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Why I do what I do

This website will give you a glimpse into my work as an artist,  community builder and activist. I have been negotiating the world through the lens of a creative entrepreneur for the last two decades. It's been a wonderful journey with a lot of learning and collaborating with people I deeply respect.
In the coming years, I believe that creative thinkers will be crucial to document, stitch, hold and present the world. We are at the very edge of collapse on one side, and of a future that can spin out into unimaginable wonders on the other. I believe we can get to the happier side by working together!

Thai Mural _ sample board

June 2nd, 2008

Hey girls, here are two parts of the mural I’m planning on doing for a thai restaurant. This is actually two walls. The split is the yellow fish in the middle – a little to the top.
It has another part that goes on the left. Basically the top of a palm tree.
I’m going to take out some of the coral at the back so the space is more convincing.
When I looked at the restaurant and talked to the owner about the theme etc, I thought it would be nice to do an underwater theme.
The guy has two marlins that he wants jumping out of the water, hence the view of the top of the water. He also wanted palm trees, so on a rectangular over wall, I incorporated a palm tree.
Now, of course this view is not physically possible, but! the things we can do with art and imagination.
The bottom of the painting actually falls at the height of the benches in the restaurant. So, theres no work from the shoulders down (when you’re seated). Does that make sense?
So, what do you think??


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  • babe, you are a rock star! I really like the detailing and the colours. ur thought that the work need not continue below the shoulders is justifiable, though I would check to see that it reaches the hight of the table as that is 100% safe in not making a distracting line in ones vision while sitting facing the mural.
    My honest take on this is that as far as eking a living out of art goes this is a great first step. but as far as your own voice in art goes, this is not the direction I would wish for you to take. i love your own line of work…and somehow that is not reflected too clearly in this work. dont get me wrong – i understand that this is a commercial work and something that is catering to a specific demand. This is a difficult challenge and one that you have already achieved well. My grouse that this is not as much you as your other work is only meant as a mild worry that i hope this does not take too much away from your real work…yeah?
    all the best on getting this done. the learning from this will be invaluable to you and us…so pics, posts and all the good stuff all the way :)

  • sigh! what a dilemma huh? make money, and paint..totally agree 110%.
    yup! yeah, i do want to continue doing my own thing, but i get distracted, and sometimes loose faith! thanks for the pep talk!

  • :) dont loose faith. we’re all going to make it. Im a 100% confident on that.

    So here’s how i would look at this – if the Thai project brings you a reasonably substantial amount of money that might support you for (lets say) 3-4 months, then spending 15-20 days on it is a good thing. Its really a ‘time on money-making work’ is to ‘time for art work’ ratio that should ideally be at a 1:6 spot. That is our goal methinks. What say?
    So I think this proj is a good step in getting that set up for you. Me – Im going to have to get back to blore and figure out something similar asap.
    You know something, here in Berlin, the state doles out a stipend for unemployed through a complex mechanism. the net result is that one can live off the state with a approx. E 500-700 per month income. Given that house rents are very very cheap in the Eastside, artists can really get by living off this system in a darned near-perfect and well fed way. gah! i am jealous.

  • Hey Pooja,
    contary to comments, I think I can see your style in this work.
    Its all you, so dont worry. Money, size theme restrictions are another thing. I think the important thing in painting is to just keep working. And actually a slight shift from what you do… enriches what you are planning to do.
    So when you need money, paint for money, atleast you are not working behind the counter in Ben & Jerrys :-)

  • how sweet are you nirali? that is so true. i was feeling disheartened. well, this really helped out a lot actually in liberating me, and also experimenting with acrylics. it was a huge lesson learnt.
    on the less positive side, dont know if i will actually be doing the mural because the owner of the restaurant is not doing so well, and i wont start unless i have some money upfront. soooo, anyway, it did get me started in a direction, so i;m really happy.