Welcome to our Creatives Interview Series (CIS)
Here, you’ll discover the world’s upcoming creative minds with a growing well of rich wisdom. See how their brains work, see how their days unfold.
What’s their creative style? What gets their mental motors fired up? How do they maintain balance in their life? What keeps them going?
We’re honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with them to share their insights here, so you too, can fuel even more flame to your drive and passion.
In this Feature Post, we’re blessed to have the opportunity to see the world of Numarion (Numan Naveed), a creative visual designer slash music artist.
1. What is the start up story behind Numarion?
In college, out of a hundred people in the year, only two of us actually pursued a career in graphic design and illustrative work. In the group work, I would always be charged with doing the visual designs for the projects and got to do more design stuff over a short period of time.
It gave me opportunities to do random design work for clients that found me from other friends. The guys at the college also came up with calling me Numarion for some reason – and that definitely stuck with me.
2. Numarion What are three words that best define it?
Quixotic. Vivid. Friendly.
Most of my artwork, you might notice find a particular color palette and tone – but not very consistent in style. I have yet to find a style that fits into my brand. Experimenting on different artwork styles is what I enjoy to avoid getting bored of doing things one way. I am comfortable in the aesthetic aspects of Numarion, but still have reservations on sticking to one thing.
Idealism is also in my spirit – the way things should be if we forget about the rules of the world.
I use that kind of mentality to create whimsical things, limited to my artist ability – simplistic, minimal and accessible. I want to create a positive reaction to my works as much as I can.
3. How would you define your creative approach to design?
I think about what might look good aesthetically, and something that I am able to draw or illustrate. Concept comes first, trying to create something that has a double meaning behind or two concepts that are not related to each other but somehow are fused together to create some sort of meaning.
Once that’s done, I look at pinterest to see if that concept has been done before or not, a sort of validation to start the project – then I decide on the medium and style that might fit best with what I am trying to communicate.
4. What are some recent achievements you’ve unlocked?
Just recently I picked up a new style illustration that was aptly sent to me through a facebook ad. This new Saas design tool ‘Spline’ offered a free download to try their 3D design. I always thought 3D would always be above me, but a few days later I applied myself to learn it and now quite content that I now have realistic 3D and animation to my skill set.
5. What are you working on lately?
With so much inspiration during the pandemic, I am learning to love still life illustrations. Perfect scenes that we take for granted being at home – just creating a house or a person lying down on a bed. Simple things that sort of show the slowing of time. Furthermore I’ve submitted my work to Bangkok Illustration Fair 2021 to try to get my presence known a bit more.
6. What’s something that’s always running on your minds?
To be honest it’s just random thoughts of song ideas, an inspiration here and there or just quotes from my favorite TV show. When I do sit down and actively think about a plan, I think about how I can expand my audience. I research hashtags and trends that are happening to see how other artists are growing; also bookmarking blogs or people that I might contact later.
One of the aspects about myself that I keep reflecting on is how could I make a smaller footprint in the world. I do care about the environment and actively try to reduce usage through several cycles in the day. I just want to make a big impact by doing those small things
7. How do you spend your downtime?
I immerse myself on a good classic movie or a TV show, kick my feet up and have a beer or two. That’s soothing to know that after an eventful day, that is always waiting for me at home. 9gag is another source of self indulging downtime before bed, as I get to be entertained with the latest in meme culture.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
It’s something that I haven’t quite figured out yet. A little bit of trial and error, I pursue a project while still working on an unfinished one. You know there are a lot of responsibilities in my life that need my attention on a weekly basis.
Visiting my folks, feeding the cat, making sure I have quality time with my wife, at least 2 hours of playing guitar, work, daily exercise, meeting friends and of course just having some me time.
In most weeks, all of these things can’t be fully met – one or two of those things have to be ignored from time to time. So if you ask how I achieve a balance? I am working hard on it, but I do believe it can be achieved eventually.
9. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Expectations of good reception to your work is a mindset that will set you up for failure. Whenever I finish a work that I am happy and ready to release it to the world, I always have this expectation that THIS one will be the one that will help me breakthrough.
The zero likes on a post or the number of followers on my illustration page or lack of reception with my peers used to give me heartache, but I have learned to understand that it’s not everything.
It takes time and a right state of mind.
I admit I am not 100% focused on being successful with these projects, treating them as creative outlets. And also I should not expect anything else from it unless an opportunity does come that will change the status quo.
10. What’s one of the highlighting or pivotal moment in your career? Why is it so?
Take a chance. That’s one piece of advice that I keep returning to for people I talk to. One highlight of my professional career was when my CEO asked if I could make a company video for the region.
At the time I hadn’t dealt with much professional video editing, let alone storyboarding and recording on location. I said yes and gave myself 3 months to learn and complete it. Not only did the entire company love, the regional team also wanted one. So there I went, to Korea, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia to work on their inspirational company videos. It took me somewhere I never thought I would go.
Later on when I was living in Australia and needed cash to get by, my video editing skills that I learnt landed me several gigs to write and direct local music videos. That really saved me.
Like Richard Branson once said, if someone asks you to do something and you don’t initially know how to do it, say yes and learn it as you go.
When someone believes that you are the right person to do a job that is in the right lane and field as yours, that is already a step in the right direction as well as a confidence booster.
We all sort of fake it till we make it because we never really know how we have come until we spend the time to work on it and just start. Take a chance on it, because someone already did. You will be surprised with the results. Is that one advice or three? hehe
11. What are three life beliefs you live or swear by?
In a nutshell: be kind to others, money isn’t the first thing you should think about when doing work, and never give up when comparing yourself or doubt your worth to others.
Cheesy, I know. But you won’t imagine how many times I forget these three beliefs and how much the inner reward is when I apply them to life.
12. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?
When you’re in the pit and you feel you’re not making any ground, what really helps is to support the people in the industry as much as you can. Giving critique and following their work just to give them some appreciation works wonders for me.
I delve deep into the artists of the world, gaining inspiration and also looking back at their earlier works – they followed a path much similar to mine and even though they garnered fame and success earlier in their life, it gives me more drive that urges me to get up and start a project.
Most of my strength comes from looking at others, if that makes sense. It also doesn’t hurt to look back at YOUR OWN past projects; how you tackled a certain problem, how it was resolved, what was the result.
Surprisingly, you look at yourself through fresh lenses, like a lost pet that you met once again, realising why you started being an artist in the first place.
There is a quote I like which is “I am not content with where I want to be, but I am truly happy that I am not where I used to be”.
14. How do you go about marketing your business or yourself? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
I actually don’t consider myself a real artist. I mentioned before, you gotta fake it till you make it – I am sure that is what I’ve been doing. In the contemporary sense of the word, an artist who lives in a constant peril, drama, yearning and can never live in a world of routine.
I love routine and stability. I don’t look the part, definitely cannot adhere to living like an artist, carefree of the responsibilities of the world, nor being capable enough to make real changes in the world.
My marketing tends to be a bit more humble, not stirring the water or believing I do what I want and the world has to just accept it. Numarion is an imaginary character – for the introverts who wish to be heard a little louder.
I haven’t actually made a marketing campaign in that favor, but the way I work with clients and friends makes them feel I am just another guy, another friend giving a helping hand with a particular set of skills. Being personal and honest with your clients are just what both of you need, not trying to sell anything but just being handy when they realize they need this sort of service to better their business.
15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?
Nowhere in particular. I know the older we get, the more we will struggle to keep up with the world. Soon enough I will have a family to raise and priorities will be set a lot differently from where they are now.
In the next 20 years I will be focusing on keeping the ones close to me with best intentions. We will steadily increase our salaries, our positions, our decision making along with our expenses and struggles to make ends meet. But that’s how it is.
Your formidable years will be now, while you still have the energy and drive to create your best work. The rest becomes a way of preservation. You just thank your stars that it went better than you thought it was.
If there was a glimmering through for myself, it would be that I would be well established in the music and art industry; making a name for myself from the decades of work I have put out.
16. What’s the first thing you guys would say to the world if all attention was on you now?
Wow, great question. I would definitely pick my words carefully as this is a time of sensitivity on many issues. I used to pit people against myself, calling them different, whether it was a group, a belief, a way of doing things.
Being judgemental is very easy when labels are easily available for classification. Now, my few words to the world would be:
I am here. A human like one of you. We are not so different, you and I. You might look different or think differently, but we are on this planet together.
I hope we can all open hearts to all the different people with their cultures, way of thinking and learn from one another. (This sort of sounds like a speech from the Great Dictator).
Being homogenized is not a bad thing. We can keep our identity to ourselves but what we do should strive to live harmoniously in the process.
Connect with Numarion
Make sure you follow Numarion by checking out the following links below: