I’m not a traditionally taught illustrator or graphic designer. I played around with Photoshop and other programs for almost all of my childhood and adolescence.
I watched and read tutorials for years. Over time, I learned that editing wasn’t for me, and I was more suited to creating things, and so I did. I started creating illustrations, posters and such. I also started a blog where my cousin and I uploaded wallpapers.
Freelancing on Fiverr
I started freelancing when I was in high school. Of course, I was still learning, so most of my early work is absolute shit, but some people found enough value in it. I earned my first dollar and my first thousand dollars both on Fiverr itself back in 2014. It was a surreal experience being an 18-year-old and managing to afford things for myself.
I went to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture after high school but decided to drop out. I indulged in computer games and started playing a lot of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That was when I learned of the Steam Workshop. I designed various stickers there.
A sticker collection called Team Roles got into the game. I was overwhelmed. Not only because I had achieved a lot and made some money but because of the impact those stickers created on the CS:GO community on Reddit. I talked to and personally thanked as many people as I could. It was, probably and hopefully not, a once in a lifetime experience. This is that one accomplishment always reminds me of a quote I love,
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.Leonardo da Vinci
I went to study computer applications afterwards and eventually turned to a career in Data Science, leaving all the illustration and design experience behind. I stopped freelancing too until the year 2020.
Nudge › How
In 2020, I started working on a self-improvement platform called Nudge › How. The idea started with a blog turned Instagram turned Twitter. At first, I created text-only layouts for the Instagram account but eventually started adding more illustrations to the content. Today, the Nudge feed looks like an amalgamation of everything I’ve learned and practised with before.
My approach to illustration is always minimal. I try to keep only what is necessary and remove the rest. That is reflective in any visual I create for Nudge. All in all, if Nudge didn’t happen, I would’ve never started experimenting with illustration again.
On a random evening in 2020 itself, I started playing around Illustrator to create some minimal posters. These were based on two places I had visited earlier. When my friends said they looked cool, Slumbering Hollow was born.
Over time, I made more of these illustrations and started a store where I sell postcards, canvas prints and notebooks made out of these. The store soon followed. Today, it’s my very own small business.