When I felt like Recording

The other night while I was jotting down ideas for my next blog-post, I felt why not do a review of the year so far? To be honest the last 4 months have been an absolute roller-coaster ride and I can’t think of another time when I had spoken to as many strangers who ended up becoming some very good friends. To start with, Artist at Work’s Impart happened to me. Through Impart I got to meet a lot of people from Delhi University. More importantly Impart works towards teaching kids different forms of art in the NGOs around Delhi. Last year I got to work at Umeed near Qutub Minar where I’d met some incredible kids who I was teaching painting back then. I still am in touch with some of them. This year I did two vocal music sessions with them. While I was there to give Hindustani Classical music lessons the only thing most of the kids were interested in was Honey Singh. Delhi is obsessed with Bollywood and I can’t remember anyone who’s had an influence bigger than Honey Singh. Perhaps every little corner in Delhi has its own version of a ‘Yo Yo Honey Singh’. Currently I am allotted Salaam Balak Trust’s Aasra in Paharganj where we do little art and craft sessions. Back in March this year, Impart was celebrating its first birthday and I was supposed to make a scrapbook where the kids were supposed to write how they felt about Impart. That’s when I got to know that the kids there weren’t attending school. One of these boys had recently joined the center and he was from the North-east. The fact that he was able to write and that too write in English made my day. Every week as I attend these sessions, it reminds me of how blessed so many of us are to be able to attend a school and get our education, a basic right that so many kids still don’t have access to. Every time I go for the session, there’s this kid who comes running to give me a hug. And all that he needs is a hug to make him happy.  It reminds me of how important it is to cherish every moment of my present instead of cribbing over the past and that there is so much work that has to be done and that we who’ve had our opportunity must do the same for all these kids.

I happened to have never really heard of Starbucks till one of my friends last year posted a picture of his coffee from Starbucks with his name written over it. My friend Savi who I met through Impart and who I became friends with in like two minutes took me for my first cup of coffee at Starbucks. So while Savi, Manisha and I were having our coffee and gossiping for hours, a group of musicians came by to put up a little show. Some of them were from California, some from Poland and then there were some who’d just moved back to India from California. While some were independent musicians, others had come as bands. I couldn’t have had a better first time at Starbucks. That day was nothing short of magic. I made friends, got to speak with some incredible minds and it sort of stayed with me for days that followed. I just couldn’t get over how incredible that day was. Moments like these remind me and strengthen my faith in my belief that our life is a miraculous journey written by God. We are all in fact Alices in our own Wonderlands and the Wonderland will make us come across some incredible lessons, a red-headed villain, and a dangerous fight in the end which we can all overcome to transform us from ordinary into extraordinary.

And while all of this was on, KOOVS happened to me around March. All they wanted was an individual with a passion for Fashion. A classmate of mine sent me a link to the internship. I applied, went for the interview, and got through. So yay! 😛

While the entire journey helped me understand fashion a little better than what I had in my mind earlier, it gave me a bigger picture of how things might be in the future. To be able to be good at something you need two things- Aptitude and hard work. And the amount of hard work one needs to put in hugely surpasses your aptitude for the same. Years back my coaching teacher at Vidyamandir had said the same and it sort of became oh-so fresh in my mind. Sometime back I was watching an interview by Mira Nair and Lupita Nyong’o together and the latter spoke of how the former believes in nothing short of perfect when it comes to her work and that she never accepts mediocrity from her performers. It sort of has become my mantra in life. I too want to be perfect and nothing short of it. I hope I am able to live up to this belief forever.

This week I was in the mood to draw portraits.  Came across a picture of this beautiful model and I was like let’s give this a try.  So here’s what went into creating the entire sketch.

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Peace in.

| The one with the Sketches |

So my summer vacations are finally on and I’ve taken a break from a lot of things and moved back home so that I can finally concentrate on things that I’ve always loved doing. Sketching happens to be one of them. Also we don’t have a WiFi connection at my place and the dongle that I’m left with isn’t really the kind of thing you’d associate with high-speed Internet, a.k.a it’s effing slow! I can hardly Google things but that’s obviously the last thing I’d like to bother myself with. 😛 There is a sense of happiness and a lot of peace in not being able to have a perfectly fine Internet connection. Where I currently live is far-far away from the city. So there’s no traffic, hardly any people, or any noise. So I am mostly hibernating and then the time I’m left with is usually spent in sketching, jogging (fitness is my new found field of interest 😛 ), or watching Queer as Folks. This is one show that I perhaps love even more than Game of Thrones. I love how it lets me travel into the crazy world of Babylon which is full of sex and well, more sex. It is a pretty cool show and if you ever have the time to or if you’re a little curious, you should watch this show.

Like I said I’ve been back to sketching lately.  It used to be my sole source of entertainment when I was a little kid. I would finish off bundles of A4 sized sheets that my father would get for us drawing things that’d interest me back then. One of them was drawing women wearing loads of jewelry. When my art teacher found my sketches he insisted on sending me to him for formal training in drawing, and that’s how I got into it. I trained under him for five years till the time I was ten and then now after almost ten years since I last took my drawing lessons, I finally felt the urge to get back into sketching. So before I came back home, I managed to Google a set of sketches that I wanted to sketch while I’m here.

To start with, one must always start with the little elements in a drawing. Start from the top of the drawing, or if it’s a portrait, start with the face structure first. Once you have the basic skeletal, keep adding the other important elements. One of the basic techniques of sketching is to shade and smudge. I use an HB and an A1 pencil for darkness. While for drawing, I prefer using a well sharpened pencil, for shading, I like it when my pencils are a little blunt. In order to create a darker solid colored shade, I prefer filling the required area with a blunt pencil. While for creating a shaded pattern (from dark to medium to light), slant your well sharpened pencil and shade the lining first and use the smudging technique to create the required pattern.

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Before you start shading, you can make your pencil a little blunt if you want. Makes it easier to work with.

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I use a small piece of kite paper for smudging. Also make sure you have a larger piece of cloth or kite paper to make sure that the pencil marks aren’t all over your sheet.

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The final piece.

The following are some of the sketches I’ve been working on lately. All of them are a recreation of sketches I came across on the Internet.

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