Fall in line

The lowdown

Applied art or commercial art is used to convey a message. It could mean informing readers about the miracles of an anti-ageing cream creatively with a beautiful illustration featured in an advertisement. Designers might also have to simplify and explain a complex process — say how the human body reacts to a certain medicine, making a user-friendly map for easy navigation. They might have to create logos highlighting the vision and mission of an organisation, or an amusing animation film or posters around a theme. Artists have to make illustrations or graphics manually or use specific design software such as Coreldraw or Adobe. It’s all about creating interesting visuals to give life to a story or an advertisement. He/she is responsible for creating design solutions that have a high visual impact. Designs are required for websites, advertising, books, magazines, newspapers, posters, computer games, product packaging, exhibitions and displays, and all types pf communications etc

6.30am: Get up and go for a walk in the park where I get ideas related to my work by observing the birds, animals and people around me
7.30am: Return home, get ready and have breakfast
9am: Leave for office
9.30am: Make a to-do list
2pm: Choose to have a working lunch during which I browse the net to keep myself updated, reply to emails
5.30pm: Finish work
6.30pm: Head back home and go for yoga classes
8.30pm: Freshen up, play music, have dinner, sit with a book or watch TV

The payoff
Money is not a constraint for deserving candidates. Once you have proven your mettle, you can expect good money in the market. Money at the start, however, is not very good. You can get anything between R10,000 per month to Rs. 2.5 crore for creating a logo. A good designer designs his or her own growth by evolving with changing times and trends. The sky is the limit commercially for the deserving

* Oodles of creativity and imagination
* Has to be tech savvy
* Should be able to feel the pulse of society and should have a fair idea of what will work
* Research-oriented, unbiased and devoted to work

Getting there
After Class 12, you should go for a bachelor of fine arts programme in applied art, painting, animation or visual communication or even sculpture, depending on your interests and abilities. These programmes will be available at any college of art in your city. The well-known National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, also trains commercial artists. The entry process usually involves an aptitude test. Many private institutes and academies, too, run relevant courses

Institutes and URLs
* College of Art, Delhi University www.du.ac.in
* Sir JJ School of Art and Sir JJ School of Applied Art, Mumbai  www.mu.ac.in/colleges/finearts/mumbai.html
* Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi                www.bhu.ac.in
* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad   www.nid.edu/education/graduate-diploma-programme-in-design/graphic-design/p-overview

Pros and cons
* Plenty of career avenues 
* You may have to work 24/7
* If self-employed or freelancing, may have to run after payments

People with a genuine interest in art should enter this field. Quality work and good business strategy can take you places -- Deelip Khomane, veteran graphic designer and creative consultant at Ogilvy in Mumbai


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