Sunday, November 24, 2013

The muse named INSPIRATION

I'm sure every artist, every writer faces a slope down to rock bottom where it seems that the creative mind has gone AWOL. I can say this for I have faced it during my relentless quest to write a series of short stories. It doesn't give you any clue, but this total lack of inspiration just hits you home when you least expect. So, what was I supposed to do? Sit back and wait until my muse shows up? Well, that's what I thought I would do, and that's what I did.

Only two days later it started to grow on me that my muse, my inspiration, was not going to show up. All I had was two unproductive days. My guilt having half-eaten me by then, the third day I took the sheets of paper and pen, and rode down to the place where I always wrote my stories. That day I sat with the blank sheets of paper staring back at me with indifference. My muse didn't come. But, there was a sense of satisfaction nonetheless. The fourth day I went again, and again it was the same story. The fifth day however I wrote a few lines. The day later, a paragraph. And then, it turned into an outflow thereafter. The short-story that came out of it turned out to be a really good one after all.

The entire episode made me understand that the muse that I was waiting for was a really self-obsessed being. It wouldn't have showed up unless I impressed her with my incessant pursuit. Waiting for inspiration to hit you sounds really poetic, but I learned that this muse named Inspiration only reaches out to you halfway; the other half you've got to reach out. Once it's there you've just got to keep her occupied. She'll just sit there and polish her nails, run her hands through her hair, maybe even wink at you at times. But your bag of inspirations will be full as she stays.

You can't keep waiting for inspiration; just get a really nice bunch of flowers and go impress her. She'll in turn keep you happy, believe me.

~ RN

Friday, November 1, 2013

Art Hop and the people in it

The weather in Bombay (I still prefer calling it 'Bombay') was as searing as a frying pan this Sunday (Oct 27th, 2013), but somehow it only mattered for a small stretch of time as I settled myself around my paintings to display at Art Hop in Bandra in that late October morning. The excitement was building up inside me minute after minute. Technically it was the third time I was displaying my artwork to public. But, for me, it was first such display where people came only to take a look at artwork and nothing else. I wouldn't want to talk about the first two times now. You and I are going to have a long journey together, and that is when I'll slowly tell you the side-stories. For now, lets talk about what I felt at Art Hop.

It was only a day before the actual event that I realized how big a deal it was. People from various parts of the city hopped from one venue to another to witness and revel in the sea of artworks that consisted of paintings, photographs, installations, and what not. For an aspiring artist like me, this was an opportunity to know and understand the likes of people. I mean, imagine people coming from all over just to witness art, no other agenda. It sure sounds wonderful; and it was every bit wonderful as it sounds.


It was an overwhelming display of artworks at various venues spread out in Bandra. We couldn't visit all of those, but we managed to take a tour through two of the places. And, during those minutes we spent there, apart from the brilliant artworks that were displayed, what caught my interest were the people who had come. Plain, simple people. After a certain period, in fact I was more interested in observing them than the artworks. Oh, you're free to make your own assumptions about my credibility as an artist who'd observe people rather than the artwork. Still I feel you'd understand what I mean if you indulged in reading further.

I believe, we humans are very fascinating and we carry some sort of fire within us - a magical power that we don't realize more often exists at all. And studying a human figure and its action is quite like mesmerism. That is exactly what happens to me. I recently read a blog, 7 Strangers, written by a good friend. Her emphasis was on the fact that how often strangers have influenced our very life - "Every friend was once a stranger". I totally agree with her, for every time an art-enthusiast came to my paintings and spoke with me, that stranger no more felt like one. The flow of words was as easy as breathing. And, you could feel that this stranger carried similar fire within him too. I haven't had many chances to exhibit my art yet; but, now that I'm getting it, I get to converse with people who admire art and realize that they are immensely brilliant no matter how boring and dull they seem to be in the first go. All you've got to do is build a channel to connect, which is talk. So, it's not surprising how my attention got drawn to people around me despite the grand display of artworks.

My artwork didn't get sold in the Art Hop, but what I gained out of it is priceless conversations with equally amazing individuals. And, I thank us - we humans - for being the most fascinating creatures of this world.

~ RN