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Light Nduka Chibuchi recounts starting as graphics designer with zero hope for a laptop

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Kevin Stewart, the designer for Digital Impact, once said, “Most of the junior designers I work with are fresh out of university, and many of them have spent the past four years partying and completely ignoring design.” Well, Kelvin would have said the opposite if he had opportunity of meeting with Chibuchi Light Nduka, who used his time in School to push boundaries, test new approaches and became a better designer.

The graduate of Economics from Abia State University, self-taught Graphics Designer, like most entrepreneurs, defiled odds to become a Pro. Today, the Port Harcourt-based Chibuchi has clients calling from different part of the Country, especially Lagos State, as he told TechEconomy.ng he is relocating to the Centre of Excellency “very soon” to grow the clientele base. Here is Chibuchi’s story:

How Chibuchi Light Nduka started at age 22

“Well, it all started during my first year in school- Abia State University. I have this flare for designs. I started with PowerPoint which was precisely the best Microsoft Office software for me. But it was tough if not a hopeless situation because I had no laptop. So, I moved from laptop to laptop of close friends.

Completed logo design

“So, when I got to know about Photoshop from a friend and seeing his amazing photo manipulation I was blown into the Sky! Although, I haven’t tested the software yet I knew what a clean art looks like. Unfortunately, back then in school no one was willing to give you his laptop for even 30minutes. That was a big challenge and I had zero hope of getting a laptop. I basically had to watch people who have Photoshop in theirs when they use it. It was so frustrating not getting to open the software or use it till I graduated from school. That was in 2014.

“Yeah, it was terrible. I felt it wasn’t for me. At some point I had access to a friend’s laptop and installed a trial version of Photoshop.

“Now, I was in, but just sat there and wasted days using different tools to see what they do. At that point I got very frustrated. So, I left.  Everywhere I went they were only interested in Coral Draw which I dislike.

“At the same time, I wasn’t actually going to pay to learn Photoshop. I wanted to beg to watch like I did in school then but this time I had a laptop waiting for me at my friend’s place to practice with.

Unfortunately, no one was learning or teaching Photoshop in my neighbourhood.

Completed logo design

2010 and 2014 were your learning years?

No! That was the period of ‘watching’, and frustrating years. I never made an art in Photoshop all those years until the day I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline; back in November 2014. And I saw Lynda.com advert on Photoshop. I clicked and it wasn’t for free either!

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Light Nduka

Self-taught graphics design

Yes o. No money anywhere. So I stumbled on an account on Facebook with a link to a YouTube video on how to make a frozen hand.

I wrote down the link on a piece of paper to avoid losing the link; went down to a cyber café, did the SS YouTube download trick and got my video. I happily went back to my friend and started my long awaited mission.

Due to the fact it was an advanced tutorial, I was lost most of the time. However, I knew YouTube was my key tutor because of the suggestions that pop up. I went back to the beginner’s tutorial to advanced; started cloning logos on Photoshop.

I kept on moving from one laptop to the other making stuffs till I received a laptop from a generous uncle. That was the magic for me. I never stopped.

Completed project

Since then, what has been the experience so far? And why planned relocation to Lagos?

It has been fun all the way. Every job completed for a client fetches me another.  On my planned relocation to Lagos, well, most of my clients do require to see me over a coffee most of the time. 80 percent of them are based in Lagos.

What would you say have worked for you over time?

Passion is just a piece of the puzzle. Determination seals it.

Do you intend building a Startup?

I am going the route of freelancing all the way.

What’s the least cost of a design like a logo? And what are the qualities expected of a graphics designer?

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N1k is the least. Meanwhile, each package has its term.

To be a sought-after designer be good at it, take accuracy seriously. And keep your work neat. With these you will survive not just in Nigeria, anyway.

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