Several months ago, I realized that I had lost touch with the most important tool a visual artist can have: a sketchbook. Somewhere along the way, my attention shifted from the simple pleasure of marks on paper to a more involved project of "producing" paintings. I became focused on the end product, not the process.
Then, this past Winter, I was travelling, staying in different homes and spaces. I did not always have a studio from where I could paint, or a way to transport my paintings from city to city, or country to country. Meanwhile, through train, autorickshaw and pedestrian journeys in multiple Indian cities, my senses were being inundated. But I was left with a feeling of disconnection to my art, a loss of magic.
A small 8.5 inch x 6 inch notebook given to me by a very special person changed all that. For a few weeks, the notebook travelled with me wherever I went, unopened.
And then, the creative floodgates opened.
The very first sketch I made came easily to me: a pattern made up of various black marks arranged over a lined grid. As is my style, I proceeded to colour in the pattern I drew and then, right there, an idea emerged.
This was going to be my #30daychallenge that I had wanted to do for so long! The project that I had been putting off for so long, waiting for the "right" time to begin. 30 days of 30 different drawings, all following a theme or process. What I hadn't planned for, however, was that each complete drawing took anywhere from 2-5 hours. How does one find this time every day when travelling, visiting family and crossing multiple time zones to set up a new home?
Maybe there never is a perfect time to start something new.
And so, 30 days turned into 60. But everything begins somewhere. Even the most beautiful tall redwood tree begins with a small seed in the earth. A simple sketch is like that. Now, I have a joyful daily practice that is nourishing many new beginnings.
Watch the flipagram that captures all 30 or see them individually on my instagram.