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.”

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gutotales, Life, parenthood, People, sketchbook

A funny thing about parenthood

One day when I was still pregnant, Indira and I were talking about the baby.

Life after -3

“I guess I’ll get bored with it in three months,” I said. “It’ll probably be like an app or a gadget.”

But around six months we were still enamored! And to my consternation, I learnt that babies keep changing all the time, so there is really no scope to get bored!

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Life, sketchbook, travels

Holiday journal, 1

A break from the distant past of 2015 to the last holiday we took a few months ago. We’d gone to Sri Lanka, but as you’ll see from my drawings, events conspired to make the holiday more about the hotel room than the place.

“Here we are, in a neighboring country that looks and feels familiar, but such a different vibe, such a different sense of people.”

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We’d planned to go to all these places that I’d drawn in the map, but I ended up in the hotel at Bentota the whole time, because Orin fell ill and only recovered the day we were leaving for Delhi. These are some drawings done on the road.

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On this trip I started using water-soluble color pencils for the first time, and really enjoyed moving away from lines to shadows. (Forgive the quality of these images, my scanner is broken so there’s a big glare in all the scans.)

These drawings done in Kandy Botanical Gardens were the first ones where I was trying to figure out how to use color pencils.

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Discovered the writing of Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking on this trip.

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“You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.”

And the same is true of people, I think.

Part 2 coming next.

And by the way, I used a Kaagazi sketchbook and loved it. Will be definitely using more of their books now.

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sketchbook, travels

Flying

When I travel, I usually have two choices: to stress or to philosophize. To counter the effects of the the first, I start drawing, and thus ensues the second without any conscious effort.

Airports: The best places to watch and draw people. The placelessness alleviated by signs of culture in the food and in the washrooms, voices, customs, signage. Rushing about doesn’t help in drawing and got a few new white hairs from Lufthansa’s delayed flights.

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I was reading Reclaiming Conversations by Sherry Turkle and engaging in a lot more conversation with fellow travelers.

“I am on my sabbatical” and negotiations on the cost of holidays.

“I’m going to a conference on the future of printing – not on paper.”

“I like to take a shower between connecting flights.”

“Hey! You can’t break the line because you’re going to miss your flight!” said a spiffy but rude first class traveler going to Chicago and Atlanta.

“I go to Gymnasium” said a seven year old Nicolas from Germany, who was traveling all by himself.

I was thankful to get some peace and time to sit and draw and be at one with myself.

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In Munich I had currywurst and coffee and thought about judgement:

“Judgement is an escalator. Easy but avoidable.”

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After a point, the drawing, the relative imprisonment, and the food and drink always forces me to take some well-earned rest.

This time however I was looking forward to some cheese that did not materialize.

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On the way back I was lucky enough to get an extremely amusing companion who made me laugh the entire journey.

And as always so happy to return home and be reunited with the brown boy and our little tornado.

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Life, sketchbook, travels

5 days in California

Inspired by my ten years of inktales, I decided to religiously draw every day. Here are some drawings from a trip I took last week, flying from New Delhi to San Fransisco for work.

I took an Air India flight for the first time, and it wasn’t impressive. However my travel companions were really interesting to draw.

At the immigration counter in San Fransisco, my employer and the software that I work on, always turn out to be magic names, no credit to me 🙂

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And the most surprising of all, the driver of the shuttle that I took from the airport was a native Aramaic speaker.  It sounded like a beautiful language.

I was lucky enough to meet my friend Lekha – our trips overlapped by a few hours. By the fountains we caught up with our lives. Thank you America.

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