This week we're celebrating the free-spirited ones. The ones who bravely honed their passion into a skill and turned it into a thriving career. Starting with Alicia Souza’s transforming her illustrations to a full-fledged brand to Vivek Goel’s journey of reviving the Indian comic industry, we're throwing a spotlight on the unique stories that inspire us to take the leap.  

Alicia Souza, Illustrator

“I always draw things that happen around me, things that make me laugh or make me happy. My drawing are about the little things that I see around in my life, which everyone else experiences too.”

Alicia Souza - Illustrator

When Alicia Souza moved to India from Melbourne to pursue her illustration career, about a decade ago, it was a leap of faith. While juggling between a part-time job at a bank and her freelance illustration projects, when a big opportunity came her way, she knew she had to take it up. “It was big move, but I was telling myself that there was nothing to hold me back. It turned out to be the best decision I made.” In India, her work was loved immensely on social media.
Relatable, humorous and full of life, she drew everything she saw around herself and that hit the right chord with her audience. Soon she was on her own, busy building a brand, an online store and taking care of everything from accounts to clients. Ask about the best part of being a freelancer and she says, ‘I had creative freedom, I could pick a direction where I want to move in life and I could work on my own terms!”. Being an illustrator and now an entrepreneur, Alicia has her plate full with a million plans ready to take off. From publishing books to taking her brand abroad, the fun-loving and super talented artist sees her brand reaching new heights in the next few years.

Sangeeta Sivaram, Radio Jockey

“One thing I learnt is that everyday is a new day, so every day do your show like it’s your first”

Sangeeta Sivaram - Radio Jockey

What started off as a college internship at Radio Mirchi turned out to be the most valuable revelation in Sangeeta Sivaram, AKA RJ Sanghy’s, life. Her love for being on-air, interacting with listeners and bringing a refreshing change in the daily humdrums of their life brought about an excitement, she wanted to pursue as a career. For her, being at the Radio Station, doing what she does best is sheer happiness. “A usual day at work starts with prepping for my show. Talking to numerous people and observing anyone or anything I can. The key is to keep your ears and eyes open always!” When asked about the most rewarding part of her career choice, she says  “I remember during 26/11 we were the only radio station going live and taking calls from distressed Mumbaikars. I was extremely happy that I could do my bit when my city was in trouble.” For her, Radio is no more a distant medium. With the digital boom, you get real-time feedback from listeners on social media and everyone knows how an RJ looks and does on a daily basis, thanks to Instagram! And she is glad to be adapting to it while enjoying every single day at her job.

Vivek Goel, Comic Creator

“Drawing is my 1st love and publishing is my responsibility and now the responsibility has grown 10 folds. Holy cow has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant and talented minds from India and abroad.”

Vivek Goel - Comic Artist

Comic creator, artist and publisher at Holy Cow Entertainment, Vivek Goel has had a fascinating journey foraying into the industry. Though an avid comic reader and artist, he never really thought he would end up making a career with his passion one day. It was only post the 90’s, when there was a dip in the comic industry with lots of publishers shutting their businesses, that Vivek knew he had to make his contribution in reviving it. Honing his skills in sequential story telling, he plotted his first best-selling series ‘Ravanayan’ and launched his own publishing company – Holy Cow Entertainment.

“I love to recreate and redesign our gods and monsters into forms and designs that can appeal today's masses.” Yet another best-seller was ‘Aghori’, a pioneering form of series in India that gained pathbreaking success among Indian comic lovers. Next up, the artist turned publisher is working towards a brand-new superhero universe for the Indian comic book industry, with superheroes coming in from all walks of life and religious and territorial diversities. A decade into the launch of Holy Cow, Vivek says it’s a tough task managing his love for drawing and running his company. But when he gets customer feedbacks at Comic Con events or when a newly printed comic book lands in his hand, it all seems worth it.