art, Books, Design, List, sketchbook

2017 in Books

I read a lot, and these days I also draw about the books I read. In 2017 though, my reading didn’t feature as much in my drawings. Here are 20 from 2017 in no particular order and the drawings.

SATURDAY A day spent reading about art, design, writing.
And making drawings about them and thinking.


The Best, not in order

Feeling is crucial to understanding a work of art. “Einfuhlung” coined by Robert Vischer in 1873 is “a way of feeling oneself into a work of art,” which ultimately becomes “empathy” in English. The meaning of an object influences the feelings it evokes.

  • Re-read Redesigning Leadership (John Maeda): As always I go back to reading John Maeda’s books at crucial times in my life. I was so happy to read this book while struggling with the leadership role. I think what I liked most was another way of approaching leadership – the artistic approach which I really resonated with. This was drawn on a flight layover.

And the rest

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art, Books, sketchbook

Read a book you hate

I read a lot of books in 2017 and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was one of them. I’ve always steered very clear of psychedelic fiction, being the straight-laced person that I am, but when I received the exact same edition on two separate occasions from two very close friends, I had to finally read it.

No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs. Reality itself is too twisted.

All the references to the Rolling Stones’ music and The Doors’ music was quite an educational journey for me – [who] steered so clear of all this narcotic-induced visions. This could be one of those “Read a book you hate” challenges!

I remember reading it and feeling quite hot, the language was so evocative of the Las Vegas strip and hot US highways in summer, and didn’t hate it as much as I expected to.

Here are some images from Google:

From Google

Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thomson had met once and it hadn’t gone too well: “A year later, Steadman was asked if he’d like to illustrate another, much longer, piece of Thompson’s for Rolling Stone magazine – about a drug-crazed trip Thompson had just made to Las Vegas with his Samoan attorney….Despite never having been anywhere near Las Vegas, he set to, and four days later sent off his drawings. “I was quite pleased with them, I remember. I thought I’d managed to complement the style of Hunter’s writing.” When the drawings arrived, Thompson anxiously unrolled them. “Ye gods,” he recalled. “Every one of them was perfect.” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was a huge hit and the two of them became friends. Under Thompson’s influence, Steadman’s work changed. “My drawing got stronger, less flaccid. He exposed me to the screaming lifestyle of the US.” But it was a friendship that came at quite a cost – to Steadman anyway.”

Have you read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? Would love to know what you liked about it.

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sketchbook

This also happens!

As I mentioned before, the last two years were busy years – our little tornado is still under five and needs enough hand holding and attention, and both the brown boy and I work full time. Sometimes I’m glad to have the anteater reminding me to draw –

Anteater: You haven’t been drawing much these days

Soo: Drawing…what’s that?

Anteater: You should change the way you draw yourself…

Soo: Oh really…?

Anteater: Have you seen yourself lately? Here take this mirror.

Soo: Mirror? I’ve been seeing myself on video calls.

Anteater: Really? Hmmph.One must take care of one’s appearance you know? (Aside: Hmm, That’s the first sign of insanity…not caring about appearance…)


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Life, sketchbook

A Bad Day at Work: Surviving Work, Part 3

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.

TRANSCRIPT

    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!

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drawing, Life, sketchbook, Work

Surviving work, part 2

It was early 2017 when I first started to use my drawing to deal with work stress.

I was still grumpily trying to understand what my role as a Design Manager should be, and the anteater, as usual, gave his sage advice:

Sometimes all you need is a different perspective on life, like The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman.

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And I also finished reading M Train by Patti Smith around that time.

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While all this helps momentarily, there’s actually larger causes for work stresses which need to be carefully resolved. But of course, I didn’t know that then…

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drawing, Life, sketchbook, Work

Surviving work

The last two years have been incredible years of growing for me in my professional life. Challenging work, difficult situations, and always the need to build trust from bottom up.

These are some of the earliest drawings from those days:

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What kept me going was the long game, and guiding myself with

Progress, not perfection

which I learnt from this 99u talk by Effie Brown.

I also draw myself out of stress, since drawing is nearly therapy for me. The 2017 and 2018 sketchbooks are filled with “stressy” drawings – as my friend Uli would say – like this one:

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After a while though I got used to it, and learnt how to survive difficult days

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Though our man, the brown boy, did have the last word:

“Ultimately, it’s all about having a good time. Later on if you feel you haven’t enjoyed yourself it’s not worth it.”

201702-work-5

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Life, sketchbook

To new beginnings

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This is what 2018 looks like in my life. Almost 8 journals finished, though there were days and weeks when I couldn’t bring myself to draw. It’s natural sometimes when going through moments of great change, that it takes a while before you find yourself again.

In between all the drawing life unfolded. And in September we moved to Hyderabad, where I started a new job with Microsoft, as one of their design leaders of Microsoft Edge (the browser). Now sixty days in we’re still settling down and coming to terms with a new city and new people.

 

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If you’re around, don’t hesitate to hit me up!

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Books, Design, Life, sketchbook

Reading “White” by Kenya Hara

Like I posted earlier, I read White last year and loved it. Here’s a drawing I made during that time.

white

[WHITE
Every morning I sit and drink my coffee and read a few pages of White in silence and calm, and it’s a beautiful meditative experience reading this book. I feel thankful for life and everything that is still left in this world for me to wonder at.]

Read it for the experience as well as for the content.

From the sketchbook called Captivity (Feb 2017).

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List, sketchbook

Welcome to inktales

In May 2018 this blog inktales completed 12 years. That’s a really long relationship in my life, second only to the brown boy! At 10 years I found that I had nearly 120 sketchbooks – those have contributed to nearly 600 posts, despite the ebb and flow of sharing. And after a gap of nearly 3 years, I’ve started posting again a few weeks ago.

For new friends and new visitors, here’s a list of my favorite posts over the years:

About inktales

theslowart

A guide to inktales

Zones of privacy and The slow art of bookmaking

The brown boy and how we got together

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The story of us

Living in Mumbai 1: First attempts & Living in Mumbai 2: The designer’s solution to all problems

The hero complains

False Representation & Epilogue

My year of spirituality

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My friend the anteater

In which I try

Creative Block 2

Anteater wisdom

Conversation – part 9

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My family

Losing sweets

A fish tale

The Mumbai chronicles

Our labor story

Studying in Sweden

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Things I miss about home

Leaving | Leaving the film

Food & Travel

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A divine collision | What happened in Dharmsala

The brown boy in Paris

A book’s tours | In which a book I bought in Seattle sends us to Paris

Soapbox wisdom

parenting

Parenting and your sense of self

Motivation

Metaphysical | Deconstructing feelings and change

Paris, not me | Thoughts on romantic love

Being happy

Alternative careers

Some more

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The body rebels

Always answer the phone

Dog on Friday

Unwelcome visitor

Getting where we’re going | Living everyday

Not drawing

Holiday Journal 2 | How drawing saves me

Friends

Girl, one, Pacificleo, love

The Big Joshi

The one and only Parsa

Fan, one and only

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