Starting from scratch isn’t that big a deal. Putting in your hundred percent, grabbing the right opportunities and administering patience go a long way in the evolutionary development of an idea. Gopika Chowfla shares her insight about the same.
After her graduation, choosing to work between 2 design studios and an ad agency to practice her learnings, Gopika joined the ad industry to do what she loved- illustration, logos, typography, poster making, packaging design and photography and was mentored by amazingly creative people at work like Frank Simoes and Mohammed Khan.
In 1996 when the market was changing, print media took a back seat and film was reigning supreme. Being driven by the desire to be innovative and creative, she was not inspired by what she was doing and wanted to get into the realm of design. This gave birth to Gopika Chowfla Design. Gopika Chowfla Design has evolved organically without much of a business plan or charting of a growth curve. The two driving forces for Gopika were enjoying the work she does and working with people who have the same motivation.
A studio with the approach of making the clients’ job as owner and this has helped establish long-term relationships with clients. Believing in a work ethic that is cooperative and in creating an environment that enables people to work and create in an engaging and supportive way, Gopika has always treated the workspace as a place of learning design as well as life skills.
Her workspace is her life with her own children growing up around here and her colleague’s kids as well. Here, personal issues become shared events and everyone is welcome to bring their lives into this work space. Gopika is proud of having created a space that has welcomed and nurtured as well as been enriched by some of the most talented and wonderful people. The result of this is evident in the output of the studio and the fact that people who have worked here never really leave.
Growth and Expansion
Gopika Chowfla Design was started as a dominantly print design studio but soon branding was their core strength. Getting into the digital space became essential and started extending their design services to web interfaces, primarily as an integral part of developing the total brand architecture as they like to approach brand development in as holistic a manner that they can.
Finding something exciting that challenges creatively, works as a starting point and is then executed in a manner that is fresh, logically thought out and beautifully designed. When Gopika Chowfla Design was setup, clients typically engaged their advertising agencies for their brand and design-related jobs and these were done at very low fees by the agencies. So convincing a client to actually pay a proper fee to an independent design studio came with its own challenges. But soon enough a client recognized the value of engaging a designer for design specific projects as they got better, more specialized inputs. Seek clients who respect your work and give room to do what you do well.
A Positive Outlook
Taking the challenges in a positive light as something new to tackle has never been a struggle to move forward. It rather is an enjoyable journey with plenty of interesting co-travellers and many important milestones. With a young and agile team, we try and keep pace with changes that happen around us and respond accordingly. With social media being such an important part of communication and marketing, are into that area too.
Loving what we do and letting the designers at Gopika Chowfla Design take charge of the assignments they are working on is Gopika Chowfla Design’s secret to achieve everything that they wish for. Making tow of her designers as partners. Gopika wishes to transform it into a cooperative where everyone is an owner, contributes to the earnings and takes a share of the profits.
Clients respect your work only if you respect it yourself. Figure out what you want your brand to stand for, be true to it. Don’t chase the money, go after the ideas and do great work and the money chases you! Surround yourself with talent and feed off it, so that it keeps you going when you feel like you’re drying up. Enjoy yourself, there couldn’t be a more fun job in the world – than as a designer.
Published in Issue 44
Behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.