Life

Just the weekend

Just like I have countless drawings from 2003-2005 of the brown boy sleeping, now I have those of Orin’s endless meals as he grows

Sometimes we fight over the music playlist and fall into each other’s joke traps.

At other times we have some deep conversations.

“No one has fun without anyone, Amma”

“You need to draw the details, Amma”, he says. So I do –

“Why do you always draw when I draw, Orin?” “Because it’s like you and me cuddling, Amma!”

Standard
drawing, sketchbook

Letters to my future self

Looking back for the year-end post, this is what I discovered:

29 sketchbooks in 6 years! Not bad at all! And before 2014 I have about 98 more, shown here, over the years of 2002-2013.

I’m so proud of myself for persisting with keeping a drawing journal, despite challenges! When my son was born in 2015, I couldn’t draw for the first 2 years of being a parent…I also couldn’t draw when we got married and was jealous of the the brown boy‘s constant talent! And some other times I was just lazy….

It’s always such a struggle to make time for improving my drawing skills and the craft of storytelling through drawing.

(Drawing from 2015)

Like most hobbies there are few overlaps with my professional skills, but it’s the need for creation and expression that has persisted throughout. Some wise person once said it’s almost like you are the channel through which the expression manifests…and it sometimes does feel like that.

Drawing just after returning to work from maternity leave

As a creative individual this is the practice that has helped to hone my creative voice, and as a human being the journals have helped me make sense of daily life and the constant reinvention we go through over the years.

Here’s an excerpt from an older press story:

For Basu, journaling is a process of making life. She shared with us that through these “letters for her future self” she “often remember(s) forgotten wishes and goals or events” that shaped her. It’s delightful to stroll through the worries and victories of her daily life. One can trace the arc of the conversation the young designer has had with herself over the years and feel like a confidential encounter has taken place.

So here’s to more drawing, more feedback and commentary from friends and well-wishers who see me drawing in real life – and onwards to 2020!

Standard
Life, sketchbook

Staying sane

My survival and stress relief strategy has always been through drawing.

Anteater: Just writing the word won’t make them disappear, you know…

When I was younger I usually drew everyday, but since becoming a parent it’s every other day, and always on weekends. Looking back at all my published and unpublished work I always feel grateful for this gift.

“Everyday do something that gives to you.”

Yours truly

Standard
art, drawing, Life, parenthood, sketchbook

Chasing a medium

Back in 2015, I faced a serious identity crisis. Most women sail through these transitional times like swans, I however was more sinking than swimming. Eventually I found a sense of self but it took almost a year.

In those days, I felt cramped by my earlier visual language, and struggled to evolve my usual ink lines into something else.

Friends recommended all sorts of media, but I just couldn’t break out of line.

color5

I explored drawing with brushes, ink and pastels but the cloud wouldn’t budge.

color3

color1

color7

color6

The only benefit after all that, was the brown boy was happy.

color2

Standard
Life, sketchbook, travels

Holiday journal, 2

Like I said, poor Orin had to fall ill within two days of the holiday. Just the usual viral fever. When he was sleeping, I was drawing, reading and moping for the lost holiday.

orin_1

05_bentota.png

Here are some sketchnotes I made while listening to this On Being podcast with Maira Kalman and feeling thankful for small pleasures.

MK_notes.png

“To be under a tree with Maira Kalman and her talk on angst and ritual: bliss.”

Brief moments of watching the sea. Nature is such a miracle.

sea study.png

sea study 2.png

After Joan Didion, I re-read The Emigrants by WG Sebald. Ever since I discovered them on Rukminee’s bookshelf, I re-read one every year.

spread_orin_emigrants.png

“The seasons and the years came and went…and day by day, hour by hour, with every beat of the pulse one lost more and more of one’s qualities and became less comprehensible to oneself, increasingly abstract.”

spread_drawing.png

Extended solitude makes me write more: “Drawing is easy and lets me construct my own alternate version of reality. Because doesn’t everyone do that, only I do it in visuals. Sebald apparently started writing his beautiful immersive transporting prose where stories blur the lines between fact and fictions, events and the recounting of them, and the memories of events, because he wasn’t satisfied with academic historical writing or with current biographical prose. Drawing is easy; because like Maira Kalman says,

“Writing is too serious and angst-ridden.”

Like life.

spread_drawing2.png

“Seeing, Hearing, Listening

When we see someone often we only see what we want to see, and what we think should be there. The eye joins the cognitive dots and sends the visual to the brain (??)

But drawing gives us a chance to really look at something, explore it with our eyes, see without bias.

It’s a bit like active listening, being open and then responding. Why do I enjoy drawing from memory? It is after all a reconstruction.”

And did I mention how much I love reading Sebald? His gothic prose saves me from my own melancholy every single time.

WGS_notes.png

“It seems to me then as if all the moments of our life occupy the same space, as if future events already existed, and were only waiting for us to find our way to them at last.”

So ironic in the context of this holiday.

Standard