Komal Tandon

Senior Designer & Art, Out of the Box

When conceiving a piece of work, what would you say are your main influences?

While one should study the greatest pieces of work in the industry, and learn from them, the main influence should come from outside the world of communication - like popular culture, modern art, etc. I think design requires a subliminal mind. There's so much to grasp from your surroundings, but you don't even realise it. Only when you look closely, you get to know that the work you do is a reflection of what you see and observe.

But if I were to name a few personalities who I really admire and try to emulate from, it'd be Viral Pandya, Noma Bar, Alok Nanda, etc.

For instance, MT tapes, a Japanese brand that does simple installations with colourful tapes, inspired me the most recently. With no-rocket-science involved, it's a piece of design that's an epitome of simplicity.

What are some of the common frustrations felt by agency creative folk?

Personally, I don't have any frustration, but from the peers in the industry I know what bothers most people in the industry - unreasonable deadlines, clients & the agency not pushing a work, and ego issues. Luckily, I am alien to a typical agency environment, but what I hear from my agency friends makes me a little jittery. Lack of nurturing of good talents, politicking, the love for big designations, overthinking on an idea to the point it becomes stale - these are some of the points that are frustrating. But as I said, I don't belong to that commune, nor do I want to be a part of it in future.

In the creative industry, have practices changed or how often do they change to keep up with new technologies?

Technology has made things faster and easier, but that's no substitute for creativity. Thankfully ideas still reign supreme. I think like any sport, in the business of creativity, one should stick to the basics. Of course, using technology in your favour is what one must seek to do. But again, it's the basics that create great work. The world's greatest technology ideas are as human as possible.

Are there any "design trends" that you hate?

Trends come and go. But what endures is what transcends time. I neither love nor hate trends.

All great artists are students of their craft. The larger the creative toolbox, the greater the possibility for creative excellence. Do you agree?

While I agree with the statement 100%, the toolbox is no substitute for talent or ideas. But having said that, the craft is a fading culture in India. I think everything starts from a pencil and a paper - sadly the advent of softwares have reduced it greatly. What I have learnt from my mentor, Viral Pandya, the day your scribble starts to be as close to the work, you know you are closer to the craft.

Let's briefly talk about Creative Cloud. Which products make it easier for you to digitise your ideas?

It's too early to say as we have only started using it.

Designer. Photographer. Filmmaker. Dreamer. No matter who you are, Creative Cloud gives you the world’s best creative apps so you can make just about anything you want, wherever inspiration takes you.