After working for some of India’s top advertising agencies such as Mudra, Rediffusion, Ray and Keshavan, she launched her own design space, Grubleen, which is an anagram of blue and green. Mena has also developed her own design philosophy called ‘in-space’ design. So what exactly is it, we ask her. “It is a combination of painting, mural, graphic design, print and sometimes, a sculpture to make a unifying whole. It combines the architect or interior designers’ vision with the owners’ preferences to create an aesthetic and functional space.” Mena and her team work to create and lend a handcrafted, individualistic touch to a space.
How to prepare
The first thing that you need to do is develop an interest in art. This does not mean you should know oil painting or sculpture. It means you must love to draw, and have reasonable skill at sketching.
You also must have an eye for spotting art which means you should be able to see beautiful things even in the seemingly mundane-like old streets and shops.
Always carry a small sketchbook to constantly jot down ideas or sketches.
5 tips to hone your skills
Learn photography as it’s a great tool to be able to get your own shot exactly the way you imagined it.
Keep an eye on current trends. If your school or society has cultural events, take part. You will learn a lot by just being in a team that has to organise an event.
Learn some basic web language such as HTML, XHTML, CSS. It’s good to know some amount of web language to be able to code a site.
Learn to speak good English. You will be surprised to know what a different impression it makes.
Get an internship, however small. There’s a lot to be learned in an office environment even if you are not allowed to really do anything.
What next after a degree?
If you are good at your work, and have a degree from a good college, getting a job is not difficult. Most advertising agencies offer placements on campus. It helps if you have done an internship/summer trainee course with an agency earlier. You can expect to start as a trainee art director in an advertising agency or a design firm. And if you are inclined towards photography and have majored in it, you could join a film directors’ office. You could also work as a layout and features designer at periodical publications.
Mena adds, “Regardless of where you join, you will be expected to work as an assistant for a couple of years after college. But this is a field where talent and hard work pay. Once you prove yourself, moving higher up and getting paid well are relatively easy. This is a field for young, adventurous, creative people. The long hours are offset by the fun you can have at work.”
BDST: 1519 HRS, Oct-02, 2013