How to evolve as a Designer
People usually ask me “Why did you change your field?”. Well, I tell them “I did not. I just evolved”.
In 2009, I started my career as an Interior Designer and worked in the field for two years. For my post-graduation, I wanted to specialize in Retail Design from National Institute of Design, which is the most deemed design school in India and has only 15 seats in each program. NID has 3 levels of exam — Written, Studio test and Interview with around 3–4 panel members. After two years of hard work and perseverance, I failed with a few marks. It felt like an end of my design career, but I did not stop. I went to Srishti School of Art and Design and pursued a Masters in Furniture and Spatial Design and utilized every opportunity to learn and grow as a designer. While wrapping up my final diploma project at Srishti, I decided to move to Canada and study Graphic Design. I worked as a Product and Graphic Designer for over 1 year and taught myself User Experience Design. I now work as an Associate Product Designer at Shutterstock and I am proud of my journey.
Did I really change my field? I did not. I learned varied skills at every stage of my career and carried them forward. All that matters as a designer is to connect your dots and grow. This is what I learned in my journey of evolving as a designer:
• Interior Design taught me ergonomics and thinking about the movement of people in a physical space.
• My failure of getting admission to NID taught me to be a confident designer and rationalize my design decisions. Every time I make a design decision, I ask myself “Why?”.
• Industrial Design taught me the art of critical thinking and business design.
• Graphic Design honed my visual thinking and imagination skills.
• User Experience design taught me empathy, design psychology and to create meaningful designs.
One skill that stayed constant throughout my design career was to DESIGN FOR THE USER. At Shutterstock, I utilize all the skills that I have learned in my experience and that is what makes me a unique designer.
It does not matter whether you are an Interior Designer, Fashion Designer, Industrial Designer or Product Designer, the principles and fundamentals of design remain the same. You learn something new every day, so just think about the important skills that you can hold to your heart and carry with you to your next journey of design adventure.