How well do you know me?

Getting to know someone can be an intimidating process.

This medium story is a compilation of my recent interview with Desi Creative Many of the questions are deceptively revelant, some are fun and lighthearted, and others are deep and poignant. The intention to publish this story is to break the ice and help us connect each other.

Photo Courtesy: Adithya VM

Why are you a Designer?

The design bug has bitten me! like how it happens in Spider-man. Just Kidding I’ve always been a visual learner and that made me slowly graduate as a designer.
The dream of a designer is to create meaningful designs that communicate on a visual, intellectual and emotional level. It is the joy of being creative and having someone pay you to do it. But the reality of that dream is that it often comes with the heavy price of the creative soul. There are endless meetings, client revisions, committee-mandated direction, project managers who are frustrated art directors, long hours and often little recognition. These are the daily and universal struggles of a designer.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?

I didn’t, and that’s unfortunate but I believe you don’t have to go back to school to learn everything about design — I never did!
What you need is an acute passion for learning. Read books and blogs on design and business, ask advice from other designers, take online classes, initiate your own design projects to get experience. 
Being an engineering student I applied reverse engineering to learn all by myself. (Still learning..)

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?

Well, if you look at it from a hawk’s eye view its a struggle to stand out and make your own style. Every design style repeats over time and most of the creative designers try to differentiate and do better than what’s been there already. That’s how new style is born, just by breaking the old style.

How did you focus so much on infographics? When did you realize you loved doing it and wanted more of it?

I love doing infographics for one simple reason. “Design has to speak for itself” and that’s where communication design comes into the picture. Explaining a concept through graphics is not at all an easy job. It’s a challenge and I consciously took those challenges.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?

To be frank, I didn’t had any clue on whom to follow. When I started working then I really admired these personalities.
R. K. Laxman
Paul Rand
Alan Fletcher
Lokesh Karekar
SCD Balaji
Rames Harikrishnasamy
Tobias Van Schneider
Ranga krishnamani
Sivakumar S
Christoph Niemann 
David Arey
David Carson
Prasant Godbole
Otl Aicher
Salvador Dalí
Pablo Picasso

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?

David Arey
Rames Harikrishnasamy
Tobias Van Schneider
Christoph Niemann

When did you start freelancing?

2012

Was there any time when you wanted to quit design?

Not even in my dream.

Are many advertising agencies hiring designers?

Yes, most of the agencies have a clear thought on what type of designer they would like to recruit.

Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients?

I work full-time as a product designer in a Chennai based product company called Freshworks.
As a Product Designer, my role is to create thoughtful and appropriate solutions to design challenges of all sizes by translating research insights into simple and engaging user interfaces which satisfy user needs, business requirements and technical constraints.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?

I haven’t done much of a publicity to get orders and to be honest I was not expecting freelance orders. I received few orders because I’ve been actively publishing my pet projects/ minimalistic posters in all possible design/social platforms. Few went viral and few plagiarised my works.
I must thank people who constantly plagiarised and publicised my works. They were my unofficial advertisers.
Initially, it made me feel bad, then I reminded this quote:
“Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” — Jeffrey Zeldman

How do you market yourself?

My mission is to offer friendly, personalized service on a level that no other designer could compete with.
My client list is based on one thing alone: RESPECT.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?

Arun Raj
Lokesh Karekar
SCD Balaji
Rames Harikrishnasamy

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?

The best designers understand when and where they can affect change, and when to close their eyes, take a deep breath, and know everything will be ok.
Designing is purely a democratic platform where everyone contributes to an idea. Most of the time you will end up picking the worst idea, the actual challenge is to make the worst idea the better idea.
Question Everything. Learn Something. Answer Nothing.
Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation. It could be the dumbest question but never stop asking questions, sometimes the dumbest questions could be a great solution.
Forget Being Perfect
Does the pressure of perfection weigh you down?
Trying to deliver a pixel-perfect design takes time and satisfying everyone is quite impossible. It cannot be done and when we try, it is inevitable to disappoint others at some point.
Eat Well, Travel Often
It’s easy to get busy in the day-to-day work and completely forget to take care of your hygiene. It’s important not to get lost in your work. The work can wait.
Be Part Of Design Community
The community of like-minded people is one of an essential component to enhance your skills. Stretch yourself beyond your network of colleagues to connect with other diverse creatives who will inspire you. Be active in seeking out a community where you can share best practices.

Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?

Not for everyone but for the ones who think the creative arena is their playground.
Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. Actually, that’s a good quality to have. You are not a superhuman, you can only deliver what you see, read and observe and nothing beyond that. Everyone has a limitation and you must understand that the creativity is not a competition.

Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work?

Yes, mostly they do. A specification is a key to engaging with clients, as in managing expectations. Even the most experienced clients can get excited during the process.
It’s pretty simple: if the client can’t afford to design it, they certainly can’t afford to manufacture and promote it.

Do you think clients are understanding that they need to invest in Design as a communication tool and also to cut the clutter, and that good design comes at a price?

Very lately yes, most of the clients burn their fingers and realize later that they should’ve invested more in design.
Whether you’re working with an individual who has used their own cash to develop their idea or a board of directors from a large company, your client needs to feel they trust you to be diligent and provide value for money.

Mac or PC?

Definitely, Mac. Because It has been known to render fonts better. It had a superior user experience for years. And finally, it’s consistent, well-made, and good looking. But perhaps most important of all, Mac and Windows users alike all agreed that today, there isn’t much of a difference. It’s all come down to a matter of personal preference.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?

Anne Hathaway, I’d invite her because she is beyond beautiful, she is drop dead gorgeous she also has an amazing voice.

What’s on your iPod?

Galway girl.
Despacito.
Look what you made me do.
Thaikkudam Bridge.
Roshomon.
Jimikki Kammal.

About Desi Creative?

DesiCreative is an Indian Advertising Creative blog and magazine run by National Award Winning Cinematographer and ex-advertising creative Paramvir Singh. Besides DesiCreative, Param also co-founded and runs Kiss Films, and blogs at TheUntourists and MacAndMobile.

Param was also host on a Radio Talk on Digital Marketing Radio here. He was featured on WebWorkerDaily here for his digital lifestyle. Baggout covered Param and DesiCreative here.


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Thank you for reading 🙏 .


Aditya Dhotre is a self-taught designer who specialises in visual design, He is fuelled by curiosity and passion for design, technology and life.

When he is not busy breaking down design, he works on pet projects and short films.

Adi always believed that the “Creative” arena will be his best playground.