From the Artistic Kid to the Head of Design

Ben’s course at the Digital Arts Academy was exciting and he took it up like a duck in water. He was the youngest in the class which had graduates and post graduates. His artwork improved and he took a liking towards Anime and got himself a page on the Deviant Art website as Benrulz. The course that was to get over in a year took almost 18 months as the instructors kept leaving for better paying jobs.

Initially he tried his hand at all but over the course of time he found himself drawn to 2D art and Photoshop. He became pretty good at it and his young mind was unfettered and brimming with ideas which got him top honors at the end of the course. A Mac PC was procured and I was left wondering whether it would be worth the two months’ salary.

One anime picture that he rendered and posted in his web page was called the Kiss. This caught the attention of the Art Director of a Hollywood Movie and was picked up for a decent amount with which he got his first I-phone 4, a prized possession. He also got his name in the credits of the movie “Letters to Juliet”. To increase his interest, a friend of mine (Thanks, Amit!)also sent him a set of animation books on the creation of the “Cars” movie. Every bit helped as this was an unknown field for us and we were navigating in the dark.

By the time he finished the course, he had decided to specialize in User Interface Design (UI), a little known field in 2008. At the same time he was giving periodic tests to complete the NIOS program. We never saw him study for his exams as he would be busy practicing his tricks with his football, watching TV or sleeping in the day but was utilizing the night.

As part of his further studies, as he wanted to specialize in UI, he located a Qantm college in Brisbane and Sydney, , that was accepting SAE scores and started his paperwork towards it. He did not have a passport and his IELTS tests also had to be taken. All this would take between 6–9 months and we did not want it going to waste so we asked the college to place him in some job for the time being so that he could build his portfolio and use it when he reached college.

As an intern in a company located in RT Nagar, he found himself playing cricket in the night on an empty bus stand for most days and he quit in a month or two. The second job he found was close to the college that we were working and it was convenient to commute. This company was located in the garage on 80-ft road opposite the college and was started by a person who had completed his radiology degree but was keener on playing computer games! Ben was employee №007 and he had license to draw.

A few months later the company shifted to another location in Rajajinagar and the number of employees increased to 75 and as they were primarily doing work on the Mac, had gotten designers from around the world including a 2006 award winner designer of Apple Inc. Meanwhile Ben had grown in his work and had gotten a couple of raises.

Meanwhile, we sold a property, our first possession to fund Ben’s studies in Australia. He had completed his IELTS exam by this time and had received his passport too. But his success at work got us confused to future course of action.

I went to meet his boss, the medico, and after a patient hearing, he told me that even if Ben completes the course, he will be joining as a trainee and if he stayed back here, he would ensure that Ben got a one-on-one mentoring by the designer from Apple. After a discussion at home, we decided against sending Ben to Australia, favoring the mentoring as being better than any college education.

This crucial move ensured that Ben moved up the ranks swiftly and when the company moved to its final location in Electronic City boasting of 450 employees, Ben became the youngest Head of Design in three years. On completion of 5 years, the company sent him on an all-expense paid trip to their ‘Frisco office where he made his dream trip to the gates of Apple Inc. in the hope of working there someday.

This note of gratitude is to the founder of the company where Ben found his feet, Mr. Rohit Singhal of Sourcebits and to the brilliant designer Piotr Gajos for the mentor-ship received, as we stood in the bylines soaking in the happiness of the progress.

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Academician, Author, Foodie, Traveller with myriad interests and skills, all jacked and none mastered!

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Bobby George

Academician, Author, Foodie, Traveller with myriad interests and skills, all jacked and none mastered!