From a birthday eve a few years ago – and may I say, that inner peace – is still as elusive!
These drawings are from a few years ago when I got promoted from being a designer to a design manager. I worked as part of a large inhouse design team at Adobe, and my responsibilities included only the experience design of one or two software applications.
So up until then I was a shy quiet type content to be left alone and then, suddenly I found that I was not going to be left alone at all! Meetings, emails, decisions – my presence was requested.
I had to be prepared for scrutiny and judgment, and every situation felt like it was a test. But over time I figured out a strategy for myself.
If you’re going through a similar experience, my advice would be to keep at it – eventually it will sort itself out.
A couple of years ago we used to live in a house with lovely flowering shrubs all around. This is one spring Sunday morning when my mother-in-law and I were drinking tea in the front garden.
[We stood and admired nature in all it’s wonderful forms and breathtaking palettes. Breathed deeo the sweet smell of the madhabilata hedge in all its flowering spring. And later remembered Bridget Riley, whose birthday it is, and who said,
“I work with nature, although in completely new terms. For me, nature is not landscape but the dynamism of visual forces.”]
In the early days of being a mother I hardly had time or energy to draw. I went back to working full time when Orin was four months, and we had a nanny in the day time to look after him. Both the brown boy and I were lucky to have the choice to work flexible hours which is so important when you’re a new parent.
I started drawing again when Orin was about seven or eight months old and my drawing had of course suffered. Not only was my skill rusty but also lack of sleep had nearly killed my imagination – but I kept on drawing. The journals from those years were quite terrible, but I still needed to draw, to make sense of life unfolding. Here are a few scattered drawings from those years.
From the journal Brain cut wild, 2016
Sometimes it’s important to just to get out of the daily grind and recharge my soul by looking at some art. Way back in 2017, this was one of those days.
Just the ability to do this, which I’ve also done while living in Bombay and Malmö, is a pleasure and a blessing.
The last few years has been a lot of late nights working, and in the lows of those hours between midnight and dawn I always end up questioning the larger purpose of my life. This is a poem for those times.
From the sketchbook Captivity (Feb 2017)
Over the past few years, we’ve moved cities, homes, neighborhoods quite frequently. Every new house needs a new social life, but before we’ve been able to settle down to do that, we’ve moved again. Here are some drawings from a couple of years ago when we had just moved to yet another new house.
[It’s been so long since I made any friends that I’ve forgotten what one does with them…until I read this book with Orin yesterday: Let’s be enemies by Maurice Sendak. Friends do things together – like playing and birthday cakes and making sand castles.]
[I wonder what activities a solitary person like me will do with a friend? Work? Draw? Eat. Talk. Cook. Watch a movie? I need to do more things. I need to make new friends.]
“She always believes the solution lies outside herself. Tsk.”Anteater
As I said the other day, all through 2017 I was drawing out my stress. One day, after an incredibly difficult meeting I came back to my desk, and took a few minutes to quietly straighten myself out.
- 01: Soo: Thankful I can draw
- 02: Soo: Ah…Instagram…
- 03: Instagram post
- 04: Soo: Quickly finish this then go home for the next meeting
- 05: Soo: Ma? Umm..hmmm
- 06: Soo: I’m OK, I’m at work. Such a bad –
- 07: Ma: Oh you’re at work? I saw your post on Instagram – I thought something was wrong with Orin! Bye!