Monthly Feature // June 2022
Gargi Deoghare is a Brand and Strategic Designer as well as the founder of The Dexign Collect; a platform guiding you through your portfolio journey. Read on more to know how you can make your portfolio a little bit more you, and a lot more considerable.
Gargi Deoghare is a Strategic, Brand Designer as well as the founder of The Dexign Collect; a platform guiding you through your portfolio journey. PepsiCo, Prime Studio New York, Beyond Design Chicago, Philips Design India, and BTSDI in Milan are just a few of the major brands she has worked with. Her ability to multitask and communicate effectively is what propels her career and sets her apart.
On how internships shaped her to be a better designer.
A degree from a prominent design school does not always imply a lucrative career in design. Freelance gigs or internships can help you progress steadily since design is built on a foundation of practical skills.
Gargi tells us the difference between the learnings at a school and an internship where the top of the iceberg, as she likes to say, begins in the internship or at your work and the rest is something that you learn from school. “Design technically isn’t as simple as it seems through processes learned in school. There’s so much more to take into consideration; from manufacturing, stakeholders involved, the multiple restrictions to be alert of, and testings. So many testings.”
“An internship really shows you the bigger picture - it’s not always only just designing. Industry experiences have truly shaped who I’ve become as a creative individual - understanding the technicalities such as manufacturing, stakeholders and so much more, it’s a really crucial process which forms the foundation of your design journey.” While we discussed the importance of industry experiences, we also discussed the importance of not putting too much pressure on it. Each experience should be taken as a learning curve. Gargi goes on to tell us a skill she appreciates having developed through her journey, multitasking “So in the industry, you’re always going to be working on multiple projects at the same time, each at a different stage in the design process. To be able to deep dive into one, and then immediately come out and shift your focus onto another is truly an understated skill” to which we couldn’t agree more. We’re sure every senior or junior designer reading this, can relate.
As someone working heavily with and within the academic structure, we wanted to know what Gargi see’s the design education system as. Even if design schools have a structured education system, that does not mean they are without shortcomings. Gargi discusses what she believes schools should improve or introduce.
"Helping students is something I genuinely believe in. Defy oneself and translate that into their work or, more broadly, their portfolio, which is a collection of their work. And, of course, you're aware of how you present your portfolio. I believe that is the case.
Because if you have that out there, you know if you're really able to put it out there - who you are best by a project or a portfolio, nobody else can even copy that because. You're the only one who is truly unique. Because there are already so many individuals, you must stand out. There's no way to get out of this. That's all there is to it. Shine and shine and shine, however fancy you want to put it. So I believe that's what we're lacking. And that's, that's exactly what The Dexign Collect enables you to do in order to truly change yourself into your portfolio. You. We place a lot of emphasis on you. For example, assisting you in the creation or curation of winning portfolios. As a result, I always use capital letters. So that's the basic concept.
Gargi talks about the impetus for the "dexign collect" — it initially started as a means to share her experiences with students, to motivate them, and quickly turned into them wanting to learn more from her, paving the path for additional sessions like this. "I thought to myself, Wow. This is interesting." And the rest is history.
On everything you need to know about portfolios and interviews.
Portfolios are a dynamic collection of records that documents your achievements, abilities, and experiences as well as qualities emphasizing only a selection of your best work eventually turning into a useful marketing tool. "A portfolio is usually, it's like a ticket to get accepted into a design school. If you're heading to a design school, you'll need a design school ticket, and if you're going to an internship, you'll need an internship ticket. As a result, I believe portfolios are a ticket to the future. So, what should be put in? It's simply a mirror, really. It's necessary to know, to identify yourself, first and foremost, to know who you are, and then to know how to truly convey that in the form of paper books."
Interviews are the pinnacle of any organization because they represent the entire portfolio as well as the experience gained over the previous months or years. Gargi advises, "Portfolios create a strong breakthrough in order to even be considered for the interview. The three things that I believe will be really important are a portfolio that can flex. You, your portfolio, and your CV. These are the three most crucial factors. They need to be in sync with who they generally are because it's going to be a group effort, which will show in the interview as well.”
“When you go for an interview, think about it a little more like a teaser, a trailer for a story, and then the entire film. As a result, they must be identical and in agreement." Considering the interview as a movie trailer, and then going on about it is surely an effective way.
On finding your voice as a designer.
In an evolving world where designers are experimenting with new patterns and styles, it can be intimidating to put yourself out there and create something that speaks to you, which is why we asked Gargi how she finds her personal style despite so many competing voices, and how she guides her students to do so too. "Thank you so much for talking about this, because it's a very significant topic that many people question - and I understand why. Of course, it's something that will evolve throughout time, because if you're evolving, your style will evolve as well.” she shares with us, “You know, if you changing but your style remains the same, it's still not you.” an incredibly valid point, and as a result, with you, your style will need to grow over time.
You must extract what it was from your subconscious mind and write it down. Those are the subtle details that must gradually make their way into your work and portfolios. Gargi spills more meaningful insight, "My first piece of advice is to, and I practice this with a lot of my students - is writing about yourselves. To understand what we think about ourselves. What are our tastes or what do we enjoy, for example? Then, rather than going online and looking for inspiration, we strive to translate it into something more visual.”
Inspiration affects a person's perception of their own potential, propelling them from cynicism to possibility. By helping us to transcend our everyday experiences and constraints, inspiration allows us to see fresh possibilities. Gargi adds how she prompts her students to find inspiration from within rather than outside. "We start with an exercise. A know yourself exercise and visually reflect yourself exercise. Of course, I wouldn't dismiss the importance of inspiration. They are really significant. To know what's going on out there, but I feel it's closer to 60% you, and then there's this, let's say 40%, where you're learning from what's going on around you by looking at inspiration, websites, other portfolios, and what's trending. This is also essential. But, make sure you're not merely following the crowd.”
So that's where it all begins, with you getting to know yourself first. And the other 40% draws influence from the material world, from whatever is fashionable at the time. And you create what resonates with you.
Gargi chalks out her to-do list with the major focus being on strategy and business. "Now that I've learned more about design, I'll be moving forward to learning more about business & strategy. Create with a more strategic mindset and attempt to combine business and design, which is something rare but I believe very significant.”
“I find there aren't that many profiles out there. As a result, I'll want to make a profile for myself, a very personalized, unique profile, I'll come up with a name for it, but trying to bridge the gap between design and business strategy is what I'm currently working on right now.
Those are the actions I intend to take in the near future.” More power to you, Gargi. I’ve known Gargi for a while, and if there’s one thing about her, it’s that she does anything and everything well.
Takeaways for upcoming creatives.
"One of the advice I believe is to not be scared to attempt new things in the design field. Curiosity, I believe, is the key to learning; and learning is the key to life. I feel that all you have to do is be curious about things. Consider any opportunity, big or small, that comes your way. Learning and unlearning. I believe these are the two most important lessons I've learned. These are the two things that I will always believe in — As a result, learning never ends.”
We're always open to other perspectives, opinions, and a good chat over some coffee or tea. We'd love to host a conversation with you, head on over to our Discord and get in touch!
With 🧡 Team WID.