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Illustrator and visual designer Kabini Amin doesn’t like to be pinned down, either geographically or creatively

What drew you to a career in design?

KA: I joined the National Institute of Design following the suggestion of a high school classmate who saw me drawing in my notebooks. I’d been drawing and painting and making things ever since I could remember, so the suggestion seemed like a good enough fit. I knew nothing of what design, or even art, was at the point. Coming from a typical standardized education and the hyper-structured life of the military, I was both amazed and intimidated by the freedom to play with, explore, and delve into work that a design education accorded. It wasn’t until much later that I really understood what that freedom enabled. I went from a degree in Animation Film Design to working more as a graphic designer and then illustrator, to trying to position myself more as an auteur illustrator, and am now attempting to cross pollinate my processes of design with my ideas of ecology, conservation and learning.

Has it been challenging to work as an independent consultant?

KA: Being stuck in the same kind of traffic, twice a day, every day, is my personal definition of torture! The financial instability of being an independent consultant can be particularly anxiety-inducing as well. When I started out, it was about having flexible work hours so I could pursue my other interests and whims. I soon realized I liked being in direct contact with the work, the way it is framed, the way it shapes up, the interaction with clients. Currently a large part of my motivation as a freelancer is working with inspiring content and people that I’d learn from, and that would broaden my views. The only advice I could give to people wanting to start out on their own is to identify what their support structures are, whether financial, logistical or even just emotional.

Tell us about your leanings towards conservation.

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