Breaking through the creative rut!

As an artist, we all wish to wake up in the morning, and create art as and when we please! Like Akshay Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai, where his ideas know no bounds and he seems to paint master pieces every day. Well the reality isn’t the same, and often times I have found myself in a creative rut. This isn’t something new and unheard of.

Plenty of writers, musicians and content creators deal with this mental hurdle of not being satisfied with the work that they are putting out into the world. In many cases, it feels like Mary Poppins’s words, “Well Begun is Half-Done.” Most artists start of strong but lack inspiration mid-way and ultimately give up. There is always this constant need for perfection in everything that we do.

Growing up I would always ogle at the big, beautiful sketchbooks and journals that would be line up at the book-store. But every time I would purchase a book I would manage to ruin the very first page. And there began my terrible habit of ripping out any page that I believed was imperfect. I have trashed plenty of my artworks and drawings purely because I disliked something on the page. This obsession with perfection led me to giving up on the whole, and not creating art for the longest time.

However things took a turn for the better, when I came across the Wreck this Journal towards the summer of 2014. This journal was no ordinary book; each page came with instructions on how to ultimately destroy the book. Imagine that! A book that is asking to be wrecked!

But there is more than what meets the eye! Each instruction can definitely wreck your journal, and it is up to you to turn the mess into a masterpiece. This book tells you to colour outside the lines, splatter some paint, tear and poke holes in the pages and even break the spine of the book (which is an absolute crime, otherwise).

This book helped me grow as an artist, I eventually realised that art doesn’t always have to be perfect. The quote ‘to create is to destroy’ which is written on the first page of the book, leaves you to believe that true creativity lies in finding beauty in all the imperfections.

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Chatterbox

It’s been a while since college started and here’s the truth. I am around a bunch of chatterboxes. They always have something to say, and every word that’s at the tip of their tongue is sure to make my day!

Being around them has managed to make my life a lot more lively. From talking about classwork, assignments and films to food and all the adventures in the world. There’s been times where the lecturers have had to find a way to shut us up for good.

The only time we have managed to lay low and stay quiet is when we’re watching a film in class. And that is purely because if you get distracted during the film, getting back on track is a little difficult. Sometimes we argue about whether to raise the volume or not, since half of us are partially deaf!

Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I’m glad I have an enthusiastic lot of classmates who are as actively involved with college as I am.

We didn’t need an icebreaker during the orientation, just an hour in each other’s company was enough for us to just click! Being around them for the last few days has given me the opportunity to open up and be myself around them.

Around all the chaos of trying to navigate through college, try out every item on the canteen menu, and provide translation from Kannada to English, we’ve come a long way.

This morning we realised that it’s only been over a week since we all first met. And we’ve been getting along pretty well. It’s refreshing to be around honest and genuine people, without the unwanted drama, awkwardness and fear.

And I cannot wait for what we have in store for us this year!

The Intern Squad

Throughout my time in College, I have been a part of several events and activities, and as memorable as they all were, the fondest memories for me are the ones that have been possible only through my internship.

Why did I start interning?

At some point through college I realised that I was nothing like the people around me, and if I wanted to excel in life, I would have to think out of the box! And as interesting as the Certificate courses and Entrance exam coaching sounded, I decided it wasn’t for me.

I wanted to spend my Summer fruitfully, and do something fun and creative at the same time. Which is why I decided to get in touch with an Event Planner that I knew of. We’d met at my cousin’s wedding and I was beyond impressed with the work she did. It seemed like something that I would enjoy.

I had thought about Event Planning but over time it had completely slipped my mind. I remember watching “Band Baaja Baaraat”, and it seemed like the best job in the world. I guess that is what you get if you hire Ranveer Singh, plenty to expectations and 0 context (spoiler alert: there are no music montages that mystically get the work done).

And so I took the leap. One cry for help and several text messages later, I was at my very first event! It was a wedding and I remember the theme being mint green and gold. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at the Couple’s odd choice of colours. The evening however felt amazing and I couldn’t wait to do more.

The next few events seem like a blur, from weddings to roces and even themed dinners, we had done it all! And it wasn’t until a few more trusty teammates joined us that our square felt complete.

We all had our own quirks, I was the Artist in charge of anything DIYable, my other teammate was the tall one, often utilised as the ladder that puts up fairy lights. The third teammate was punctually late at all costs.

Somehow the four of us would get stuff done, and despite a few goof-ups along the way, we’d manage to laugh it out and end the day.

Over the months I’ve had the chance to open up, do more, and have a sense of clarity regarding what I would like to do with my life.

More importantly, I felt like I was spending my time well, especially during the final year, where I witnessed most people following the crowd as it has more “scope”.

To this day, I have no idea what the term scope stands for. I’m fortunate to be around people who have taught me to choose my profession based on the talents and skills that I possess, rather than the field that has the most scope.

Towards the end of my final year in college I had realised that everything that has helped me grow had nothing to do with my stream. It made me want to finally focus on the things that made me who I am, and I am grateful for the people who were on this Journey with me!

Finding Family

This morning I walked into class to find a little note doodled on the board. It’s been exactly a week since we started College and I was beyond excited for our Fresher’s Day!

The class and I had agreed upon wearing black even though we hadn’t been assigned a theme. The moment someone walked in donning an all-black ensemble, we would all just get really excited. I don’t think I’ve ever cared for a theme this much.

The rest of the day went by in flash, and soon we were back at our seats, restless to know how “Pulp Fiction” ends. Yes, we waited about three days to finally finish what we had started. I must say the ending did not disappoint! I might have to re-watch it in order to get a complete grasp on it.

Our day at College ended with the Fresher’s Day Program. We were nervous at first, but as time passed we slowly opened up.

During the start of this week, we were asked to write down all our hobbies and talents on a sheet of paper. Little did we know it would soon be used against us. Each one of us cringed in horror as we were asked to showcase the talent we had written of.

In my case I had spoken about acting, and since I’m no professional, I somehow managed to do a terrible impression of Deadpool! Watching everyone else perform seemed a lot more entertaining.

Towards the end it had completely slipped my mind that these were just the different rounds after which they would choose a “Miss/Mr Fresher”. My skills in turn-court helped me make it to the final round that involved dancing on paper.

Now I’m the last person in the room to agree to dancing, but the catch was that we had to dancing without getting our foot off the paper, and somehow I didn’t trip, or fall, and die(of shame).

Me being my absent minded self, didn’t realise that not only had the game ended, but turns out I was Miss Fresher (let’s all laugh it out and hope that this title is never used against me).

But all in all everything managed to fall into place. And we have managed to sit well with our new little family.

Film Capsules

Out of the numerous subjects in College, Film studies has recently caught my eye. From watching movies in class to observing and finding clear Illustrations of Films, there’s a lot for me to soak up.

I’ve grown up using the lay person’s term, “Movies”. Turns out, saying “Films”, makes us sound superior, even if the film is far too complex for our understanding. Now that I have figured what’s what, let me be the first to admit I am no expert in Films.

My first ever film was “Bend it like Beckham”. As the only toddler in that tiny cramped up theatre, I don’t really recall much of what happened, but I do remember my feet only made it to the edge of my seat.

However I remember my second visit to the theatre introduced me to the world of “Asterix and Obelix”, this time I truly was on the edge of my seat, from laughing hysterically to wanting to get my hands on a bottle of magic potion, I was beyond delighted.

One of my all time favorites, is “Chota Jaadugar”, not to be confused with “Chota Chethan”. The six year old me knew nothing about the life in 3D, and watching the elements on screen as they flew past my face was an experience that I never really got over. I’ve come across several 3D “Movies” after, but this was beyond compare. And with every odd movie turning 3D, over time they’ve gradually lost the innocence and charm that it usually packed. Maybe I grew up?

The family and I went to catch a movie last week, and instead of our usual drop by to the Multiplex, we decided to go old-school and wound up at a Local Single Screen. We were skeptical at first, and nearly expected to find ourselves back in the cramped up theatre from back in 2000.

But to our surprise, the theatre had been renovated and was now equipped with recliners, air-conditioning and even 3D viewing. The popcorn stand didn’t come with an overpriced aftertaste either.

As we sat back to enjoy our Movie, we couldn’t help but notice how abandoned the theatre looked. As excited as we were to have the whole place to ourselves, it saddens me to see that all their efforts towards creating a new and improved theatre are collecting dust while the masses rush to the nearest Multiplex!

In the end, we had quite a pleasant time and I even caught a glimpse of the man behind the projector. It didn’t matter where we watched it, atleast, it wasn’t something that drew my attention. I think I prefer the single screens now!

The Big Picture

Now that College has finally begun, I’m becoming more and more aware of my surroundings. From the Library to the Canteen (Canteens in this case) the Aloysian Spirit is slowly but surely growing on me.

But today I stumbled upon a few old videos that reminded me of all my adventures as an artist. Right from the start, it had been established that if you wanted a Backdrop, regardless of the occasion, I was the go-to.

It all started when I came across the TV show called M.A.D, which stood for Music, Art and Dance. I aired every Sunday and featured Paintings and Sculptures that were created on a large scale, and they would call it a “Big Picture”.

The props that they would showcase were usually enormous art supplies ranging from paintbrushes to palletes smeared with colours. I don’t think I’ve ever been as amused by a kid’s show as I was with M.A.D.

Over the years, I had not only managed to excel as an Artist, but found a platform to channelise this “Big Picture” obsession. This further led me to create my very own Band of Artists, and our Backdrops got bigger and better with each event. It was clear that we treasured each of our creations, after all, we’d spend weeks painting away in full swing, just to achieve that look of perfection.

At times we were convinced people were under the impression that we spun backdrops out of thin air. With jam packed schedules and a scarcity of art supplies, there have been days when we’ve made a mess and then decided to roll with it.

By far my favourite backdrop, was of the College Day program from my days in PUC. We were expected to cater to the ideas given by my lecturers, but we somehow tricked them into agreeing with us. But our theme for the year was “Practise Peace, Change the World”, so in terms of Creativity our hands were tied.

On the day that we were to assemble the backdrop however, we managed to wind up on Stage, surrounded by dancers whose sole aim was to stumble into us. Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse, our Centre piece (or should I say centre Peace), turned out to be heavier than expected and ripped straight in half.

And somehow, the only solution that came to my mind was to hide it away, patch it up, and not secure it to the screen the next morning, when we could assure that nobody would disturb us.

After sleeping on it, we got right back to work at the crack of dawn, and managed to salvage the centre piece, which just so happened to be a bright yellow hand forming a Peace Sign. After moving at snail’s pace the previous evening, we surprised ourselves by assembling it in no time!

When we finally stepped back to admire our finished product, we couldn’t help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. At that moment, the relief that washed over us couldn’t be compared to anything in the world.

And here’s a picture from 2014. We couldn’t have been more proud of ourselves.

Crave

Have you ever had a craving? That feeling in the back of your head. A part of you that wants that little something for what feels like forever. Sometimes you just fulfill the craving in an instant. Other days it stays at the back of your head forever.

For example: The one food that I always crave is pizza. Do I love pizza? Yes and no. Ever since my fast-food hatred rule, I only eat pizza at a restaurant and not a franchise. Which leads me to crave for pizza but constantly forget about it. I’ve left it forgotten for so long that I eventually satiated it during our Europe Trip where I ate slice after slice at nearly every place that we visited.

Let’s remove food out of the equation for a second. What about the times where you have wanted to go somewhere, or do something that nobody has ever done before.

Or the times when someone has tested your patience to the point where the only thing you craved at the moment was to punch them right in the nose. And in my case I’ve had to suppress those Anger pangs. Unfortunately.

Well for the last three years I have had quite a few Anger Pangs come and hit me wave after wave, and not responding to them was the most difficult thing to do. But more importantly I crave for the chance to do the things that I love, without being criticised or judged.

The thing that always pained me was when we were held back from an Opportunity for all the wrong reasons. Taking part and losing in an event does make me feel bad, but I have felt a lot worse whenever we were forced to not try at all.

But then it is important to remember that if you wished for something then, maybe you won’t receive it at that very moment. Maybe it’s been saved for another day.

There’s high chances you’ll forget about the wishes you make. So when you do get what you deserve a few weeks, months or years later. And when it finally does, you won’t know what hit you!

I’ve been feeling the exact same way. I’ve always wanted to continue being creative. I wanted to write more, journal more, and travel and see the world. But I never really felt like I was letting my creativity grow. I felt like I was losing out on Opportunities and that I would never be able to get them back.

To be in a place where I finally get to do what I love, and be in a room full of people that I can freely share my ideas with, is just a fulfilment of one of my life long cravings. It clears your mind for a second. Almost as if you’ve finally fed that demon.

When all those frustrations and negativity are finally silenced, it gives time to heal. Maybe sort out the less important things that you left on stand by.

I was craving pancakes for the last two weeks and pulp fiction made me crave it even more. Say Hello to this lovely stack of Pancakes with Maple Syrup!

Together

I have grown up watching a lot of movies but I would never really consider myself a movie buff. In fact this was the year when I finally decided to keep track of all the movie stubs that I have and that’s made me go forth and watch quite a few interesting films.

Some of my year’s favourites include Raazi, Soorma, Black Panther and ofcourse The Incredibles! But apart from those and another handful of films I haven’t gotten around to watching some of this year’s hits.

With that being said, I didn’t know I would be this involved in film studies during my first year. So I was really excited about all the projects that were in store for us! The most exciting was the idea of witnessing a Film Festival and maybe even organising one.

As this week was coming to an end we had the chance to sit back and watch a movie today. The good old Classic “Pulp Fiction”, by Quentin Tarantino. We were told there would be parts that we wouldn’t understand, especially since we haven’t majored in Mass Communication.

But we decided to not think much of it. Every time I didn’t understand something, or if things were going too fast for me, it reminded me of all the times I’d watch cartoons as a toddler. Back then even TV shows like “The Flinstones”, didn’t make sense to me. And I’d sit and laugh and make some sense of it anyway.

So as all of us watched in silence, trying to make sense of the first ten minutes, we were told to take note. And there I was, jotting down ‘Pumpkin’ and ‘HoneyBunny’ as character names, even though I didn’t know what was happening.

After a while I was able to piece things together, and even though me and the class are yet to finish watching the movie, I’m convinced my favourite character is ‘Jules’, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

Now the one thing that none of us needed to look for was the countless food references made throughout the film. From the “Cheese Royale”, to the “Blueberry Pancakes with Syrup” we were simply drooling at the idea of all the food. And the food was exactly what distracted me from the bloodshed and horror showcased in most parts of the film.

Thinking about food made us hungry, and we managed to get a few of our friends to sneak in Samosas from the Iconic Samosa Ajja at Aloysius. The next thing we know it’s a picnic in class, with the simplest and yummiest treats in hand.

As for Pulp Fiction, we still have to finish watching it, since I can’t really judge without completing the other half. But today was quite a fun day. And I cannot wait for what next week has in store for us.

Walks

The last couple of days in college have been quite an interesting ride for me. From not knowing where to go, to meeting people who weren’t from my stream but seemed more than happy to make conversation with me, I seem to have found my way, slowly but surely.

I’ve learnt a lot in the last few days. Classes have been the funniest and most interactive, we were even asked to write and enact a Public Service Advertisement that throws light on the LGBTQ Community.

I have craved to work on such refreshing topics for the longest time! I have argued about the built in homophobia and transphobia in our country and the gender stereotypes that is showcased so easily in the films and TV shows that we see today. Me and some of my classmates were equally excited and our performance has now won us the chance to work on our very first PSA project.

Most of my last three days have just been an Orientation. We’ve talked about Rural Visits and Media Tours, and how we may even have the chance to organise or attend a Film Festival! The idea of getting the chance to watch more films, read more, and write more content is what has me excited!

Momsuperhero kept telling me to not just write more but also read the news, but I haven’t really gotten to it. I have had several reasons for not reading Newspapers, although being lazy has been one of them, I have never really mastered the art of holding a newspaper. I remember seeing adults read when I was a kid and think, “One day I’ll be all grown up and I’ll be able to ready the newspaper since it will be just the right size”.

Well I’m 20 and it still feels like quite a stretch. But today I had the chance to visit the College Library only to find that all the newspapers have been stapled to prevent anyone from stealing it. Now that solves my problem of how to hold a newspaper. Well the other reason for me not reading the news is my hatred towards all the reality and goriness that we see everyday. My heart does not wish to hear about the things that I currently have no control over.

I will hopefully read a lot more in the days to come. I also look forward to exploring the College more. From the long walks across the campus, to finding the Aloysian Samosa Ajja ( We are yet to try the samosas but we got our hands on some candy) there’s a lot to do at college and I’m preparing for it.

After college when I sat down and managed to get Maggi while it was pouring outside, it felt like everything was slowly falling into place. Maybe we don’t need to be afraid, for right now everything feels good.