Shashank Nimkar : Interview with a graphic designer / animator

Shashank Nimkar has just graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. Major in animation film design. Having a deep interest in craft since his childhood has inspired him to specialize in the technique of stop-motion animation. Nature, he believes is his biggest inspiration.

“I have been a craft lover ever since I can remember. The traditional method of creating something with hands, having various materials spread around, getting hands dirty with glue and the will to see something productive and innovative coming up keeps me going.”

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I have been creating things since my school days just for my creative-satisfaction and today I get paid for that. What else could be better. Living my dream.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I have just completed my B Des. studies from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have always been fond of tactile creations than virtual ones. The most challenging factor about such creations is that there is no ‘ctrl+Z’, and you can actually feel what you are creating. I started doing paper quilling six years back from now, after I completed my 10th grade. Soon I started making hand crafted illustrations(and products) that can be used for print and digital campaigns.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I have always been open to any source of inspiration and learning, hence, I consider anyone who is passionate about work and creates an admiring work as my role model.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
Considering my quilling work Yulia Brodskaya has been a major inspiration in terms of medium, though her style is very different than how I use quilling.

When did you start freelancing?
Majority of my projects are self-initiated. Since this medium is new in India, plus I am trying to do something unconventional in that medium; I first make creations that I can relate to then I make them public for people to imagine what all can be done with this medium.
I did something similar when I started out, back in first year during college’s annual festival in 2011. I made 65 unique designs of my signature Finger Buddies based on which I started freelancing and today clients approach me for such customized finger buddies for their brand or people buy it for themselves or as gifts.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
As long as I am doing craft, NO WAY. I have never been bored or tired of it. When I get into the phase of serious working I don’t even realise that I have been working for 6-8 hours continuously.

Tell us something about your stop-motion work…
To be honest, I had no clue what animation is all about when I opted for the course. I just saw it as an opportunity to keep doing craft. Seeing my craft coming to life in animation was a feeling of immense joy and inspiration, it was no more a static piece of art to be place in a showcase. Since I love exploring mediums, till now I have made four stop-motion short films as a part of academics and each of them uses a very different medium. And they all have been nominated at various film festivals.

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I do not have much experience with that. I have just started collaborating with clients. I work with anyone who knows the value of the work and understands how much efforts are put into it, even if the client is an individual and not a brand.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
I have just started to build my relations with clients so cannot say anything for now.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
I do not have any names in particular but I keep looking for good inspiring work every now and then.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
As of now I am one of those. But for those who are thinking about choosing a career and/or want to take their skills/hobbies into serious profession, I would just say that if you can’t live without art you should not live without it. Do what makes you happy and live your dream. And keep observing around, we are midst inspiration and opportunities.

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?
Yes, as many clients I have worked for they all have an understanding about the impact of design and the efforts put into making it. Also, they valued it well in terms of budget.

Mac or PC?
Frankly, doesn’t make much difference to me. Majority of my work is tactile.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Ummm… It’s a secret 😛 (just kidding, no such plans for now)

What’s on your iPod?
Complete Bollywood collection, from 90s to the latest. I am a big bollywood fan, Shuddh filmy. 😀