A podcast about all things art & design — why design matters, the impact of art, the business of design, creative confidence and freelancing.
In this podcast we take a deeper dive into different aspects of art & design, the nitty gritties of what makes a good designer, how to find your creative voice and more through candid conversations between our host, Srini — a product designer and our guests from all walks of the creative field.
Shaytvan is a Freelance Illustrator from Hyderabad who creates super intricate artworks about a diverse range of topics like mental health, mythology, pop culture, social stigmas, and music. He has a super raw and authentic style of art and he never misses to tell a compelling story through his artworks. In this episode, we talked about his journey as an illustrator in all its glorious details from the first time he remembers sketching to where he is as an artist right now. We went on to discuss in detail the impact of the stories he heard growing up, comics, and mythology on his artworks and tone of expression. We also talked about why it's bad to trace/copy other artists' work when starting out, the importance of telling a raw story, how to deliberately practice to get better as an artist, and a lot of other tips for budding illustrators. In the "Make The Logo Bigger" section of this episode, Shaytvan talked about how frustrating it is to work with clients who always act like they know better than the artist and the difference between working with clients who trust you and give you the freedom to do your job vs the clients who don't. He also stressed on how clients need to respect the artist's work and thinking when working with one and why that brings out the best results. Shaytvan is by far one of the most passionate and talented people I've ever had a creative conversation with. He's filled with a ton of knowledge and is super energetic as a person. You can find more of his work on Instagram and Behance @shaytvan
Mrigya Varma is a graphic designer and a digital artist from Delhi, currently pursuing her final year in Graphic design at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Mrigya creates amazing artworks on her Instagram account @mrigyaavarma centered around hip-hop and culture. In this episode — we talked about Mrigya's journey as a designer, was attending a design college worth it?, how Srishti created an environment that promotes creativity, how to stay motivated and focused on your own journey and stop comparing our work to others', how to overcome imposter syndrome, the good and bad of posting your work on social media, how to stay true to yourself as an artist without getting lost in the metrics, how to plan and sell artworks online and we also talked a little bit about our common love for hip-hop. In the 'Make The Logo Bigger' section of this episode, Mrigya talked about how clients need to be considerate of the process and respect the designer for the design choices he/she makes and how design is so much more than visuals slightly also touching upon the never on-time payments. Check out Mrigya's artworks on her Instagram page @mrigyaavarma and DM her to order yourself some of her awesome prints :') Also check out her Behance profile @mrigyavarma to see more of her work.
Trish Willard is a visual designer from Washington, DC — specializing in UI/UX design for interactive web products. She worked with organizations like aids.gov and the national cancer institute of USA to build products that educate and help people. She also occasionally writes about things like imposter syndrome and how to design better products on Medium. In this episode we talked about her journey as a designer, we talked about the details of some of the projects that she's worked on, somethings that she and her team kept in mind while designing an app to help people quit smoking, how to approach a project from the usability and ease of use stand point when redesigning the UI & UX of a product, we spoke in detail about imposter syndrome and why it's so prevalent in the design industry, we spoke about "the UX uncanny valley" which is a blog post Trish wrote about how sometimes in products lack of friction in doing a task can sometimes cause confusion to the users and how to deliberately design products that make the users feel safe and in control. Stick around till the end to hear about her cat, Loki :')
Reach out to Trish on Twitter @mukumushi and check out her work at www.trishwillard.com
Rahul Chakraborty is a Senior Product Designer at Swiggy who previously worked at companies like Flipkart and Headout. Rahul is also a great photographer who consistently shares his pictures with the world on Unsplash and he's as involved as anyone can ever be in every design related community and conversation. In this episode we talk about his journey as a designer, his early influences, the difference in work between a junior designer, a senior designer and a lead designer, how a junior designer can take up more projects than what he/she is responsible for to build leverage and grow as a designer, what are some things that Rahul and his team are working at Swiggy to decrease the decision paralysis caused by too many available options, his journey of actively participating in design conversations and being active in the community and some tips for people starting out as product designers. In the "Make The Logo Bigger" section of this episode, Rahul spoke about the problem of having too many opinions on your work and how to effectively give and receive feedback and the importance of feedback. Stay tuned till the end to learn why his website is called "dsintheta.com" and definitely check out his design experiments on Instagram @madebyrahul and also follow him @hckmstrrahul to keep yourself updated about the new things in the design community.
Links mentioned and provided by Rahul:
1. Product Design roles and their definitions at Intercom:
2. IC vs Management track:
3. Key things to keep in mind at the beginning your design career:
4. Open source brand design for Simple:
5. Daniel's podcast by High Resolution:
6. Personal plug:
Apurva is a hand-lettering artist from Chandigarh currently pursing her final year in fine arts. Even though her work mainly revolves around hand-lettering, she also creates beautiful collages, surreal paintings and super cute illustrations. She is also a singer and she plays both the Guitar and the Ukulele. In this episode we talk about her journey as an artist and her early influences. We talked about how she manages to excel at so many different facets of art and how she consciously practices all these different forms of art while consistently sharing them online. Then we took a deeper look into her process of creating these beautiful hand-lettering pieces that she creates and where she gets her inspiration from. We also talked about her miniature book hand-lettering pieces, practicing gratitude towards the people who inspire her, her take on how people who're starting out as an illustrator or a digital artist should go about it and what are some things to keep in mind while exploring different styles of art and finding your voice as an artist. We also touched upon how important posting consistently on social media is and talked a little bit about her journey over the past 5 years that she's been sharing her works on Instagram. In the "Make The Logo Bigger" section of this episode, Apurva talked about how clients need to be more trusting of the artist in the process and the kind of design decisions that they make. She went on to talk more about how people need to respect what the artist does and the amount of practice that went into what they do and not just say, "oh, even I could do this" because as simple as the final result may look, that could only be achieved through years of practice and hours/days of trying out different things. Definitely check out her Instagram page @artbyapu for some super positive hand-lettering pieces :')
Anurag Arora is a product designer at Uber who also loves cooking amazing food in his free time. He's one of the team members who built the Uber lite app and was a former product designer at Twitter. Anurag is someone who looks at things in their simplest form and constantly questions how to make things better. In this episode, we talk about his journey as a designer—his early ventures in design, his first design gig, his pivot into product design, his early design life at Twitter & his move to Uber. We also talked about what an ideal portfolio should look like for someone who's starting out, whether it's better to work at a product based company or a design agency for their first job, how to go about learning and practicing product design and how to always have sight of the big picture without getting lost in the details. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode Anurag talked about how people seem to form opinions about the products that they use and create judgments about these products without trying to understand all the thinking and nuances that go behind making design decisions. Definitely look up Anurag at @anuragarorra on Instagram from some incredible food porn!
King Sidharth is an entrepreneur, product manager and a public speaker. He currently handles product and design for Headout. He runs a podcast called "Anamorphic", and he is also the author of the "64 notes" blog. Apart from this, he also runs a YouTube channel named after him, where he talks about personal branding, personal finances, product design and he frequently goes live reviewing portfolios of young and upcoming designers. In this episode, Sidharth and I talk about his journey as a designer, what's something that's very clear to him about product design that others seem to have a hard time with, how does patch work design work in the product design space, how to approach UX as a beginner to product design, how to make your good case study — way better, how to measure the quantitative and qualitative results of your hypothetical product design, how to conduct effective user interviews, how to go about user personas and about the things to keep in mind for freelance product designers. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode, Sidharth talks about how non-designers give out opinions about certain products confusing their experience with expertise and how people need to be more curious to understand why certain design decisions have been made and the data that backs it up. Stay till the end to hear the story of how Sidharth came up with his infamous Instagram username, "King Sidharth" and how it stuck on!
Shaun D'sa is the creative director of Whoa Mama design studio in Chennai. He is also an artist who possesses an undying love towards bikes and creating terrariums. In this episode, Shaun and I talked about how he found his calling in design, his initial days as a graphic designer, how he co-founded Whoa Mama, and what "momentum of the restless' means to him. We also talked about how it's better for someone who's starting out as a designer to work in a creative agency than to freelance, what are some things that Whoa Mama looks at in someone's portfolio before they hire them and how to design an effective brand identity. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode, Shaun talked about how clients need to listen more with intention — as the designer is educating them of the choices he made and the impact of those choices. Stay till the end to find out why Shaun takes his fitness very seriously and how it helps him be more creative and hey! if you'd like to check out some of his work, definitely look him up on Instagram @shaundsa and also check out Whoa Mama's page @whoamamadesign /disclaimer: this episode was recorded over a phone call unlike the other episodes because of some technical difficulties so please cut me some slack yeah? love y'all/
Dhruv Mehta is a graphic designer from Delhi who's also an artist and a music producer. In this episode, Dhruv and I talk about his creative journey as a graphic designer & how his interest in music and art catalyzes his creativity. We also talked about how he went from creating fan art for Adidas to actually being commissioned by Adidas and how his interest in Fashion took him forward to designing the music and visuals for The Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. In addition to that, we also talked about how hip-hop influences his work, how he found his unique style and voice as a creator, how important personal branding is, how to never settle and always keep evolving, how to build your confidence to charge more and how relevant hype and design are in our culture. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode, Dhruv talked about how to avoid bad clients by identifying the red flags and how important communication is between designers and clients. Stay tuned till the end to find out why he calls himself Droveumad on Instagram and hey! if you'd like to check out some of his work, definitely look him up on Instagram @droveumad or at www.dhruvmehta.xyz
Siddharth T, is a graphic designer from Chennai. He's the creative director and editor of the Madras Art & Architecture Magazine. Apart from designing identities he also loves capturing intimate moments with his camera and playing music. In this episode, Sid and I talk about the journey he went through to become a designer, how his initial projects were and how much he charged for it, how to build the confidence to charge more for your design work, how to deal with imposter syndrome and a lot of other stuff. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode, Sid talked about how clients need to learn how to critic the work you submit them and how everyone needs to develop this skill of giving effective feedback and criticism. Stay tuned till the end to find out why he calls himself Feet Candy on Instagram and hey, if you'd like to check out his work definitely look him up on Instagram @feet_candy
Swathi Singh is a full-time freelance designer from Chennai who's also an artist, a photographer and an environmentalist. In this episode, Swa and I talk about her creative journey as a graphic designer & her family's influence on her creativity. We also explored topics like how anybody who's interested can start their journey towards being a designer, social media, creative block, clients, and a lot of other fun stuff. In the Make The Logo Bigger section of this episode, Swathi talked about how clients should give more weight to the suggestions of the designer with respect to the design direction of projects and how it should be based on research, the client's target market and the current design trends instead of their personal preferences and liking. To check out Swathi's work, you can find her on Instagram @swatcantsingh Website: www.swathi-singh.com Her course is called "Beginner's guide to Graphic Design" on www.unschool.in