May 04, 2018

Success story: Saksham Panda (NID lifestyle accessory design)

First of all, I would like to thank Prasanna Sir for being so patient with my never ending questions and helping me throughout.  I am a civil engineer (as if it matters) and I got selected for lifestyle accessory design at National Institute of design, Gandhinagar.

This is going to be a real big long story ( read rant) so you can skip this and jump to ‘preparation’ part and save yourself some time or continue to find out whether you relate with my experiences or not. So it started back in August 2016 when I completely made my mind to pursue M.des and not get into usual GATE/ IES preparation as everyone around me was doing. I have always been inclined towards drawing and crafts and all the artsy stuff so the preparation completely fascinated me. The problem with me was my low self esteem about my work. I was not at all confident about it. I got a lot of adulation for my artworks as a child but as I grew up I lost the connection and developed a bubble of low self esteem around myself. Fast forward to engineering days when we were studying engineering drawing, I started to look for further studied in similar domain as I liked it very much. The search took me to structural design engineering then M.plan then M.arch and then finally I stumbled upon a blog post about M.Des. It was enough to blow my bubble of low self esteem. I gathered all my broken bits of confidence and started drawing again. I searched every single thing related to M.Des on internet. Teacup blog was the most precise place to look for help in that case. And obviously Prasanna sir and all other people from success stories section helped in getting a clear vision about the course and preparation. I would sit religiously to read all the success stories and it would make me feel that this isn’t rocket science, all it takes is passion and correct strategy to come out with flying colors.


Let’s just say you have never even touched a pencil to draw but still you can learn it so forget that it is something god gifted. Few people are naturally good at it and it’s fine if you are not one of them. So get started with lines. Draw a million of them. Draw until your shoulder begins to ache. Now take some rest and draw circles. Again a million of them. Circles of all sizes, colors, castes and creed. Do not discriminate. Now draw ellipses. You know many of them. And keep in mind to draw everything without moving your wrist. Move your whole arm as you draw. Your shoulder should control the motion not your wrist. Now you can draw whatever you like. Learn perspective drawings, isometric drawings, exploded views, still life sketching etc. Search images and try to copy them then try to draw on your own. There is a LOT to draw and it is never enough so keep practicing and while you’re doing it don’t forget to draw lines, circles and ellipses every now and then. Once you are satisfied with your work you can go for solving all the previous papers of CEED and NID. Now that you know what type of questions are actually asked you can work on your weak points and improve your speed.

Everything except drawing

Now a good drawing may fetch you some marks but it won’t ensure your selection. To get selected you need a great idea along with your sketching skills. So the key here is to OBSERVE and READ a LOT. I cannot emphasize it enough. Start observing every little thing around you. Try to appreciate good designs and figure out bad designs in everyday products. And to know which good design is and which is bad, you’ve to READ (see told you). For rest of the part A questions you’ve to keep in touch with current affairs (mostly art, culture, design etc. related). Read everything that you think is important and there’s already so much stuff out there so I won’t write much here. Go find on your own ;P


I am not going to tell you the exam pattern. Close that Facebook tab and search it. You need to be very calm during the exam. Bring out the best out of your ideas and present them well. Plan your time so you have enough time to draw everything. Don’t waste all your time in drawing a single figure meticulously and spoiling the rest of questions rather attempt every question with pretty average drawings. And don’t tell me you need help with OMR sheet too. ;P

Studio test and interview

Once you get a call for studio test and interview, start working on your portfolio right away. Now this is a whole new problem that “what should I include in my portfolio?” So take a look at Behance or Coroflot to get an idea and start working to build your own. It may be a tedious process but you’ve got to have faith in your ideas and work on them. I personally struggled a lot in this phase but trust me you’ll enjoy it once you figure it out. The studio test is the best part of whole admission process. Just manage your time well and enjoy it. The interview is a mystery in itself so be yourself and please do not lie there. 

I tried to elaborate as much as I can to make it easy for you guys and I’d be available if you need any help at any point of time during your preparation. 

Sample of work from my portfolio.


ILDAITE said...

Nice! Congratulations, I am myself starting my third year of engineering,and would be looking up to people like you for inspiration and guidance.
May you get even more successful in future :)

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Unknown said...

After completing your graduation did you taken a gap for your preparation?

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