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Be a Skill Specialist or Try Hands on Everything?

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Ranganath Krishnamani
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You must have tried your hands on many different projects to harness different skill sets but it can be a problem when it comes to choosing between skill specialist or try hands on everything possible. Experience Designer and Illustrator Ranganath Krishnamani shares his view to bring more clarity on the topic.

Creativity is like a continuous journey and change is constant in the digital world. The key to success is to understand that one needs to be flexible and become a specialist generalist—what I mean is of having an understanding and working knowledge of key areas that relate to your core skills.

Personally, I characterise myself as a specialist generalist. I get bored doing the same thing all the time and enjoy the challenge of being thrown into something totally new. I like seeing how seemingly disparate things relate to one another. Dipping my toes into various media and skillsets that affect how I bring the idea to life. This could mean going from UX work-flows to putting together an animation of the experience to bring it to life, or it could be coming up with a communication campaign.

“Design is an intricate process. In order to create the best possible solution, it helps to have a more conceptual understanding of all facets of the industry and how they fit together. If you’re a UI designer, then knowing how a user interacts with a touch device compared to a pointing device and what that means to your design is a relatable skill.”

The good part about the creative industry is that it offers so many learning opportunities every time you start on a new project. You could go from being somebody who is specialised in working on graphic icons to becoming involved in conceptualising, storyboarding, animating as soon as you start collaborating with others.

For me being creative is not a job of 9 to 5, you don’t stop doing it when you go home. It’s a career that’s a bit obsessive. It’s with you all the time and you start to make these connections when you are at the shower, waiting at a traf c signal or watching a wonderful sunset from your window.

Anything and everything can inspire you, and that creative restlessness in you pushes you to learn to make things out of nothingness. It’s the absolute joy of the job that you can start your day staring at a blank page and by the end of the day end up with an idea made up of words, visuals and code. Core skills combined with a generalised approach will be the way forward.

Published in Issue 32

Graduate Career Special! If you are a recent graduate or about to finish your college then this issue may have answers to many of your questions. Like, how to get the best placement or the internship? How to present best in front of the interviewer? Which studio or agency to choose to start your career? How to work in a team or choose to be a freelancer? This issue has advice from many experts such as Ashwini Deshpande and Gopika Chowfla who gave the secrets of choosing the right intern for their well-known design teams. And on another hand, Rajaram Rajendran and Ranganath Krishnamani advise young designer to gain multiple skills and be the best at them. Also, recent MIT Post Graduate Vinta Jakkal shares her secret with which she grabbed the great opportunity of joining the Elephant Design, Pune team to start her career.

 

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