Career Stories

Ashwin Chacko

Author, Illustrator and Motivational Speaker Whacko Chacko

Graphic Designer

What is your current role?  

I’m Ashwin Chacko a positively playful Author, Illustrator and Motivational Speaker. I am the founder of Whacko Chacko an illustration studio.

Tell us about your career journey to date? 

I studied BSc: animation and multimedia in college from 2009 – 2012. While I was studying I was freelancing on the side doing some graphic design and some illustration. At the end of the course I decided animation wasn’t for me so I continued to freelance for 2 more years before I joined Whoa Mama Design, an Ad Agency, in 2014, where I learned my trade as a graphic designer. 2015 I moved to Delhi where I worked as an Art Director at Animal, a boutique design studio. At the end of the year I started my own studio Custom Clay. 2016 I moved to Ireland and continued to build my studio in India. 2017 I did a short stint at The Public House as an Art Director while I continued to build Custom Clay. In 2018 my partner in India went a different direction so I renamed the studio Whacko Chacko and continued to develop relationships in Ireland. In 2019 I decided to shift the focus of my work away from graphic design and fully into providing illustration services  

How does the reality of your career differ from your expectations? 

The industry is very different from anything you learn in a classroom. I learned more in 6 months on the job than I did in 3 years of college. 

What three skills do you believe are crucial to succeeding in this career?

Curiosity, Business acumen, Growth Mindset  

What advice would you give someone considering a role in this sector?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they will be your biggest teachers. 

You value is not in what you do, but who you are. 

Always leave well, you never know who might send work your way. 

This is a relational industry so it’s not what you know but who you know, spend time building relationships.