“I Have a Dream for Every Single Day” – Rames Krishnasamy on How He Found His Passion in Art-Design, Photography and Became a Master in it
“Trying is a first step — always try, don’t just sit there with your negative thoughts — eliminate it and just go for it”.
Rames is one of the most talented art-designer and photographer in Malaysia, he has 100+ artworks, runs exhibitions. It’s always a pleasure to work with him – he is my colleague in Mindvalley. I asked him to share his story because he is a role-model for me – he created himself, he loves what he does and supports his lifestyle by doing it.
You’ll find a lot of insights about finding your talent and growing it to a master level and also Rames shares some secrets on how to be a great designer.
Check the video below or read an article – depends on which format you prefer.
I realised my passion in the bus
I was born and raised in Malaysia, my parents are from Kuala Selangor, I studied in primary school here in Kuala-Lumpur and then in Binary College in Pouching — I studied business, which is the most weird fact here, because my passion is more towards design.
While studying business I could feel that it’s not something that I really wanna do — I didn’t feel the excitement. And I started to search for something I like. While travelling back and forward from home to college via bus — I had some books and magazines in my bag and I started reading them and watching designs and I thought to myself: “Wait a second, why am I feeling more towards design than business?”
I saw ads in a magazine and I thought “I can do better. Why don’t I study it all by myself?”. It was the initiative that I took for myself, I downloaded 30-days trial software and that’s where it started.
I would see a movie poster and replicate it.
Open up magazines, trying to replicate movie posters, then trying to match back to the original poster – that’s how I started learning design.
How to turn your passion in your profession and source of money? I created portfolio using whenever I have designed.
Knowing that I don’t have any certs to use for interviews I created artworks on behance.net and then went to this job platforms and applied for several jobs using whenever I have like a portfolio.
And then surprisingly I had few replies and actually 3 offers. I was really shocked! My first job was in “DFA consultant” — I worked there for 4 years as a web-designer.
My first work was not in business, my passion moved me towards design, and I havr learnt a lot while working there — not only in design but also communications, interacting with different types of people.
First thing you should do in order to become a better person in what you’re doing — to PRACTICE.
Practice is important in any job — not only in design, but also if you like photography or drawing or anything else. The way I do it — I’ll fix the time during weekend. Weekdays I’m pretty busy with my work — so on Saturdays and Sundays I’ll spend some time in front of my computer – I’ll go to any cafe nearby and start drawing.
Try to log down some hours to spend for yourself. Sundays I spend with my family but everyone knows about Saturdays: “Today we shouldn’t disturb Rames because he is in his zone, he needs to do something for himself”.
Do practice a lot — do not just think, do not just plan, saying to yourself “I’ll get it done tomorrow or day after” — instead spend some time and get it done today.
If you think you’re interested in design or art – try to know what you really want – it’s very broad.
The art is very broad — if you into drawing — start to purchase some books or go to the library — see what kind of art do you really wanna do — not only open up your canvas and saying to yourself: “Oh, I wanna do something, but I’m not pretty sure!”.
Design is very broad — there is web-design, there is graphic design, design for billboards, for CD covers, for TV ads… try to see what is that you’re interested in more, try to do research: how this was done, how I can do it better.
There are many artists in this world — think how will you stand among the rest, what is your uniqueness, how do you know it’s not been done before, so people will start look up to you.
If you know what you’re passionate about – start looking for devices.
Next steps would be slightly expensive. What do I mean by it? You should start looking for devices depending on what you do — like iMac for me — I need fast-processing computer, if you’re into drawing — you need canvas.
And you need to start to come up with a concept, let’s say if you want to design a billboard — start to do research — start with a sketch first, try to utilise your imagination. That’s where everything begins.
Imagination helps to process – when I open my computer I know from where to start
Inspiration comes… like even now, it’s hard to say… When it comes — I will open my phone and notepad in it and write points that I wanna do. Let’s say when I drive home — ok, do not try this yourself (me: that’s how Malaysians drive) — but I’ll just put down things to my phone and I know what to do in a weekend.
Then I’ll open my points and start imagining. The imagination helps to process — when I open my computer and sit — I know from where to start, where to get these sources of images.
As I love to do photo-manipulations — I know where to find assets for it. And after I will check if this is what I really wanted, I’ll do design tricks and share it in social media.
Firstly, it’s definitely, movies, the second is just thought when I am driving to the office, also while I’m working on a serious project, while I am talking to someone, while I am sipping a coffee, it’s just..how to say.. magic!
My first artwork is photoshopping myself as half-human – half-horse
It’s basically photoshopping myself with a horse — half-human — half-horse — until now it’ve been talked by my colleagues and friends — so they kinda tease me with it.
My artwork is mostly movie-based. And it’s something that my audience like.
I love watching movies. Also, I know that my audience is waiting — they know that Rames is going to do something.
That’s how you utilize social media — because there are people who know that you can do it and they’re waiting for your next project. It motivates me as well! Facebook, twitter, instagram — it’s not only for photos but also a place to share artworks — that’s how I gain audience.
My favourite my artwork called “Cry me a river”
It’s an eye that tries to cry over a river. I got this idea from Michael Bubble — I was listening to the song “Cry me a river” and thought: “Such a nice words, what if it’s real!”
I made this artwork 6 years ago — still if I’ll open my flickr.com — a lot of people are commenting it. That’s actually how I decided to do more photo manipulations — and I’ve done hundreds of them until now.
“How you can do it differently” – it’s the most important thing to understand for the artist.
How can someone get into you and ask: “I know you did this artwork!” and you’ll be like: “How do you know?” because even without your name on it — it has your style. If you wanna stand out — find your own uniqueness.
Resources and tools that I can recommend…
I spent some time on behance.com — you can find there a lot of artists and their artwork. What I’ll do — I won’t copy, but I’ll see how can I do differently.
I would also go to coolvibes.com and I’ll find top artists and their ratings according to top rates. Just surf there, it will inspire you.
When it comes to tools – my main tool is photoshop — that doesn’t mean that of you took landscape picture without clouds and you’re starting adding them. It’s more for colour corrections. Let’s not use photoshop to make your photography absolutely different from your original. Let say you made night shot and you’re editing the moon — let’s not do it — photoshop is for basic editing when it’s about photography.
When it comes to manipulation — we all know that it’s not real — so it’s ok to add multiple layers. I use about 6–10 images for one artwork.
So I’ll start looking for photos related to that artwork, I’ll go to devianart.com — they have tons of stock photos, you just need to request your need. But even as a model I often use myself.
I started my photography with my Nokia phone.
The first device that I used was my nokia phone — pretty shity camera. I started taking pictures and discovered that I’m into landscapes — and I started to invest money there — I knew that I need to buy a better phone, then I bought my first camera — DCLR D50 and then D90 — so, I’m using full frame camera now.
And I like to travel — so thinking about landscapes — I just got back from China — amazing landscape of mountains.
I tattooed mountains in my hand
I love hiking because you need to suffer first and then you see something amazing on the top. I spent some time hiking Broga Hills, Bukit Tabur — it’s local hills in Malaysia and then my first big trip was to Nepal and I discovered that mountains is a most majestic thing that God built and we always look up to mountains.
So when I got back I tattooed mountains in my hand. And then I went to other mountains near Tibet and it was mind-blowing experience — people are friendly there and mountains are epic.
Discipline is crusial. If you know you wanna get this done — no excuses.
What helps me to achieve what I want — first of all, discipline. You’re paid to do work — I’ll get that done it first and follow by my other projects. When you go home you have some free time — lock down this time and you go like: ”You know what — I have several hours before going to a bed, let me try to do something now, let me practice now”. If you know you wanna get this done — no excuses: “Oh, I kinda feel sleepy, I don’t think so I can do it”.
Try — it’s a first step — always try to not just sit there having all this negative thoughts — eliminate that and just go for it.
I wanna do something new every day.
That’s the first thing I have in my mind every single morning — whether it’s at work or doing my personal stuff. Because we are here just for once, I am not sure if we’ll be rewarded after, I don’t want to waste this life by doing something which is not good for myself. That’s how I start my day — doing something new every day.
My Dad is my biggest role model in life.
Many years ago, when I started to work as a designer — there are frustrations – for example, we all know that clients like to change stuff — so I came back from work and smashed my bag, my Dad saw it and asked me:
– “What’s happening there, you look frustrated”.
– “I don’t think that design is something I can do”
– “Because clients keep on changing stuff (designers get mad on that) — it’s pretty hard”.
My Dad just pulled me there: “If you think it’s hard will Neil Armstrong go up there, touch a moon? Do you think that’s hard compare to what you’re doing right now?”
From that day till now it motivates me to not give up. And in that case I started to think: “How can I talk to my clients to identify their problems and how can I help them?”
To younger version of myself I would say: “Do not give up!”
If you have a dream — work on it, don’t leave it as a dream, you have to suffer in order to get something better.
Youth nowadays is lucky — devices are cheaper compare to my times (I’m 35 years old btw) — I struggled — it took several years to buy even computer. Utilise what you have now for a better future.
I have a dream every day.
Guys you might think that it’s something really big like to be the best designer ever — not really. I have a dream every day — dream to get this done next week, I have a dream to finish this artwork today. It’s me — my passion. I don’t want to have distraction, I feel satisfied when I get things done.
Time is something very important.
This second that you’re watching right now — it’s already passed — you can never get that second back — it’s just passed. Do you have anything to do? No matter what — something important — passion that you have — you wanna sing a song, you wanna write a blog, you wanna draw a canvas, you wanna design this manipulation — don’t wait tomorrow — today is the day that you thought about it — start today, tomorrow no one could promise that you will be alive. No one knows if this world is gonna be there. Time is something important. Don’t waste it.
I have a feeling that I wasted many years not discovering my passion. Do what you like, do what makes you happy, do something good for other people, inspire people, start today.
Check the full interview here =>
Find Artworks of Rames:
Links recommended by Rames: