The Alternate Path
POOL|POOL 104

If he could he would only design main titles! Till then, award-winning art director and designer Harshit Desai is making a clear mark in the world of motion design.

Harshit Desai

What does it take to become a successful art director?

HD: I don’t think there is a set path for becoming a successful art director. I believe the basic qualities of hard work, perseverance and impeccable work ethic take you a long way. It also helps to have interest and knowledge in a number of non-design subjects. Whatever it is, you should delve into it fully - philosophy, music, cooking, murder-mysteries, nature, politics, travel. You never know when that knowledge would come into use. But in a more tangible sense I would say it is being exposed to good work. If you reference and follow great designers, films, studios, etc. it will subconsciously raise your own benchmarks and permeate into your own work. I see it as being in good company.

For me personally, a successful art director would be someone who has the liberty to choose the projects he or she wishes to work on. Every creative once in a while encounters tasks which are not of their interest or style. As a professional you try to make the most of it, look at the positives and accomplish them. But to truly have a choice - the capability, leverage and even affordability to say no to a project that doesn’t pique your curiosity is somewhat of a success in itself.

What it is about motion design that draws you?

HD: For me, motion design blends graphic design and alternative storytelling, two subjects I am very passionate about. But more so it is the joy of creation and being able to evoke a feeling in your audience. Giving vision to an idea and having someone watch and appreciate it is a great feeling. You are literally able to show your thoughts to someone. It turns something that is very abstract into a tangible act. I truly believe that is something worth pursuing.

How did it all begin?

HD: I think my romance with computers was a gateway to my love for design. My dad bought our first PC in the summer of ’98. I was hooked and by winter I had prescription glasses. It started with computer games until one day I discovered Word Art and then Corel Draw. That was probably my first introduction to the creative industry.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Design from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. SID is where I was truly introduced to the world of design, filmmaking and animation. It was through fellow peers and colleagues that we explored foreign films, tutorials and various design blogs, etc. I went to the Savannah College of Art & Design for a MFA in Animation but ended up taking most of my electives in Motion Media design, which I loved!

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