Sahil Dev: How I Designed My Own World | Know the StartupTalker

StartupTalky is one of the strongest community in India and we have a lot of professionals who are doing great in their lives. To share their learnings and inspire as many people as we can, we are interviewing all the StartupTalkers in our "Know the StartupTalker" series.

Today, we have Sahil Dev as our interviewee. Sahil is an amazing designer who can beat the biggest of the industry with his talent. This is the whole story of this creative man in his own words.

Who is Sahil Dev?

I completed my primary education from Akbedkarngar, a very small district near Faizabad. I was good at studies, scored decent marks in 10th & 12th (Uttar Pradesh Board). I used to do draw and I was good at it but in the 10th standard, I chose Sanskrit over Arts and in the 12th standard,  I chose Mathematics over Biology. So, the only option was left for me at that time was engineering. Back then, I did not know design due to a lack of resources. I cleared JEE and joined IIT-BHU for Mechanical Dual Degree (5-year course). In 12th standard, I developed a great interest in Mathematics and Physics but after spending 2 years in IIT-BHU, I started losing my interest. I tried learning Photoshop during my 3rd year in college & designed a few posters for college events but I was never part of the design team (Film & Media Club). I had never thought about designing as a career option before the final year of engineering. I didn't sit for campus recruitment and also didn't prepare for the PSU's and government exams because I was confused about my career choice.

Due to all these, my M.Tech project got extended for 6 months. During that period, I came to know about CEED (2016) and applied for it. I secured a rank but it wasn't good enough to get a seat for visual communication in IIT-Bombay. During this time I started doing some personal & paid freelance projects which were related to logo and branding design but as mentioned I didn't get a call from IIT-Bombay. Because of family pressure, I came to Delhi for the preparation of IES & GATE 2017. I decided that I won't design anymore but the love for design kept growing. Just before GATE 2017 (5th February), I decided not to sit for it. Within a month, I joined ScrollDroll as a Senior Visual Designer and then Crownstack as UI/UX Designer. After working for 7-8 months, I switched to full-time freelancing. Recently, I joined Guerrillas as the Creative Head & I also do some freelance projects in my free time.

How does your Normal Day looks like?

To be honest, I don't follow any routine. I might end up doing stuff at very unexpected timings, such as watching a movie at  9-10 am or sleeping in the afternoon and working late at night around 3-4 am.

What are your job responsibilities?

There are two sides of my work: Business Side & Personal Side.

Business side involves all kind of business projects which I take such as branding, UI-UX & advertising but the personal projects involve taking up social issues & problems in a creative & thought-provoking way.

What have you failed at?

I applied for CEED 2016 but didn't secure a good rank. I had to make a choice at that time and I came to Delhi for IES/GATE preparation. I come from a middle-class family of a small town where government jobs are given prime importance. So, later when I switched to designing, the most difficult task to convince my parents & family for the same.

Also, if people might want to consider it a failure, I got two backlogs in the 2nd year & 6 months extension during my M.Tech project.


Also read: A Brief Case Study of Failed Startups


What are your Superpowers?

Creativity = Good Observation + Good Imagination

What are some tools and gadgets you use?

Mostly, I use Adobe Illustrator for branding & minimal posters, Adobe Photoshop for mockups & advertising and, Figma for UI/UX. I would like to recommend Figma to all people who are a little bit interested in design because it’s a great tool for UI/UX and also it’s completely free.


Also read: 10 Best Tools for a Graphic Designer


Who or what has shaped who you are?

It’s my father who shaped me to an extent. He is a simple and honest man and that's all I want to be, a good designer and a better human. There are other great people with whom I am connected and all of them make some impact on my life & work.

What are some hacks you have learned in the Designing world?

When we start something new, most of us don't know where to start from. It happens in the design field as well. For any great creation it is not necessary to develop the idea from scratch. You can also pick any existing idea and enhance it with your own creative knowledge and it will be yours.

How do you validate your design?

Whenever I work on a new logo project, I always validate my designs via:

• Cross-check with the help of keywords
• Google & Bing reverse image search
• TinEye reverse image search

Meanwhile big companies.

What's the most inspiring quote for you?

Everything you can imagine is real ― Pablo Picasso

What are you currently reading, or what do you recommend?

I am not much of a book reader but recently I read "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson" and currently I am reading "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari".


Also read: List of books for Entrepreneurs


How do you keep track of what you have to do?

I use Google Calendar & To Do by Microsoft.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

No, I don't think so. I am content with my career decision and would pursue on similar lines.

What’s your workspace look like?

ScrollDroll office:

Guerrillas Office:

Anything else you would like to share?

If you are reading this it would take you hardly a minute to click on my social media links.😊

What is your long term plan?

I don’t believe in long term planning. Whatever I do in the moment I make sure to give my 100% efforts. May be in near future, I would like to explore more about my other hobbies – poetry & photography.


Thank you Sahil Dev for being a part of StartupTalky Community.

Also Read: Learn from stories of other StartupTalkers here.

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About Lakshya Singh

I am a visionary content creator and internet researcher.