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‘Failures inspire you to succeed,’ says Dubai-based Designer

Apeejay Institute of Design alumna Revati Anilkumar Patil believes taking risks helps creative professionals carve out their niche



Revati Anilkumar Patil’s graphic design journey started with Apeejay Institute of Design (AID) in 2009 and her professional journey started in 2012 with an internship at Ogilvy Delhi. After interning for nine months at Ogilvy, she eventually got hired as a visualiser in the creative department. “I worked on various brands like BMW, MINI and incredible India creating their campaigns and creative deliverables.” After 2 years, she decided to go for an MA in Graphic Design from the Netherlands. Simultaneously, she took up an internship opportunity in the Netherlands at a design studio called Studioduel, where she worked for the royal family of the Netherlands. ”I also got an opportunity to display my work at the Stedelijk Museum in Breda when I was pursuing my masters.”

In 2017, Revati moved to Germany where she worked for several global organisations like Bragi, Havas Germany and H.W Design over the span of 4 years as an Art Director. Then in 2021 she joined Memac Ogilvy in Dubai. These days, Revati is working at Nomads in Dubai as an Art director on various brands like Pepsico Arabia, Seiko and Frigidaire. In an interview, the AID-alumna talks about her learning experiences. Edited excerpts: 

Did you always want to be a creative person when you were young? How did you choose this career?

Creativity was always part of my life. While I was growing up, I got trained in Jaipur Gharana of Kathak dance. I also learned the art of flower making and sketching. Academically, engineering and medicine were the only options in high school and I chose the latter (also to calm down my parents). However, since the time I was 11 years old, I knew I wanted to pursue design. So I gave the entrance exam of design along with medicine and engineering. I got into medicine and design but again this was the time to make a choice for my career ahead. And this is how my beautiful journey of graphic design started.

Why did you choose AID and what are the key takeaways from the institute?

At that time, very few institutes were offering professional degree courses in design along with the professors having knowledge and exposure in the field of design. AID is a perfect blend of both. Hence, I decided to go ahead and complete my professional degree from the institute. AID has developed me holistically. The principles of design have been imbibed in me so strongly that these help me in my work till date.

You have studied and worked in different countries. What are your learnings? Any interesting anecdotes you still cherish?

There have been many but to shortlist a few, the top three will be to read a lot of books (any genre), ask infinite questions and stay curious because creative development lies in real life and not in the virtual world. Also, don’t forget to take risks because without that carving your own niche is difficult. Interestingly, I remember all the times when I failed to learn all the above learnings.

Having worked with renowned advertising firms, how can design and advertising go hand in hand?

Design and advertising are separated by a very thin line. But at the same time, you can gain knowledge in both and move forward. The key is to have conceptual thinking and knowledge about the target audience. Moreover, whether it’s design or advertising, it’s imperative to have a solution-oriented attitude to a given problem. Lastly, never think about the result but enjoy the process to be a successful art director/ designer.

Two quick tips for the aspirants to upskill their traits?

Soft skills over hard skills: Focus on becoming a good human being first than learning software. This will make you stand out in any organisation. The key learnings of life are learnt from interacting with real people and experiencing real life experiences.

Don’t be afraid to fail: Failure is often considered a taboo in our society, but it’s the most beautiful thing to happen to a human being. It inspires you to succeed. It carves your way ahead and every single time teaches you something that no school/university can teach you.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay Newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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