June 03, 2016

(Anonymous) NID Photography design

Hello, I am X and I am 23 years old. I graduated from one of the NITs last year (2015) and I am an architect who is absolutely crazy about design, art and sustainability. 

I got through NID Gandhinagar, this year in Photography design, in my second attempt. I would like to firstly share about my first failed attempt. When I wrote the exam in January 2015 for the first time, I wasn't even expecting to get through it, but April came and I had just cleared the written. I had absolutely no idea about how to go about preparing the portfolio, I just had my architecture portfolio and had roughly a month to prepare for it, but because my internship was going on it was very hectic and I couldn't find time to compile my portfolio, also I wasn't in a positive state of mind to do anything because I'd be worried about what will I do after college gets over. Came May, I just had 3 days to prepare my portfolio for Photography design, as my college exams and Vivas had just gotten over. I went with half done portfolio and completed the rest after reaching Gandhinagar ( bad, bad thing to do). In the studio test we were taken to Ahmedabad and asked to shoot for an hour and then we were taken back. We had half an hour to process the images and take prints ( of 20 photographs that we had to finalize). We were given another 30 mins to cut and paste them on a chart paper making a meaningful narrative. I did well, but not well enough. Next morning I had my interview. I was extremely nervous and I had sweaty palms. I usually put basic make up and my favourite jewellery to make myself feel good, but I didn't do that either. For some strange reason I was extremely depressed and was on a medication which just made my mood worse. Anyway, so the interview went horrible, I was asked basic questions like why photography and why not architecture? Who is your favorite architect? Why NID? Tell us more about your hometown, etc, to which I answered well, but I wasn't vehement enough to sound as if I really mean it. The very first  question that they asked was tell us about yourself and I started like ummm... so that's not the best way to start. My nervousness and negative state of mind, spoiled this interview and also I wasn't being myself. Funny advice but good health and a positive state of mind is most important things ever. Make sure to have your favorite ice cream or chocolate before you go in for the interview ( I kid you not). 

When the results came, I obviously knew I wouldn't make it, but I really wanted to go to NID, esp after living there for 5 days and feeling the atmosphere and looking at the kind of work that people produce there. It was wonderful. So after this disappointed, I thought I must explore myself and find out what I really wish to do. I went traveling, to beaches of Goa and beautiful hills of the North. From June to October, I was traveling and volunteering, something I really wanted to do while I was in college, but couldn't find time. Traveling solo gave me the confidence to be myself and have  more control over what I wanted and what I wished to do or to be. Also traveled with friend in twos and threes. Made art on walls and I never stopped taking photographs, and I realized this is the most beautiful way I can express my feelings. By the end of the journey I realized the importance of a positive,happy mind and the effect that has on your creativity. My spent my year off well, learnt and did things that I wanted for a very long time, like knitting, painting with acrylic, other thread arts, etc. Read a lot of books mostly philosophy and art/design. Throughout the year I just did things I felt like, paint, doodle, sketch, knit, read, without even realizing that it would become a part of my portfolio.
Came January 2016, I wrote the exam again, it went well. Results came in Feb, I scored well. Studio test and interview was scheduled for April end, so I had plenty of time to prepare. I started taking prints of my photographs, of the ones which were very close to me and expressed a thousand emotions.
I completed a series of paintings. I also made an illustration series on reusing/repurposing our waste in personal diary form, etc. My portfolio reflected the person I am . There is no particular way of making a portfolio and no set guidelines. You should take what feels right to you. And I, personally don't like A3 spiral bound stuff. Everything I took was analogue, nothing on th computer. 80% stuff was hand made. 

I visited my favorite psychologist to talk about my anxiety, and he said that it is totally normal and human to feel that way and there is nothing wrong with me.
Came April, studio test was very different this year and we weren't asked to even touch a camera. Next day the interview was there and I decided to wear my favourite kurta, pants, chappals, earrings and basic make up. I was kinda nervous but the moment I entered the room, bam! Nervousness gone, anxiety vanished, in fact I was excited to talk about my reformed self and show my portfolio (which is carried in a small box) . The questions were pretty much the same as last year, but I answered well and I am sure they saw the twinkle in my eyes while talking about photography, art and design. I was also asked about my internship, travel /volunteering experience and that if read books. These were probably the 3 best questions I was asked, lol. There was no cross questioning, no questions on the portfolio, except in the end I was told my portfolio is very mixed media. Also I was asked if I knew how to use a DSLR and which one I owned ( Canon 600D). It was very relaxed and happy.
Came 31st May and much to my surprise I had cleared with a good rank. I was scared about the interview the most and ended up getting a whopping 92.5 on 100. I was over the moon! Still am :))))
Also, my friends from both NIT and NID helped me a lot by going through my portfolio and randomly popping suggestions and advice time and again. And my family for help me travel and volunteer wherever I wanted. And most importantly Prasanna's wonderful blog, where all amazing people have shared their experiences. It gave me great insight. All the input was very very inspiring and motivating.
My suggestion, find yourself and be yourself. Read good books, listen to good music and watch good movies/ documentaries. Travel or volunteer if time permits, it opens the mind. Go through works of designers and other people, you never know where inspiration awaits (Instagram). Learn a new skill maybe.Most importantly never lose hope and always stay positive.
I hope this helps. 

Lot of positive vibes to all!
X (Name withheld upon request)

PS. Uninstall Pinterest while making your portfolio, look within for ideas, trust me you will surprise your own self."


Arijit Karmakar said...

That was really helpful. Can you provide me with a link of your portfolio? I know you wish to remain anonymous but please do consider. Am a guy who could really use some help as this is my only field of choice and you seem like a the only person who seems to know what she is talking about. If you can please drop me a mail at arijitkarmakar13@gmail.com.

Arijit Karmakar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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