Humans at Voxco

Humans at Voxco 17
Vipin scaled

Vipin Das

This is the first post in an employee spotlight series titled ‘Humans at Voxco’. It’s an attempt to capture and share a few lesser known aspects of our colleagues. Here’s Vipin Das.

Vipin is a designer at Voxco. Being a BFA graduate from the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, he works with various design mediums. When not imprinting his vision onto the digital screen, he loves to explore with some good-old traditional tools. Vipin draws inspiration from the world around him to create his own world that blends imagination with reality through illustration, art, and design. You can follow his complete works on Behance and Instagram.

A series of illustrations on vintage cars

Hi Vipin! So I know that when you started (when we were looking for a designer) that you used to sketch on the side. I believe you do these digital illustrations which you share via your Instagram handle also. Can you tell us more about how long you’ve cultivated this interest?

Vipin: Hi! So I’ll start with when I joined Voxco – in terms of work it was a complete change for me because earlier I was working as a designer and an Illustrator for ad agencies and design studios actually. So in terms of my role, I am enjoying the work here because I work on the brief given to me. Everything I do here is pure design. Each thing I work on, I am learning a lot. In my previous company, I was only working on logos & visuals for environmental spaces & branding for companies. After joining Voxco, it’s been a transition to pure graphic design so it’s great to learn design & in that way, I am really enjoying my work here. We are a small team so communication-wise everything is quite clear & I feel very comfortable.

From childhood, I was drawing a lot and I used to win competitions too. That’s the reason that after my high school, I planned to join an Arts College in Trivandrum (Kerala) to learn more about illustration & design. I finished my Bachelors in Fine Arts from there. It was a 4-year course after which I came to Bangalore & have worked on a lot of design things since then. As for Instagram, I like to share the visuals I create there. I always feel like doing that.

Great! Tell me more about the subjects that you like to draw. I am speaking from memory but I remember seeing nature & cars there.

Vipin: When I start with a drawing, I always think of a campaign – What subject it should include, what underlying theme it should follow, like what if I draw 10 illustrations? What variations should they have? In the ‘Cars’ campaign, I was thinking of old Indian cars because people always like vintage cars so I wanted to explore those. Similarly for the rain series, it rains for 6 months in Kerala so there are lots of visuals connected to rain. I like to take up a subject & explore.

A tea stall in relentless rain
Ksrtc bus
A man trying to enter inside a bus during the rain
In terms of growth, I have seen that you picked up a number of skills since you joined here. Maybe you can share a little about how you’ve evolved as a creator in your time here at Voxco. You remember when we started? Unbounce was new for you so you had to familiarize yourself with the web side of things. What was the process of rebranding Voxco like?

Vipin: Yeah in terms of Unbounce and WordPress, it was like a new platform. It’s like what you are creating is getting reflected via a different medium. I learned a lot and I did so only through mistakes (a lot of trial & error). So if I compare the Voxco rebranding process to my previous experience, it was done quite swiftly here because there were more people and processes there (in my previous company). These things take time. The constraint was that with Voxco, we had a live website and it was an existing brand so we needed to make changes very quickly. I am happy with the way it turned out, especially the colors, the logos, and the new 3dX. We are still fine-tuning the look & visuals in detail on each page so we’ll continue to improve. 

Once we share a brief with you for designing a graphic or something else, what’s your process like how do you create something from scratch. How do you conceptualize something without possibly knowing everything about the topic too as I might be working on content alongside separately? Sometimes we just share this is what the blog is going to be about & this is what we might want.

Vipin: When I get a brief, I focus on what’s the one thing that needs to be communicated. Whether it’s an article or a pdf or any other collateral, what is that one big thing, the one subject that needs to be captured. 

I like to think about how each visual on a theme is different from another. For eg. say if we are working on multiple visuals for patient experience, I think about how this one is going to be different from all the others on the same theme. My focus is the differentiating feature for that brief. I think about that.

Vipin 7 scaled
A rice field in Kerala
What’s your favorite food?

Vipin: In Kerala, there’s a lot of non-veg actually. I am fond of non-veg food, specifically – Fish curry.

If you were not a designer, what other profession, you’d have chosen to pursue?

Vipin: Hmm… Singer actually. I like singing. These two things I’ve been exploring since childhood. My family wanted me to pursue the music side but I chose this. I got some formal training too & growing up even the two colleges were nearby (music & arts) so if not this, I’d have chosen music.

Awesome! In your childhood did you take classes for it?

Vipin: Yes yes.. I learnt music also. Not one specific genre but all kinds though I got some Carnatic (Traditional South-Indian style of music) training too. 

Do you work on 2D only or do you like 3D too from time to time? 

Vipin: I work on 2D mostly but I’d like to learn more about 3D because the future is increasingly becoming more and more about video. 

I think we can switch roles as I am working on 3D for animation & you work on illustrations. The devices and medium is changing, so video is crucial. 

What’s been different since Covid struck? I mean we were working remotely even before that so maybe you can share what working remotely was like & how Covid has changed things?

Vipin: We designers always see things visually. I feel that unlike say copywriters who read things, designers perceive the world visually so we need less communication. We think of color, size & shape whenever we get a brief. I feel designers are less affected compared to writers or brand managers. In that sense, there hasn’t been any adverse impact of Covid as we were working remotely earlier anyway.

What do you do to stay creative? 

Vipin: Explore things. I always see things visually. I like to learn about cultures, how people dress & carry themselves & so on. The more you observe, the clearer things get. So that when you sit down, you can visualize them & draw on a canvas or a tab or a desktop. I always take references from real life. It’s always good to take references from real life. When I observe art online, I think about why the artist chose this color or design. What’s behind this choice?

A man carrying an umbrella
What do you like to do in your spare time?

Vipin: I like traveling & visiting historic places. I like to drive too. Now I have a child to take care of too, so I like to spend time with her. 

I like historic places like the pyramids in Egypt. I spent about a month in north India too visiting monuments. When you see such places, you get transported to the past. Everything has a story behind it. I like to visit good nature & landscape places too. 

A lot of us here come from a tech background. What’s relating to techies like? You must have artsy friends & tech geeky friends both. What changes do you see? 

Vipin: Techies love art. They have good taste in general & will tell you if something is off even if they don’t know why. My artsy friends are much more critical as they know way more. They judge more & will let you know if something is good or bad. I think the difference is one of degree. Both techies & artists have a good sense of aesthetics but the latter can comment on the technicalities & they do. 

Another difference is in tech we want good looking things while art is more open (in embracing the ugly too).

How do you capture the inner mood of a character or the feeling of a scene? I find it fascinating how artists know how to lend emotion or mood to a subject.

Vipin: Yes, when I think about a subject I will think about it for days or weeks. I try to get to the essence of the character while filtering out the inessentials. Only in the final stage do I sit down & put pen to paper to draw or sketch on a tab. Sometimes, an inspiration might strike spontaneously also and it works but in general, if I am thinking thematically say about a long term campaign, it’s a question of filtering things out.

Auto rickshaw
An auto rickshaw traveling in the ceaseless rains of Kerala
Which are your favorite brands?

Vipin: I like the design language of various new Brands like Uber & Airbnb among others and of-course Apple, Google, Coca Cola etc.

Do you have a favourite anime style?

Vipin: 2D. I like how they use 2D in animation too. For eg. In Kung-fu panda, the title was in 2D & I believe it was more striking & had better recall because of that. 

Are you familiar with stop motion in animation?

Vipin: We worked on a movie with stop motion back in Arts College. The name of the movie was half-full. Everyone was supposed to contribute and in the end, we would aggregate & create the final thing. It’s been 10 yrs but we plan to patch that up now. It was the story of a village woman. Ironically, it remained half-full just like the name we chose.

What’s the kindest thing anybody has done for you?

Vipin: Lots of things actually, so hard to pick one. When I passed out of college, I got my first job offer from someone who doesn’t know me before. I joined as a Junior Art Director in McCann Erickson, Bangalore because of that.