Talented Ayush is an incredibly creative art director who believes that graphic design “is a solo effort”. However, he hastens to add that “on a daily basis I work with clients and co-workers who critique my work. I believe I handle their revisions fairly well and keep all my projects moving — in spite of my physical challenges”.
You were born deaf and speech impaired — do you mind if we discuss this?
I’m not touchy about my disability. All credit for shaping my life, including my career in design, goes to my incredible mother who insisted on a mainstream education through oral means — in other words, no signs or gestures.
Your story is inspirational because of your rip-roaring success. Do you agree?
Again, I give credit to my parents who had the foresight to have my IQ tested and found that it was quite high. Unfortunately, I lost my father in early childhood, but my mother’s determination and positivity was a huge factor. There was no bitterness in my family.
How would you describe your sense of humor?
My favorites are slapstick and mimicry. I can mime almost anyone to such a degree that my friends go into side-splitting laughter. Subtle, between-the-lines humor is not for the deaf.
What was your experience at the National Institute of Design?
Well, as you know, NID is India’s premier design school, so it was a great challenge for me because I found the audio instruction difficult. But graphic design is basically instinct so I allowed that to take over. I feel that my Masters degree from NID is one of my personal bests.
Have you ever traveled outside of India?
Yes, I have visited Southeast Asia, Canada, the Middle East and Europe. One of my favorite countries is Italy. I take a camera everywhere and photograph assiduously.
Do you go on weekend jaunts or take longer vacations in India?
I use the book, Short Escapes from Mumbai by Lonely Planet for quick weekend trips out of the city. A longer journey would be to Ladakh [The Land of High Passes] and Rajasthan, which is India’s largest state and includes the Thar Desert — the world’s ninth largest subtropical desert. I’d also like to make a return trip to historic Kashmir in the Himalayas.
Which do you prefer — Hollywood or Bollywood?
Hollywood is more for me. A few of my favorites are: The Godfather, The Pursuit of Happyness, Scent of a Woman and Three Idiots (Hindi).
Are you involved in any sports?
Yes, I’ve been involved in sports activities since childhood. Swimming is one of my favorites. Cricket, football and tennis fascinate me.
When did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer?
As a child, I would sketch, draw and paint. My mother noticed this and steered me in this direction. My college years were spent at Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai and it was there that I knew I wanted to pursue graphic design.
Do you have any rock groups that you particularly like?
The music genre that I like is rock fusion — my favorites are Nirvana and Guns ‘N Roses.