Srikanth was from a “middle-class”, humble home. His mom cooked and took care of the house. They lived in a rented apartment. His dad owned a Kirana shop on the ground floor of the same building. He also had a younger sister who was better at studies than he was at her age. He studied all the time because that’s what everybody else did. Good grades, degree, job, wife and kids. That was the plan.
But when didn’t get into that engineering college, he was surprised to know that he didn’t care.
In India, parents take care of their children and when its time children take of their parents. It’s not said, expected or imposed but it just is. So, engineering was important. He put more hours into study, made better notes and joined one more coaching centre.
Even if he didn’t realise it himself yet, he didn’t want to be a engineer. He sketched…a lot and at the back of his notes, sometimes on the blank page at the end of his textbooks. Those years of studying like a robot, those concentration camps he had for school and college, those other robots he had for friends. All this never let him see his sketches as something more than just some strokes of a pen.
But that was the year of reflection and when a fellow class-mate appreciated a sketch, he thought how much he liked it as well. His frustration stoked this new- found passion.
Then came an art degree. But there is something you probably should know about people who just studied all through school and junior college, they are really smart and efficient.
Srikanth, within a year of studying and learning arts, made illustrations for some relatives or friends or friends of friends who owned small businesses. At first, just a few logos, business cards, free potraits etc. He went on do more and more freelancing, and made some money every once in a while.
May be his parents didn’t approve of his decision. But then, they did pay the fees and gifted him a drafting board.
At the end of it all, he had a respectable client base, testimonials and some quality portfolio with real work samples. By then he didn’t really need to go looking for an employer like his friends. It had all worked out for him just fine.
His first job being a path and not the destination.