We had the good fortune of connecting with Suman Modha and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Suman, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
From a really young age, I was always a creative person. I would try so many different forms of art throughout school and I absolutely loved pouring myself into whatever I created. However, at the end of high school, I decided to pursue Dentistry because I thought it would be a good fit for me. After taking a couple of classes, I knew instantly that this wasn’t right for me. I was a bit lost after this realization because I didn’t know what to do. My uncle really helped me making a decision to pursue something in design because he introduced me to the field. After researching more about the careers and what this field had to offer, I fell in love. I made the switch as fast as possible after discussing it with my parents and I am so glad that I did. My parents were very supportive of me and my decision. I come from an Indian background and being in the creative field is basically unheard of. However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from making my decision. I would rather be happy in the creative field then miserable in any other field. College was absolutely amazing and I met so many people and professors who really encouraged me to be the best that I can be. I feel like when you have really found something that you are passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work or school, and that’s exactly how I felt. I was so happy to have found something that combined my love of art with the expanding industry of technology. I like to learn on a daily basis. Therefore, I have multiple different ways I can express myself through art. For example, design, painting, photography, printmaking, etc. I am so glad that I turned my passion into my career!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I remember the first year of design school where I was trying really hard to be a good designer and letting other people/designer’s influence my work. I found out that through this method, I was producing work that wasn’t original or unique. This is where I started to mix a bit of my background and culture into my designs. My work was then being recognized and through this, I was able to get a couple of photographs published in journals and my work is shown in galleries and art shows. Throughout that time, I also learned that I could produce portraits of individuals using oil, which turned into a separate hobby. I get commissions from people I know to create paintings and this acted as a nice palette cleanser if I wanted a break from design. When I was supposed to graduate college, the pandemic hit and I wasn’t able to get a graduation. I was really sad about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye and I think it was a really hard time for everyone. I started to look for jobs and I had absolutely no luck. Finding a job in the design field is hard enough, but with the pandemic, it was almost impossible. I think I had applied to more than 500 jobs in the field before even getting consistent interviews. I knew that I had to be patient considering the circumstances. During my job search, I really needed experience so I signed up for Catchafire. Catchafire is a website where creatives can volunteer their skills to gain experience and also help out the community. This is how I met Danilo and became a part of Spicy Green Book. I came at the perfect time because they were rebranding and I collaborated with many designers all over the world to create branding material. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot of things along the way. I was able to experiment with my skills to create new content. Recently, I had interviewed with a company called Beyond. I met some amazing people during the interview process and absolutely loved their values and design. I officially joined the company at the beginning of April and have been loving every second of it. I know in the future I would love to excel in my field as well as get into UX/UI design. I would also love to obtain a Master’s degree so that I can teach design later on in life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I recently moved to Tampa, FL from Minnesota but haven’t had the chance to experience the city yet so if I were still in MN, the first thing that we would do is visit the Mall of America. The mall has a ton of stores as well as many restaurants, an amusement park, and mini-golf. It’s the staple tourist destination of Minnesota! Another place that I love to visit in the summer is ValleyFair. I absolutely love amusements parks so ValleyFair would be an amazing place to ride some rollercoasters, play some games, and end the day with one of their gigantic funnel cakes. I would also recommend going to Wild Mountain! They have a ton of activities to do but the most popular is their Alpine Slide! It’s really fun to go sliding down a concrete slide through a forest of trees! Two places that I love for food and rinks would be Tii Cup and Taco Libre. Tii Cup has amazing bubble tea and I always get the Galaxy Motito! Taco Libre has amazing vegetarian tacos with a ton of options as well as a salsa bar!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been a few key people that have really helped me on the journey. My uncle, Jimmy, who pushed me in the right direction and kept giving me advice to reach my full potential. My professor at St. Cloud State University, Julie Baugnet, who I still keep in touch with and sometimes go back as a guest speaker for her classes. My family who has always believed that I can be the best that I can be in anything I set my mind to. Danilo Batson, the founder of Spicy Green Book, who loved my designs and also put me out there. Lastly, my friends, Emma and Kaylee who have been encouraging me since day 1.

Website: https://sumanmodha.wixsite.com/portfolio

Instagram: @sumanmodha_98 , @suman.ai

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suman-modha-876335149/

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