Friday, March 29, 2013

Interview with E-Club, Jamia University

My Interview with the Entrepreneurship Club, Jamia Millia Islamia, published in their inaugural newsletter.

Hello , Aaqib ! How are you. Your Venture and projects have been quite talked about in our Jamia Campus. So , We'll talk today about your Venture - Imagication and your Life as an Entrepreneur.
Hope you don't mind sharing your Secrets with us.
Aaqib - Of course not!

Kriti : Aaqib , tell us about what is Imagication all about and how or from where did you get the inspiration/idea to start Imagication from?
Aaqib : I would call Imagication a graphics design workshop, instead of a firm, which strives to do more than just churn out colourful computer imagery. Imagication is the art of creating magic through imagination.
The idea to start imagication was neither based on impulse nor was planned. It was a result of gradual developments in the form of work I kept experimenting with. 

Kriti : What made you decide to be a self-employed entrepreneur over a freelancer at this age?
See, there’s a thin line of difference between the two classifications you mentioned and I don’t know myself as to which one I belong more. As far as the assignments and growth are concerned, the freelancer part of me will take care of the work, and the entrepreneurial side would manage Imagication, the brand.

Kriti : Tell us about the Best logos that you've designed and for which firms/Brands?
Best is too strong a superlative which I feel too weak to use for my own work. But, there are two logos Imagication is proud to be associated with, one for MiRAAS 2013 –the annual cultural fest of Jamia and another for JMI Entrepreneurship Club. Both the initiatives provided with immense creative freedom and the logos are completely concept-driven.

Kriti What are the tools that you used to develop your client base?
In my experience, word of mouth has been the best tool which brought me some good quality of work. Social media is good for promoting your brand and getting the message across but the person-to-person network is essential to reach out to the actual potential clients.

Kriti : Just to enlighten our potential entrepreneurs , tell us about the initial struggles that you faced(any family disapproval or nagging by friends) and what did you learn from them?
I have learnt that there is no such thing as initial struggles. It continues till you are an entrepreneur. The struggle to develop new ideas, to excel, to exceed expectations, there is no end to it. But every struggle should result in some lessons.
I was not taken seriously as a designer initially, and neither paid for the work I did. Even today, most of the work is extracted from me as ‘emotional investments’. But I will soon be stopping the ‘freeware’ programme as creativity is directly proportional to time and I invest a lot in every pixel of work I produce.

Kriti :From where did you acquire the inital capital / funding needed for undertaking the functionality?
Since most of the work I do is computer-based I didn't really need any special investment as my laptop is able to process all the heavy graphics with ease. And since my father is also a graphics designer, I already had the required set of softwares saving me from any additional investments. The marketing is currently all based on word of mouth and the facebook page, but I hope to invest on publicity and expansion at a later stage.

Kriti : If you were to advise an upcoming entrepreneur who is just about to start up his venture , what would that be ?
I am no one to dole out advices yet. But observing a strand of grey hair on my head, I would like to say that entrepreneurs should start young. Youth is the phase when you can take risks, when you have whole life to steer and control the flow of events. Ideas are important, money will follow – both investments and returns. Everyone has an entrepreneur in them, and what better time to discover it than now.

The interview as published in the E-Club, JMI's Magazine, 

To keep up with Imagication designs, you can log on to the facebook page:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Three Years In An Era

Three years. A long journey in a very short time!

I still feel as fresh as the summer of 2010, when it all began. Right out of school, I was a meek little guy trying to find his own self. From school to college, it’s a strangely fascinating transition. A shift which is sharp contrasted to the gradual developments in school life. The boundaries merge, new friendships emerge, limitations fade and you have to start everything from the scratch.

The three years I spent here have been a wonderful phase of my life. When I joined college I was wary of finding my way around, of getting to know people and adapting to this new surrounding which I knew will be with me for a very short time. It was not that I never changed schools, but the new phase and faces made me slightly uncomfortable. And now when I look back I only see hurdles of my own mind, college was always a free space.

The other question I had when I became a part of Dept. of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, was that whether someone would know me? I felt like a drop in the sea of thousands of students, and my heart sank. Move forward three years and I am really contented with the love and respect I have earned for me and the different opportunities I got to support the various initiatives of my department. I feel proud to be associated with the festivals and initiatives happening all over the campus, and I really hope that my efforts were up to the expectations.

One of the many things which make college a lot more exciting is the relationships you foster. Now don't get too excited or smiley-smiley with 'relationships', I just mean friendships among the classmates and also with the members of other batches too. Though I missed interacting much with my seniors and juniors during my first two years, The Pickwick Fest somewhat made it up for me in my final year. The excellent team-work from all the Bachelors and Masters batches was a tremendous binding force. Everyone had a single motivation to pull off a great event, and needless to say, they all succeeded in their efforts. Post the event, I was able to see the dept. in an all new light, much more brighter and vivid. I got to know many more people and got some really valuable friendships apart from helping the dept. create a new chapter in its history.

I feel privileged to be part of Jamia in such a wonderful time, and would like to congratulate my juniors for the excellent work they are doing. The department as well the University is seeing an excellent wave of new initiatives and extra-curricular initiatives which is cementing the position of Jamia all over the country, and to be a member of such prestigious organization is a very happy thing to note. I will be gone tomorrow, not with a heavy heart but with a brighter soul. I will miss my beloved dept. and all the beautiful people this place has gifted me. Thank You!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mark The Spot: The Kings are Here

What do you think four boys sitting in a room with a laptop would do? Start a theatre production company? No, right? But thats exactly how it all started. The dream which started off from a single room has created room in many hearts now.

Spotlight players is by no way 'just another theatre society', it is the freshest approach to theater taken in recent times. Guided by the motivation to revive the dying spirit of theatre in the country, Spotlight Player has arrived on scene to bring a revolution of sorts, taking one stage at a time. Spotlight Players, started with the blessings of Mr. Shakeel A. Khan, a renowned personality with an experienced finesse in theatrics, and is being helmed by Mr. Faiz Rehman, who is an excellently thorough professional with an extremely warm soul. And when you have such a team to work with, work ceases to feel like work, and gets exciting each moment. 

I still remember very clearly the first time Faiz bhai hinted me about this initiative. In his usual humbling self, he asked me to value my work and said that a 'very big assignment is coming my way, soon'. I had no clue what that meant, but it got me excited, nervous and impatient. I imagined many scenarios, different projects but a theatre production society never came to my mind. After a few more greetings, came the meeting in which the team gathered and the plan was discussed officially. The plan had something in it which made it feel like a really big project ever since I heard the very first word about it. And the way Faiz bhai explained it all, there was no clause for any doubt. I was all ears. Along with me were other fellow Spotlight Players, Shahzad Khan and Umar Khan. All of them have been a continuous source of energy brimming with a wonderful team spirit. My role was to  design publicity materials for their inaugural event

On 8th of March, 2013, Spotlight Players had their tryst with destiny. The team presented their inaugural stage performance, 'Oedipus: The King', to a packed auditorium of India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi. The play was followed by the Felicitation Ceremony of Padma Shri Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, which was a token of appreciation from the team of Spotlight Players. The audience was enthralled and the chief guests raved about the cultural evening, terming it among the best they ever attended. The play was excellently supported by some of the most talented faces of theatre I have come across in my university. Apart from Faiz bhai, the play saw interesting contributions from Kashif bhai, Shahzad Khan, Umar Khan, Abhilash Philip, Shaista Khan, Shazina Parveen, and all the other people I don't know the names of. The evening was compered by Aisha Shams and Kaif Ali Taqvi, both of them my seniors in college and really affectionate people. I wont give you a review of the performance as it would read like a paid write-up, because I have only positive things to say about my experience of the evening. 

The event ended well with a sumptuous multi-cuisine dinner at the venue. But the joy of pulling off such a big event and the immensely positive feedback satisfied most of our hunger. Yes, we were hungry. And every 'Congratulations' and 'well done' sounded like a dollop of Rosgolla or Laddoos dipped in the sweetest of sugar. A deeply satisfying moment for the team, for Shakeel Sir, for Faiz bhai.
The success of the event can also be greatly attributed to the prime sponsor of the event, DreamUny Education. Mr. Areeb Khan, CEO, DreamUny attended the event and was felicitated with a momento and bouquet. 

When I look back now, designing posters and banners for the event was one of the most challenging projects I have been ever offered. The event had two parts, one of celebration and the other a tragedy play. Mixing them both on a single canvas yet remain effective and attractive was a huge task. But then Faiz bhai made it very easy for me. He motivates you, revives your self-confidence and provides immense creative liberties. He is easily on the best persons I have got a chance to be associated with. In fact, I can go on talking about him, and his generosity but that may very well exceed the word limit Blogger imposes. I hope this is just the beginning of a really long and strong bond through life. InshaAllah.

Spotlight Players have set their best foot forward. The next leap will be coming soon. 

Posters of the event: 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The First Brush

Art is a beautiful form of expression. It is a mysteriously fascinating experience to say something without actually saying, to raise your point without getting in the face, to rise above all without pulling anyone down.

Creative outburst of emotions is an efficient way to channel your energy to do something positive, something in your control, and eventually influence a lot of grey cells.

Imagication started off as a lobby, which grew on to become a passion, with a lot of inspiration and imagination invested in the process. I remember a quote I read somewhere on the internet which said, Do what you love and you will never work a day'. This may seem like a bad advice but it is something I feel very strongly about.

Imagication is an effort to bridge the design gap I found in Jamia Millia Islamia, the university I got admitted into for my under-graduation studies. There were a lot of sign boards, posters, banners of events happening across the university, with a heavy dose of information on each of them. All that was lacking was clarity and its balance with being attractive. I felt I could do something and convinced myself to take this leap of faith.

I took up designing seriously last year only, with two designs for a college's freshers event. Since then, work started to trickle in, progressing to a downpour recently. In the past one year, I feel blessed to be associated with many excellent and creatively satisfying initiatives initiatives, both on and off-campus. I feel thankful to God, and to my parents for the continued guidance and support in all my endeavors. My father is also a graphic designer with Hindustan Times Mint, and he has been instrumental in me being what I am. I owe everything to him and with his blessings, will strive to take Imagication to the next level.

Surely, there are plans for growth and expansion. Apart from graphic design, other creative mediums I passionately pursue are content-writing and photography. These two art forms will be tapped and brought under the Imagication umbrella soon. Well these are plans and a part of a much larger dream. It's now time to wake up and work towards realization. Imagication is now the center of Universe for me.

Thank You.
Keep Praying.

Aaqib Raza Khan
Creative Director,

P.S: If you are a social media junkie, you can checkout Imagication on facebook at: