First, Crawl


All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.
-Nature studies in Watercolor-

A caterpillar is sheltered within a beautiful, glass-like intricate egg which shatters and releases a delicate looking creature with a pair of eyes and several feet. The first crack is followed by the emergence of a tiny head that is adorned with two dainty round eyes that absorb and reflect the pleasing atmosphere of an unseen, almost magical outer world.

The worm pushes and pushes with a tingly sensation in its feet, moving each muscle in succession. The entire process of breaking out resembles that of stepping out from darkness into a life filled with fantasy and color. The caterpillar goes up and down and around, almost as if its feet are celebrating their freedom and the feel of new ground. Then one day, the caterpillar grows old, almost ready to die. The irony of this despairing sad state is that the caterpillar's body is actually preparing for wings.

The reason this short story matters is because one day, in your life, a time will come for you to break out and experience a new world. For me, this time came several times- in school, in college and in choosing my career although I'm still looking and exploring. The start of anything new, the mere inauguration of the many firsts in your life is going to make you step into a new zone.

Like a caterpillar, the start is always a slow move into something extraordinary. For me, picking up the pencil and slowly graduating to paints and brushes is among the few things that has helped change my life in ways I hadn't even imagined. The start was marked by line drawings of lions, triangles and flowers and cotton snowmen. Over ten years later, I was able to appear at my first national art competition where I returned without a prize, however, any start paves a way for learning, and a great one, because the next year, I returned, having won four prizes.

The start may be slow, rocky, consistent or in a few rare cases, speedy but you can't fly over any mountain till you become fit to grow wings. Don't make speed your best friend; let the quality of your work be the partner that speaks for itself. Pick up your pen, wear your dancing shoes or read more books- do whatever it takes to mark a start. The beauty of all living things lies in the journey that marks their development from scratch.

Like so many others, I too, have been crawling, learning and developing. Somewhere, wings await me eagerly.

Come Alive

Illustrated reality with a touch of imagination.
-"Fruit in a basket" Watercolor on Cartridge sheet-
Sometimes, our minds decide to shut off all their doors and plunge us into a silent interval called night. On nights like these, our eyes search for stars, and in this state of searching and moving, fireflies are born; fireflies which like ideas, travel up our skin and into our tender spots, and like little specks of revelation, illuminate us with wonder once again.

This great disclosure calls for a following plan. Once we have dived and drowned  in the sea of thought and managed to cram our little brains with bits and pieces of light, it’s time to take one step forward- time for Step Two. After the idea is in place, it’s time to bring out the fishing tackle, catch the right fish and start cooking.

One of the few great blessings of being freelancers, especially in creative fields is having total control over one’s creative freedom. One works as they like. I'm a visual artist and while creating, I look for visual references or sketch out some on my own. Several times, the things I see around me or the photos I come across find their way into my work, be it wholly or in the form of an influence (though that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hang around me or bombard me with your photos to get featured in a painting :P).

Putting an idea to life is the real test of how far you’re ready to stretch your concepts. It helps to have good company or people who hold the same enthusiasm for the kind of work you do. Get plotting, be adventurous and accept even the most bizarre thoughts and explanations that come to you. These are the things that’ll help you stand out as YOU in the synchronicity of the monochrome outer world. 

Ideas grow into ideas but after a while you should let this growing take a break. Find yourself a reference, be it a muse, thing or photo, blueprint your final plan and get building. As you begin to swim deeper into your work, you will begin to relish each depth more and more. Even though you will surface sometimes for a breath of fresh air and a flash of the sun, you will find yourself going back again, deeper this time, and while going, this journey will begin to elicit its own meaning.

   "The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night." - Rumi

The Birth of Good Ideas

Let your thoughts run wild and intertwine. My idea is to capture each moment that goes unseen in the blink of an eye like a negative, in its raw untouched form.
-"Blink" Watercolor on Ivory Sheet-
Remember that rare and surprising time when your eyes lit up and you were saying, "Wow, how amazing is this!" ? I'm going to capture that moment of wonder, build it into a train and set you forward on it. 

A lot of times people ask me where my creativity comes from. A lot more times than that, I find myself looking at ideas of other people and feeling awestruck. Its confounding how we think up to 70,000 thoughts each day and yet when we witness the ideas produced by that one thought someone  had thought, we are blown away. 

So where do these ideas come from? Can YOU think about them? Honestly, not only you but also any body can, and I'm going to tell you how. 

You have to start by walking 50 flights of stairs, doing a little dance and then coming back down slowly while moving your arms and legs in opposite directions. Kidding. Bringing out ideas is way simpler than that. I'm going to start by questioning you about the gold and white dress. Wait, you think it was blue and black? Not just us but the whole world seemed to plunge into confusion and frustration with its people arguing over what in reality was a result of changing light over different perspectives though really, the dress was black and blue.

Perspective is what sets one thought apart from another. You and I see a falling apple and eat it but Newton saw the same thing and discovered gravity. So essentially, a great idea requires a good perspective, pushing yourself beyond conventional thinking and delving into the exotic world of thought ahead. The more you scoop out from a world that is unknown to you or others, the more surprising and awe-inspiring your ideas will be. 

Another way is by making good use of your senses. I like to observe, feel and hear things around me and let ideas build around them. Take in the world around you and let each place influence how you think. We grow and change as people with every thought and passing moment - let this happen to your ideas too. 

 It is my belief that not only well-read, extraordinarily experienced and seasoned people but also common laypersons can give rise to some of the best and most innovative thoughts. I would like you to break out of the shell that surrounds you and set your daring mind free to explore. Ideas will come flying to you like birds.

     "Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box." - Deepak Chopra

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