had the chance to explore. The downside of work from home has definitely been having all social and work interactions over video which I don’t think can ever match up to in-person interactions.
Chasing perfectionism will only kill creativity.
On the job front, I’d say, we are still recovering from an economic slowdown. Be patient in case things don’t work out exactly as planned, they will fall into place eventually. Also, you don’t have to have everything figured out by the time you graduate, even though social media might have you believe otherwise. We all have a unique timeline. Begin somewhere, with the knowledge you have today and course-correct along the way! Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the process.
One of the things that really helped in my development as a designer was taking up internships right from my first year of college. I worked in different settings, from a studio, to a design firm, to an ad agency. Besides understanding the kind of work I would like to do in future, I also gained some insight into the kind of work environment I thrive in as a creative. Apart from that, I kept up to date via blogs, podcasts etc. with all that is happening in the field and interacted with established designers from the industry whenever I got an opportunity. I further worked on freelance projects during my education which added to my experience and understanding of my strengths and weaknesses as a designer.
I think we can have more spaces that foster design dialogue, with people from various industries congregating to have conversations around design. This could help bridge the gap of the understanding of design between designers and the masses. From what I have seen, at least in India, there is still a need to increase awareness, change perception and educate the general masses of the value of design beyond an aesthetic embellishment or luxury. My final year graduation project was based on this idea and I believe it has scope for positive impact. Bridging this gap can benefit the society as a whole. Apart from that, as a community, I feel we should further focus on developing design solutions which transcend language barriers and are accessible to people across socio-economic strata rather than being limited to privileged groups.