Ankita is a lettering artist, illustrator and graphic designer from Bangalore. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Design at the FHNW Academy of Art & Design in Basel, Switzerland. She has worked with a number of clients both large and small, in different sectors. She hopes to acquire new skills through her international studies that would help her become a more effective communicator and tackle larger, more relevant issues through her work. Apart from commercial work she does a number of small passion projects that help her stay connected with her varied interests outside the field of design. Collaboration is a key factor of her explorations in design and is always open to learning and working from others in the field.
Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I have always been interested in the little stories that live in everything we experience. Right from my first internship, I knew that it was the right choice for me. I have never regretted it.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I completed my undergraduation from MIT Pune in Communication Design and I am currently pursuing my Masters from the FHNW in Basel, Switzerland.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Currently I am still in a very exploratory stage of finding a particular style. I have never consciously tried to restrict myself .The real task is always to be consistent and keep growing.
How did you focus so much on graphic illustrations? When did you realise you loved doing it and wanted more of it?
I began with hand lettering since I had an interest in typography and illustration came much later. My experiments on Procreate was a defining point in realising my love for it.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I was always interested in art and my sister got into graphic design first. I enjoyed helping out in all her projects and really saw myself pursuing the same field. Over the years I have had great mentorship through college and at the places I have worked and interned that has really shaped my practice. Beyond my personal interactions, I have always tried to follow artists, designers and creators in different fields who have become major inspirations to me through my journey.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
I could never pick just one. My interests are varied and my practice has been influenced by so many different kinds of people right from lettering artists and illustrators to chefs, environmentalists, musicians, performers etc.
Tell us about your studies at Basel, Switzerland. What made you want to do Masters In Design?
I had interned in a couple of places through college and worked full time for about a year and a half before I decided to do my masters. The decision was fueled by my realisation that I was not moving forward with the advancements and needed to learn a great deal in order to stay relevant. The programme I am in right now has introduced me to so many new tools, both digital and analog and has made me appreciate the vastness of our field.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Not at all. I have certainly wanted to pursue a number of other things alongside graphic design, but never wanted to quit. Everyday is a new and exciting day in this field and the possibilities of collaboration are endless.
Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients?
I have worked previously with an advertising agency as well as a branding studio. From what I know, agencies do hire graphic designers quite often. I have never worked with an agency outside my full time job, and as a freelancer I have only done projects with direct clients.
Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
The clients I work with mostly approach me through Behance. I have not advertised myself specifically for work. I have tried to avoid steady work since I have personal projects I work on too.
How do you market yourself?
I curate most of the work I do on instagram and have tried to regularly update my portfolio on Behance. I have been fortunate to receive projects from my friends, colleagues and people I have worked with previously, and therefore have never really needed to market myself.
Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
I admire everyone I work with, we all have such different work styles, interests and knowledge to share.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
I have never regretted graphic design as a career. I would always advise people to take it up if that is where their interest lies. It is a challenging field but an ever growing and evolving one. As visual/communication designers we have a voice that we should use.
Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? 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?
I think that is a mentality that we as designers need to change as well. Agreeing to take low paid projects or offering sub par design work because a client cannot afford it is part of the problem as well. There have always been clients who respect designers and the role they play in building a brand. It is important to understand your personal value and take up projects that work.
Mac or PC?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
At this point in the pandemic, I would feel lucky to be able to go out to dinner with anyone.
What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Currently exploring whatever Spotify throws at me and a collaborative playlist by my batchmates
Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?
@onecuriousdsouza – Instagram