Designer Spotlight #01
A creative 21-year old designer from India shares his journey of how he became a designer & the lessons he learned during his journey
Q. Where are you from Vipul? And what’s your favorite place in your city?
I’m from Dhanera (Gujarat) but I currently live in Unjha (the biggest spice and cumin seed market in Asia). Shri Umiya Mataji Temple is my favorite place in Unjha where I visit often.
If you ask me my second favorite place then it would be my workspace as I love to spend time in front of my computer.
What led you into the world of design?
- After the 12th standard, I started my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at HNGU Patan. I totally wasted my first year of college watching movies, wandering with my friends, and sleeping the rest of the time (Went to college sometimes but I was suspended every time I go college). I ended up failing in 9 subjects in two semesters at the end of the first year.
- Failing in the first year of college led me to think of my wasted time. I thought about what I could have done in those 365 days. I was very disappointed with my habits and the things I was doing. I was losing my mind and had no control over it.
- During vacation, I thought about getting a job to get away from distractions. One day my cousin offered me a job at his printing press where I had to do photography and manage printing machines.
- During this job, I got introduced to graphic design which was the skill needed at the printing press. I learned graphic design tools with the help of Youtube and my teammates at Nagaraj Studio. I’m thankful to the Nagaraj Studio team for that. I started college again in Dhanera while doing a full-time job. I worked with some great local brands in 2.5 years of my job.
- I also got to know about freelancing. I started contacting small businesses and got few international clients. Once I completed my graduation I moved to Unjha to grow as a freelancer. Now I work as a full-time freelancer with my own rules and timing. Designing gave me the freedom to make my own decision and be financially independent.
What aspects of being a designer do you love the most?
Getting more creative day by day and learning new things and tools is what I like the most.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I look forward to every day. Every day is amazing and an opportunity to learn something new.
I don’t have a fixed routine but I wake up before 8 am and then do my morning activities. I start my work at around 9:30 am.
During this time, I work on local client projects. I cook food with my roommate at 12:30 pm (I only know how to make chapati so you know what I do).
After lunch, I take a 2 hours nap. After my nap, I work till 7 pm and then cook dinner.
After dinner, I work till late at night which includes freelancing and helping my friend in graphics for his web design projects. I feel productive and have no distractions while working at night. I go to bed around 2-3 am.
What is your current desk setup?
I have a simple and clean desk setup which includes an HP laptop (8GB ram, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD), AOC 27 Inch Monitor, Logitech M331 Mouse, HP Keyboard and papers/pencils for drawing.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I mostly look on Pinterest, Instagram, Dribbble, Logoinspirations for inspiration.
What tools do you use for designing?
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & Corel Draw for designing. I use ClickUp for project management.
What is the favorite work you ever created?
Every new design I create becomes my favorite so I can’t tell exactly but here’s some of my latest design work:
Which product did you discover recently that you love using?
I recently get to know about Figma, I’m learning it and loving it the way it works.
What challenges do you face as a designer?
Sometimes I get clients who say create the design by yourself and don’t give me any more details about what they exactly need. They say I like what you created for others, do it for me as well.
And after doing work, they ask for changes. In such cases, I face the challenge of balancing the client needs & my personal design preferences.
What music do you listen to while designing?
I mostly listen to soft music but sometimes Gujarati Garba songs (being a gujju, I do the Garba well) and Dayra as well. My favorite song is Tu Aake Dekhle by King.
Why did you choose to be part of the GridRule Academy?
I joined GridRule because I always look forward to improving my skills, creativity, and capabilities.
How would you describe your experience as a student of GridRule Academy?
I got to learn lots of things that were missing in my process of designing, I started implementing things that I was learning in the course. After completing the course, I’m more confident in creating something new and being creative.
Name the most valuable lesson you learned while taking your GridRule Academy course?
The most valuable lesson for me was how to get high-priced clients. It was game-changing for me as I started charging 1.5X now and am able to get really good clients who are very clear with what they need.
What is the #1 advice you would give to designers starting out today?
The #1 advice I would like to give to new designers is to be consistent with what you’re doing. Not getting clients? No problem. Take a random name and create a project around it. And then create a portfolio based on the project. Be active on social media (share your work) and on freelance sites.