Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone by Namista Tabassum

18 Apr


New intern, hard at work – Namista Tabassum talks about her first time drawing and stepping out of the comfort zone and learning new things!



You know how people ask you ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And how it keeps changing over the years from random occupations like ‘A Rockstar Chef!’ to a more muted ‘Computer Engineer’? Well it was different for me. From my earliest memories, I remember wanting to be an artist. A painter. Picasso if you will. As I have grown older, the desire to be an artist has not changed. Alas, life happens to everyone, and as such my artistic dreams were put on the back burner. I consoled myself thinking- I draw because I love to. I’m sure I would have been no good professionally! (Insert sad emoticon). Anyway, with my mind set, I started my academic journey, my destination being a good 9 to 5 job with a fat paycheck as someone’s financial analyst (My major being Finance).


And then life served me the delicious dish of becoming an intern at the One Degree Initiative. A communication intern, no less. So here I was, among the creative minds that churned out unrealistic and unfathomable ideas which somehow got mish-mashed together to make sense to the mass audience. Was this my calling? Was this my chance to prove to myself that I could use my artistic skills professionally? Was it?


NO – time for a rude awakening. See, I know art. I know how to draw; I know how to capture that perfect shade of red off that slice of watermelon you’re biting into in this irritatingly warm weather. But that’s not what Communications is about. My boss, Apurbo Bhaiya, did not hand me the silver platter full of drawings I had so eagerly been waiting for. Oh no! He handed me my new nemesis – social media campaign visuals. Visuals pertinent to ongoing 1dI projects. Apurbo Bhaiya and our Deputy head Ata barraged me with nightmarish terms like social reach, perspectives, mass audience, colour schemes, urban chic… Things I have heard of, even seen, but had no idea how to present! I was given references from obscure advertisements, to templates from random google search images. Fellow intern, Nooha telling me to make basic shapes just so – Apurbo Bhaiya telling me to conceptualize far-fetched ideas onto my poor blank canvas – Ata silently shaking his head when I show him my meager offerings. ‘No Namista. This is great but no one will get the idea we are trying to promote’. I am sarcastically dubbed communication department’s resident ‘Van Gogh’. The girl who cannot simplify ideas.


I stare at Stark, our office dog. I listen to Ushra’s witty yet random mutterings. I exchange lost looks with Sahil. I sigh. I walk over to the inHouse balcony, looking for inspiration. My eyes wander for some trigger, and instead fall on the rather noisy construction workers in the next building. I sigh again. I return to my seat, my graphic tablet in hand, and wonder what possessed me to think I could do this. I’m not a campaigns visuals designer! I’m just an amateur artist.



Pushing aside my misgivings, I forge on. I draw with break-neck speed! Well, snail-paced speed according to Apurbo Bhaiya. And then, finally, after several sleepless nights and nerve-wracking days, I am done. I email my work to Apurbo Bhaiya, a rather lost puppy look on my face. Oh Stark! Now I know how you feel when we shoo you out of our office. You just wanted a little appreciation! I get that now. So here I am, dragging my feet on my way to my Heads of department. If they scrap my work after I have redone them five times over, I’m going to stop drawing. I just am!


Geared up with a childish tantrum in my head, I approach Apurbo Bhaiya and Ata, and ask for feedback in a tremulous voice. ‘Namista the visuals are really good! You are finally getting the hang of what we want from you!’ says Apurbo Bhaiya. ‘Yes Namista. I especially like what you did with the second picture. Great job!’ says Ata.

I can’t believe my ears! It was like being handed crisp notes of money after being broke for a month. It was Nirvana! I was so happy! My confidence in my own skills had been hacked down to nothing in the past few weeks. But finally, with Apurbo Bhaiya and Ata’s appreciation, I have regained what I lost. In Game of Thrones, you either win, or you die. Well, I stepped out of my comfort zone, beyond the North wall. And I fought the White Walkers. And I have come back, if not unscathed, then having learnt my lesson. I am finally learning to incorporate the way I draw with the concepts that 1dI needs.

I’m ready for the next barrage of assignments. Hear me, Apurbo Bhaiya! Ata! I will draw to please, and I shall succeed!



Final product of Namista’s ability to step out of the comfort zone!

Courtesy of photographs: Internet



One Response to “Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone by Namista Tabassum”

  1. NaZmul AhaSan February 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Found it really good 🙂

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