This week I had an inspiring interview with the Indian designer Supratim Nayak. I urge you to stop with what you currently are doing and to take the time to read this interview. Hope you enjoy this interview.
Welcome to Iconpaper Supratim. Would you please introduce yourself to our Iconpaper followers?
Hi Gert! I’m pleased to be interviewed by Iconpaper. I basically belong to Sambalpur, located in the state of Orissa, India. I am 21 now and I have been designing graphics for around 3.5 years.
Where did you learn your skills? Where do your creative instincts come from?
I have a major in Electronics and Communication Engineering. But my passion for designing directed me to choose it as a career. I used to download stuff, customize my desktop, and admire it, before I touched Photoshop. The strong desire to create something awesome, all by myself, made me what you see today. Over time, I have always tried to sharpen my designing skills.
Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Supratim Nayak?
I am currently in the final semester of Graduation. The first half of the day belongs to classes, and the second to designing. The weekends are reserved for movies and trips to interesting places with lovely landscape.
Altough Iconpaper is a website dedicated to Mac, iPhone and iPad customization, I really wanna know the answer to my next question from you as a designer. Are you a Mac or a PC and of course why?
I use a Macbook. The reason is simple: Its User Experience and support for designing applications. The OS itself sometimes acts as an inspiration.
What design tools do you use and can you explain your choice? Which tools would you suggest to fellow designers?
I use Photoshop and Illustrator for Visual Design and Dreamweaver / Coda for occassional front-end coding. I am in love with Photoshop. It is a dynamic application and is perfect for any kind of visual design. Combined with Trackpad’s multi-touch, the experience becomes wonderful. I would suggest budding designers to at least master Photoshop in the beginning.
Where do you get your inspiration from or go for inspiration? And how do you deal with creative blocks?
I generally go to Dribbble, deviantART and Behance for inspiration. I generally try and design things by starting off with spontaneous sketches, and finish it in digital form straightaway. If the process gets interrupted in between and I find it hard to solve, I generally take a break, like watch a movie, eat something delicious or go for a walk. These things always fill you up with new energy.
What are your favorite online design resources?
Talking of online design resources, I think this color schemes tool is awesome for its purpose: http://colorschemedesigner.com/
Though I have a collection of fonts in my HD, sometimes I have to browse the web for a specific kind of font. I refer to myfonts.com or dafont.com in that case.
What’s your typical design process when designing an icon or icon set? And what makes a good icon or icon set in your opinion?
I always start off a typical icon with a pack of sketches, out of which I choose one, and proceed with vectorizing, polishing and retouching it (though the final design can be strikingly different from the sketch, I usually put all thoughts in the initial sketches, so the following processes become simpler).
In my opinion, a good icon is one with a very strong theme, wise use of colors and it is easily identifiable as a metaphor for what it is meant to be used for. You should be able to use it wherever it is needed, without hesitation. Visually, an icon that lies right in between a pictogram and a real object radiates the strongest message.
How long do you spend on average creating an icon? What are the factors that contribute to how long you spend creating an icon or icon set?
The time spent is directly proportional to the requirements. It can range from a couple of hours to a couple of days. The visual details, platforms of use and various sizes add up to the time spent.
What other things do you do besides designing icons?
I also design Graphical User Interfaces like application interfaces and website layouts. I can also design logos and T-Shirt graphics, if needed.
Most designers have unusual quirks. For instance I find the best collaborator is myself and often talk to myself to brainstorm ideas and solutions. What are your quirks?
Cool, we share the same approach then. I always try to interact with myself for ideas. I ask opinions only on the finalized designs or options. I believe that this helps in retaining the originality of a design.
Quick Fire Five:
• Forrst or Dribbble? Dribbble
• Comic Sans, Love it or hate it? Haha, hate it
• Hand drawn or Digital? Digital
• Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
• Design for Life or Design for Pleasure? Both
I follow you for quite some time and I think your work is great and inspiring. What do you think is your best work (so far) and why?
Thanks for the kind words. I think my best work as of now is the mascot ‘Bald Bandit’. The concept came into my mind all of a sudden, and I started working on it. I love it because it is funny, relaxing and has its own style.
What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I work for Directi (a company located at Mumbai, India), as a fulltime Graphic Designer now. I aim at expanding my skills to everything associated with User Experience and User Interface design. I see myself as an Art Director or UX expert after 10 years.
Can you tell us who your favorite designer is and please tell us what’s so special about him/her?
I am not sure about a single designer but I am a huge fan of the firm ‘Turbomilk’. They are very versatile and always come out with wonderful stuff.
Please tell us what’s the last song you’ve listened to, the last movie you’ve watched and last videogame you’ve played or we should listen, watch or play and do you have any good tips for us?
Can you tell us something about your experience with commercial projects?
Initially I had to reject projects because I didn’t have the time to allocate. I had just recovered from a surgery when I started getting commercial projects, and had some other things to take care of, like college, exams, etc. But after a few months, I got involved in some projects by Icondock and Webiconset. I was hired by Directi soon after that and I work fulltime for them now.
Thanks again for providing Iconpaper with the opportunity to interview you. Can you at last share some pearls of wisdom for up and coming designers in the field.
Congratulations to the budding designers first, for choosing something they really love to do! Design is a very dynamic and exciting field; so you ought to keep yourself updated about trends, styles etc. I would suggest them to spend a lot of time to think, sketch and analyse how their final designs are going to look like. Yes, it matters a lot. Break the rules, use the weirdest of thoughts. But at the same time, you need to make them usable as well. Don’t be afraid, folow your instincts.