Medha Gupta is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, who also dabbles in content writing work from time to time. A graduate in art & design from Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, she has 2 years of full-time job and nearly 3 years of full-time freelancing work experience.
At her jobs, she worked with clients like Del Monte and Amazon for varied projects such as packaging and social media creatives. As a full-time freelancer, she’s worked with brands like Encyclopaedia Britannica for illustrated children’s textbooks, Harper Collins for a book cover among others, Lenskart for social media animations. She’s worked with various b2b brands and startups on projects such as illustrated Planners, Logos, Brochures, websites, stop-motion animation and more.
She’s a passionate reader, incessant converser, and currently, hobbyist watercolourist.
Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I actually wanted to be a creative director in advertising. But the curriculum for English Honours as Correspondence was really boring so I decided to not pursue that avenue. Graphic design just sort of happened as a result of that.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Primarily for design. But I got pulled into exploring different fields of design in my first two years and that led to an education that had elements of both design and art.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I feel I’m still in the process of developing my style! I believe design is a solution to a problem, so as such it shouldn’t be the designer’s style that determines the output, but the needs of that brand or product and what would appeal to the target audience should determine the style and output of the design.
How did you focus so much on graphic illustrations? When did you realise you loved doing it and wanted more of it?
Graphic illustrations happened because I was constantly running away from having to do layouts! Ironically though, I started to love working on layouts as well. What I enjoy most about doing illustrative work is how meditative the process is and how satisfactory a particularly intricate output can feel.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My mum. She has such a specific taste, that getting her seal of approval for anything I created was really tough. So I was constantly trying to get her to say ‘wow’ through the next thing I made! I think I’m still waiting for that ‘wow’ 🙂
Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
I would say my boss at my first job. I still work with him on freelance projects from time to time and I find those projects to be satisfyingly challenging and so I end up learning a lot from them.
When did you start freelancing?
Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Oh, many times! I find it to be a challenging field, specially as a freelancer, and especially when working for Indian clients. It’s tough to maintain a balance between quality, time and money for most projects. Cleints either have very tight deadlines or they underpay or don’t appreciate the value of the work you’re doing. It’s hard to find a client who checks all those boxes.
Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients?
I think they are, but they prefer in-house designers to freelancers. I work either with direct clients or through other freelancers who maybe handling many aspects of the brand and I’m hired to do some of that work.
Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
More of the former, actually. I’ve found myself advertising very less for new work.
How do you market yourself?
Actually, in the last 1.5 years, I haven’t really marketed myself, I’ve been blessed like that. I’ve mostly worked with repeat clients or with people who came to know of me through word-of-mouth.
Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
I think I follow more illustrators than graphic designers! I love Mallika Favre and Ranganath Krishnamani’s work!
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Be prepared to take on the roles of client servicing, sales, accounts, admin and HR if you decide to get into freelancing. Only focussing on design will take you only so far. I think graphic design is a great career option, you can get in touch with so many others worlds and industries through the variety of work you can do, so it’s never boring. Plus, as a freelance career, you can do small and big projects, so it’s easier to sustain yourself.
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?
Some are. But I think “selling” the value of graphic design is part of a designer’s job profile. The trick is to be able to gauge whether the client is coming from a space of genuinely not knowing the value of good design, and hence the price it entails, or they’re just plain ignorant and unlikely to change their mindset.
Mac or PC?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Copywriters who wrote for vintage print ads. I’d love to know what they think of advertising now and how they would rise up to the challenge of an audience having a short attention span that’s overdosed with information.
What’s on your iPod?
Some indie music, some Bollywood tracks and Harry Potter audiobooks.
Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?
Twitter – mg_ccjd
Instagram – medhagupta7