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Passionate about art, here’s how this ACFA alumnus went on to run his own graphic design company

Apeejay College of Fine Arts alumnus Chander Kant says a good aesthetic sense and knowledge of the latest trends are crucial to becoming a good graphic designer

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Chander Kant, who completed his graduation from Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), discovered his latent interest in art back in school; an artist in his neighbourhood was his first mentor of sorts. After years of training, the Jalandhar-based alumnus is now a graphic designer who runs his own company called Adfix. Kant, who leads a small team of young artists, has only one motto—to promote unrestrained creativity to produce quality work. In an interview, Kant talks about his entrepreneurial journey, the much-needed qualities of a graphic designer, and more. Read on:

What memories do you have of ACFA? What did you learn?

I had been interested in art right from my school days. At ACFA, I was finally able to fulfill my dream of pursuing the subject I liked. There is a lot I learned from the professors there. We were encouraged to explore our creativity and innovate; we went on field trips including visits to printing units. We learned a great deal about photography and videography as well. Besides, I participated in various competitions, including one at the national level. The institute gave us so much exposure that over time, I gained confidence and felt like I was prepared to step into the professional world.

How did your interest in art develop?

When I was in school, there was an artist who lived in our neighbourhood. I often watched him paint while walking past his house and that fascinated me. Gradually, I started spending time with him on a regular basis. I took my drawings to him to get his feedback. He also took me to some art exhibitions. By the time I was in the tenth standard, I participated in some local-level competitions. Art felt like my calling and that is when my neighbourhood mentor guided me about the career prospects in this field. Soon, I began to train under other locally known artists too. I took up Arts after class 10. Meanwhile, I took computer tutorials as well. That is when somebody suggested I join ACFA.

What inspired you to pursue graphic design as a career?

I started my artistic journey with manual painting and sketching. But with time, I learned how to translate my artistic ideas digitally—it was something I began enjoying more. During the course of my graduation, I became all the more sure of choosing graphic design as my career path.

Tell us about your journey once you completed your graduation from ACFA.

My first job, which I bagged during campus placements, was that of a graphic designer at Evergreen Publications India Ltd, in Jalandhar. I was associated with the company for four years after which I moved to Lovely Group as Creative Head for branding. In a few years, I was diagnosed with a health issue. I started freelancing with some international companies. With more projects coming in, I went on to establish my company called Adfix in 2018, in Jalandhar. Currently, I am working with a team of 15 people, and we are handling the projects of at least 30-40 brands at the local, national, and international levels.

I also completed my master’s degree in Applied Arts from ACFA between 2019-21; I topped the college and won a gold medal.

How fulfilling or challenging has the experience been at Adfix?

There were many challenges initially, no doubt—I invested all my savings in the company, so the stakes were high. Having said that, I feel a great sense of satisfaction to have been able to establish a flexible and comfortable working studio different from a conventional workplace—where my team can break away from their creative shackles and give their best.

Were there challenges in the pandemic?

Fortunately, we were able to create a seamless remote working environment. Of course, the projects slumped but we continued to maintain a good relationship with the clients. As a result, we were able to bounce back without much difficulty.

How does one become an efficient graphic designer?

Stay true to your work and invest enough time in any organisation you work with. Second, you should develop a good sense of aesthetics. One problem that the youth face today is the urgency to become all-rounders and, in turn, their knowledge about things remains patchy—they are not able to devote time to honing one particular skill at a time. Graphic designing comprises several sub-categories. You have to identify your area of strength and focus your efforts on it—only then will you be able to make your mark.

You mention the importance of aesthetics. How does one build on it?

You need practice. Observe your surroundings, listen to experts, and keep regular track of the latest trends in design. This sense of aesthetics need not be limited to your work but can become an integral part of your life.  

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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