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Meet Illustrator: Pia Alize Hazarika

Pia Alize Hazarika

Tell us what you do without telling us your job title!

I chill and draw things!

My job title?

Professional Dog Walker. Sometimes illustrator.

What is your typical "day in the life of a designer"?

I wake up, walk the dogs, space out for a while, figure my day out - drink too much coffee and then disappear into my work hole until lunch - where I pay no attention to my posture. Then I nap because the walk was at 6am. Wake up again, more coffee, more work and I end the work day with another walk - because clearly i'm a hamster on a wheel.

Design principles you live by?

Maybe not design, but for illustration - I like things to be:

  1. FUN

  2. Unexpected ( little details that surprise you, I love leaving easter eggs in there)

  3. I want it to make people think, so it needs to be compelling.

  4. I want people to come back to it again and again, so it has to be beautiful.


What problem can't you stop thinking about?

I think accessibility, or the lack of - is something that transcends multiple creative fields. and it's not just in one place. It's this spectrum of inaccessibility - Maybe it's more in India than other places but everything needs to be done in the 'expected', 'tried and tested' way - whether its career paths, childrens educational options, the way spaces are designed, the way public utilities are designed, the sort of functionality offered to people with physical and mental handicaps, the sort of opportunities offered to people across a RANGE of social/economic backgrounds - it just goes on - can designers fix it?

Not alone, but at least we can stop and make people think about what could be.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I used to wait for 'Inspiration' to strike a lot - then I heard Chuck Close say "Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work." - so now I just start immediately, sure I go through about a 5 drafts before I finish, but at least I'm not staring down at a blank piece of paper.

When is "Design done wrong"?

Ref. Answer 5.because this could become a rant!

What skill do you wish you picked up really early on?

That I'm going to look back at myself as a baby illustrator and tell myself to sit straight and get a better chair because now I have a compressed nerve in my spine.

Design tools you can’t live without? (Physical and/or digital)

Existential Dread.

Books you highly recommend for anyone pursuing a career in design?

Draw Stronger: Self-Care For Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists - so you don't compress a nerve in your spine.

Two Designer friends you admire and we should talk to!

Priyanka Paul and Rahee PunyaShloka , they're amazing OBC illustrator and anti caste activists who do beautiful, raw and thought provoking work.

Where and What did you study?

Product and Interface Design. (who saw that coming)

Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology. India.


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