Hi! I am Vidya Kumaresan. I am 26 years old freelance graphic designer/ Lettering artist and also the founder of The Wishing ink, a small company that caters to your handmade/personalised gift needs. I am from a small town called Namakkal in Tamil Nadu.
I started my career as a junior graphic designer for a private company at Coimbatore. After working there for two years, I quit my full time job as a graphic designer and started my very own small home based company called “The wishing ink”. I also conduct brush lettering workshops in Chennai and Coimbatore.
– Was it always your dream to become an artist, if not how did you make the choice?
I was always good at drawing ever since my school days. Drawing colourful things gave me utmost happiness. But as I grew up, I got succumbed to the academic part and gave up on all my extra-curricular activities including drawing and painting. When I joined my college to pursue B.Tech Agricultural Information Technology, I was definitely not aware that I was going to be an artist/entrepreneur in future and not an agriculture engineer.
It was during my second year in college, I was introduced to a course on Multimedia. That was the very first time I got introduced to Adobe Photoshop. I kind of started liking it and wanted to learn more about it. But my dad made sure that I completed my B.Tech degree before I started anything new. So after completing my B.Tech, I joined a private Institution at Coimbatore to learn Animation and graphic designing. I started drawing and playing with colours again.
After completing my diploma in graphic designing, I got immediately placed as a junior graphic designer at a cool start up firm in Coimbatore. After two years of working, I came to a point where I just didn’t want to do a normal 9 – 5 job. I wanted to do something more illustrative but I didn’t know how or what. I quit my job and decided to take a break.
In this short break, I started posting my works on social media like Facebook and Instagram. One of my college senior noticed my work and gave me his first order to make a handmade greeting card for his fiancé. I made it and I got a pretty great response from all my friends. They suggested me to make this as a business. Initially I was bit skeptical but later when I started getting more orders, I realised that it’s a sign from the universe and that’s how “The wishing ink” started.
– Who or what was your inspiration?
I find inspiration in almost everything because we are surrounded by design everywhere. But I pinterest a lot and also use Instagram where I follow fellow artists and get inspired by them on a daily basis.
To jot down a few I would say Alicia souza, Stefan Kunz, Becca Clason, Peggy dean are some of my favourite artists who inspire me.
– Please tell us about your milestone journey, especially the difficulty you faced?
The major difficulty that I faced was to convince my parents when I told them that I was going to quit my job. My dad initially didn’t understand what exactly I was doing. He believed that a typical 9-5 job with a fancy salary was more secure. But it took me some time to explain everything and make him understand. Once I started getting more and more orders for customised gifts and offers to conduct workshops on lettering, he finally gave in. Now I am happy to say that he completely supports me and in fact is very proud of whatever I am doing.
Also the other difficulty that I faced with my business was that I wasn’t able to find the right packaging materials and other art supplies because most of them were only available from global markets outside India. So, it took me some time to find the right products that were sourced within India and I should say that my clients were quite understanding when it came to the initial few days when the packaging wasn’t finalised and few orders were received broken owing to courier mishandling.
– As an artist, what is your favourite subject of illustration (model, medium or form)
As an artist, my favourite medium would always be watercolours. I tend to mix and match my lettering style along with colourful splashes of watercolour in most of my works. The best thing about watercolours is their transparency and it’s fun to be able to layer different colours at ease.
When it comes to digital, I like illustrating with Adobe Illustrator. I love vector over raster. I use a very basic Wacom one tablet for most of my digital illustrations.
– What was the best and the worst advice you received when you started your career?
The best advice that I have received so far would be “You can either be a warrior and fight for your dreams or stay coward and regret over it for the rest of your life”. This advice is something that I always remember when I face my hard times.
The worst advice that I received was “Business is not your cup of tea, give up. Go get a job” Thankfully I never took up that advice but it gave me the push that I needed to prove it wrong.
– At this point in your career, are you happy?
Yes I am happy. I am also grateful for everything that happened be it good or bad. I definitely have so much to learn and give back to this amazing artist community. I believe the best is yet to come!
– If someone read your story and wanted to follow your footsteps being inspired by it, what advice would you give them?
My advice would be that “Never give up on your dreams”. It might feel like it is impossible to achieve them or your external factors might be a great barrier but it’s up to you to break down those stereotypical walls/ barriers and hold on to your dreams and work towards it. Nothing ever came easy. It is definitely going to be a rough journey but make sure the destination is going to be worth all the struggles.
– Do you believe in dreams?
Oh yes, I do. I believe in dreams. I work towards making those dreams come true. I believe it’s the ultimate purpose of life. So Dream without fear.