Life of a Graphic Designer in India
Most of us are Engineers and Doctors. And professions in the commerce domain are gaining their popularity more than ever. In India, only these three are the endorsed careers, besides government jobs. Every person out of these vocations are considered as a loser. I am not against of anything, nor I am willing to prove anything. I am writing this article just because I thought we all know the stories of engineers and doctors. We know what made them choose their profession and how they reached there. And I respect all of them considering their hardwork and dedication.
But, far from the journeys of engineers and doctors, there are many other professions, if not the respect from society, they definitely gain a lot of adventure from their journey. This is a the story of a person, who chose “Arts” field to make his profession in. And this piece of writing is dedicated to all the people who decided to gain adventure instead of professional stability. And the next word after this sentence will be uttered by a Graphic Designer, Vijaykumar Dudhbhate.
Hello, I am Vijaykumar Dudhbhate. I am born in a village called Ashiv, located in Latur, Maharashtra, India.
Since I gained consciousness, I realized that I don’t have any special talent. Or frankly, I had nothing which could make me stand apart from the crowd. I was a lemon, not only among the kids, but in the opinions of parents too. My parents had nothing much to brag about me. Maybe because they sensed that I will never end up being an engineer or a doctor.
That was a tough period. Now, you must think that how does such things matter to a kid. But, the truth is kids too get upset, and the kids who can’t solve maths, can’t dance or sing, or draw things, or basically has nothing to gloat about, stay unhappy for the major part of their day. But, I had a great sense of humor, I still have. This was the reason why people liked me to have in their company. But, it was not enough to promise me a good future.
Speaking of kids, do you remember when you used to watch an actor do some stunts, you imagined yourself doing that. And in a trice, bringing yourself back into reality. Or, do you ever imagine yourself going in the past events and acting differently, to change its results. But after a while you force yourself not to do that, because it is never going to happen. I used to experience the same, when I used to dream of becoming Pilot or Astranout. Bringing myself back to the reality, because I didn’t have the qualities needed.
Why I decided to become an Artist
Well, back to the topic, there are two major reasons why I decided to become an artist. One is a part of my surroundings, and the other is a pure incidence.
For the first one, One of my best friend in childhood was very interested in things related to drawing and painting. So, I always saw him drawing or painting something. Whenever he watched something beautifully drawn, he used to compliment it. And he definitely wanted to study Arts. I was not interested to go in this domain, but I had this option open. It would have been very difficult for me to step into this, if nobody around me already had or wished to get in here.
You know, this type of things are very important in determining your path. Suppose, no one in your family or no one in your friends, or no one you know is a writer, it becomes very difficult for you to choose writing as a profession. And this is the reason why in India, people don’t respect artists. Because they don’t have any artist near them, and they don’t know, what it is to become one. Whereas in developed countries, there are music schools, dance schools, art schools, and people respect the students who go there. Because in their society the number of artists is not very lesser compared to engineers or doctors. Besides, this makes kids living there, comfortable to get in the occupations like this.
Well, again, back to our topic, my friend was going to study the deeper levels of Drawing and Painting. But, I had no inclination towards that.
One day on a notice board of school. I saw a note of 100 rs. And I was surprised why it was there. Then, one of my teacher, said that it’s not an original currency, but an painting/sketch. I was stunned by that. After a while I responded, “How’s this possible? This looks so real.” The teacher then said me that you are new to this thing, so it is looking real to you. But if you immerse into this field, you will be able to point hundreds of mistakes.
That was the incidence which made a very deep impact on me. This is not a big thing for all of you. But some little things do change our directions. And that was the time when I decided to learn more about drawing and painting.
My friend and me got admission for diploma in Drawing and Painting (ATD). That time I was not thinking of career opportunities. I started doing this to make myself better, and this made me to practice a lot. I used to do sketching early in the morning, that was the reason I started to wake up early. I used to go the public places to practice rapid sketches. I did a lot of landscaping too. And as I was getting better and better every day, I got addicted to it. And it made me to practice even more.
I completed my diploma (ATD). And got admitted to GD Arts to learn painting. Meanwhile, I met Thadkar Sir, who taught me in Diploma (ATD), and we had some discussion. He told me that he has Master’s in the same field, but still he is just working as a teacher. Because, market has no need for the handmade drawings or paintings. Hand made sketches or paintings costs thousands of rupees, but printed tings costs 10-20 rupees. And people go for cheaper things. Today market has changed and want results faster and cheaper. My other teacher, KB Shikhare (Internationally renowned artist) told me the same.
“Your knowledge will be the same, just you will have to hold mouse instead of a pencil or brush.”This changed my things in my life. That was the time when I started to think about market. I chose to digitalize my skills, especially because I wanted to work in movies in the future.
Then I did specialization in Graphics & Multimedia, I learned and practiced designing logos, wedding cards, story board, and then I moved to another level. I started designing web templates, mastered digital painting and also began to design commercial magazines.
What We Do
People around me often don’t know what exactly we do, and what do we learn for years in college.
To start with, we know a lot about humans. We have learned the human anatomy of different regions. We know the movements of body parts, when we eat, walk, run, or jump.
We have studied about everything that we can see, and how our mind reacts to it. Whenever people see an amazing site, they enjoy. We enjoy it first, and then find the reason why we are enjoying it. We study about colors, people think there are seven colors, but we use infinite shades. We know what color you want to see when you wake up, and when you want to sleep. We know what picture companies should display in ads, so that people connects to it.
We don’t make people’s life more comfortable as the technologists do. But we surely make people’s life beautiful. We learn about the shapes and sizes. Everything that you could see in your phone is desined by us. The apps you use. The photos you like on social media. The games you play. The cover pages of your fav books are designed by us. We have our contribution everywhere.
We get a lot of respect in the corporate world, because we put their ideas into images. And we have a very bright future, as there is no limit for a designer to learn and create new things. Just like Creativity has no end, the designer’s path has no end.
But in India, people don’t know about us. They don’t respect us, like they respect the people from other occupations. Whenever we say we are designers, they hear “Poor people with no future.” But, they don’t know that everything they see, is created by us. The movies they like, are the work done by designers like us. Well, here I am talking about the visualizers, that’s where I want to go in future.
Many people think, in movies most of the work must be done with the cameras. But, the things that cameras can’t capture are created by us. Capturing things with cameras is the first step, modifying it according to our creativity is next work.
A Message to the Graphic Designers
I am seeing a lot of competition in my field. There is a lot to learn. I see many people around me who learned to operate designing software from youtube, and dream to do a profession in this. But, they must also learn very basic things like Principles (Alignment, Proximity, Hierarchy, Contrast, Repetition, Balance) and Elements of Graphics (Line, Colour, Value Texture, Size, Shape, Space). These things will alow them to understand things in a profound way. Also, they must learn to use upgraded software and devices. They should walk alongside with the market. For instance, most of the designers don’t know about the UI/UX, which may give a very huge advantage to their career. They must also learn to operate high tech devices like graphic tablets. These things can add more orientations to their creativity.
Most of the artists like me, often quit this industry because this industry doesn’t reward quickly. But, I think they should always believe in their dreams. Some people do make their fortune very quickly, and some have to wait for a long time. But, this is why we like this thing. Because of its uncertainty. We like surprises. That’s why we surprise everyone with our talent. And our fortune will surprise us, at the most unexpected time.