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Aamir Khan Pathan, Illustrator

“Never be scared to venture into the unknown”

Tell us where it all started. What made you decide that you wanted to be an artist?

It all started when I used to take part in drawing competitions as a kid. I used to draw since my childhood. Drawing sparrows on a slate with the help of my grandfather to working on Wacom now, it was an amazing journey. After a few projects that forced me to use my minor illustration skills, I received appreciation and thus realized the illustrator within me. I’ve always felt that in this field I get ample freedom to explore and play around.

What role has MIT Institute of Design played in your growth as an artist?

MIT played a major role in my life to teach me all the fundamentals of design. I got to learn and explore design as well as illustrations. I even got great mentors who always supported me for my work.

How would you describe your personal style? Also, how is your workflow pattern or your approach towards a project?

I’m currently exploring different styles for different areas through my work. Various assignments always gave me a new direction to incorporate my skills into design. I do not try to feed all of my work with illustrations, but keep in mind to make each of them visually strong.

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Which has been your most memorable piece of art that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it?

There is no specific work which I would call as memorable. But I’m currently working on a series of illustrations that are compiled in one book. These illustrations depict the various famous places of Maharashtra. And I believe this could be one of my most memorable works.

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What tools do you use in your work? What do you prefer, hand sketching or digital work?

I prefer working in both traditional and digital way. Traditional way helps me for quick ideations. And then I do the final output digitally. It also depends on the requirement of the project, whether to work traditionally or digitally.

Among various artists, who have been your most important influences?

Being an illustrator I love the work done by Sameer Kulavoor. I love the simplicity he works with. Also Shireesh Kathale has always been a mentor to me. The color palette he uses has always fascinated me.

What challenges do you feel an artist has to face on the job front?

The job front for me as an illustrator/designer is highly based on the clients. In the initial days a lot clients usually decline the ideas presented to them and at the end you are forced to follow their direction. A major task is to convince the client why your idea is better for the project. It is difficult to establish your identity with your style in the market.

Tell us about your future career goals.

Although I will keep exploring my field, I’m also open for exploring new territories. As of now I’m working on my own as a freelance designer and illustrator and through this I get to work on interesting projects, which I want to continue. I also plan to initiate my own studio in future.

What message do you have in mind for the aspiring artists?

Being an aspiring artist myself I feel patience towards work and expansion of perspective are vital requirements. Oh and never be scared to venture into the unknown!

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