India’s gig economy has boomed in the last three-five years. So much so, that ‘one in every four freelancers are from India’ (Business Today). You have also freelanced in Singapore. Did you find any major differences in the way of working between the two?
There’s some incredible work coming out of both India & Singapore. Over time people have and are still becoming more and more accustomed to the idea of working with freelancers as compared to not trusting an individual(s) over an agency.
In terms of the ecosystem that I operated within in each of those places, i.e., the people, the culture, the political climate, they’re both vastly diverse experiences but the process of interacting with the client first-hand and going about the project as I would has mostly depended on the client and project and not so much the place. However, one major difference is the price point, people in India are still getting used to the idea of paying for quality design – despite seeing the value in good design and knowing that it is effective and necessary, they might be averse to actually paying for it. Singapore is definitely more evolved in that aspect.
Have you seen any recent design and creative trends that are India-specific?
I see a lot of maximal and detailed work coming out of India as compared to the wave of minimalism that had once gained a lot of popularity. There are more and more designers who are experimenting with typography and exploring 3D softwares.
You’ve got a strong presence on Instagram. How do you use it to market yourself and do you have any advice for other creatives looking to make the most of the channel?
In a dynamic, saturated and transient market, clients will almost always hire the designers they have heard of, versus the ones they haven’t. Therefore, putting your work out there can be a great way to kickstart your freelance career. Consistency and quality are key. People may not instantly notice you and your work but the secret is to keep at it. I also use my Instagram to mostly put up personal work – this helps keep me be motivated to create for myself – a habit that easily gets lost once professional work takes over our lives. It’s a win-win situation when this work gets recognised and brings projects my way. However, I strongly believe that It’s important to have fun while creating and not lose the essence of why we do what we do.
Can you tell us about a recent personal project you have been excited to work on?
A friend and I recently started a small business called The Puzzle Piece Co. (@thepuzzlepiece.co). We create personalised memorabilia for people based on their personalities, some of it is centred around pop culture. Given the situation we’re in, these digital gifts are a big hit for brightening up people’s special occasions even while quarantining. We’re currently making digital sticker packs and it’s been super fun to work on.
Give us a super brief summary of what freelancing means to you?
Creative liberty, juggling things, long to-do lists but also extremely fulfilling.