Shabby Sketches #34: What I Have Learned in 2016

The beginning of the new year is a time for everyone to reflect on the past and take forward our learnings. Of course, some mistakes can’t be undone (Tr… vial or bigger ones ;))  but we remember so that we can cherish the good and learn from the bad:

1. Weight is very difficult to lose and too easy to gain – All the weight I had proudly lost in 2015 was gained back in 2016. So I am back to square one in the New Year and my first dinner of the year on 1st Jan was at the Cheesecake Factory. Two hours and two cheesecakes later, I can see the difficult road that lies ahead.

2. Most good things eventually come to an end – certain friendships, the carefree days of your youth, your favourite book/movie/manga/anime, a never-long-enough holiday, a plate of your favourite dish and many more things. But don’t worry too much because there is always something new around the corner. And you can always order a second Cheesecake when that first one is devoured.

Life is like a sushi conveyor belt – there’s always something new on the way!

3. You’ll always be to able to make a friend, no matter how improbable you think it is – I just started a new job a few months ago and I was convinced that I was too weird to have any friends in the office. But now, I do get along with everybody and I do have some amazing colleagues and friends that put up with me and my weirdness. For example, yesterday I was telling them about how the temperature outside an egg can determine the gender of the hatchling in the cases of alligators and certain other reptiles. My colleagues simply laughed at the fact. Or maybe they were laughing at me. 

You might think you are weird but you willll always be like somebody else. So you are nothing special but you will always have friends.

4. You can be surprised by what you are good at – I majored in Economics in college and now I am a Social Media Executive in an ad agency. I had no idea about media planning or paid advertising on social media up until a couple of months ago. But now I handle 15 brands and their social media and I think I do a pretty darn good job if you ask me. It is ironic though because I am extremely inactive on social myself and I recently just deactivated my Facebook account. The job also made me realize I have a sadisitic side – I secretly am delighted to troll people for a living through sponsored ads.

5. Parents have an amazing degree of patience – I have moved back in with them and the first couple of months were rough and difficult to adjust to but now, things are great again and I am extremely grateful to them. I am also extremely grateful for all the money I am saving on rent and utilities.

6. I also learnt that commitment is very hard… And I couldn’t keep up with blogging the last couple of months. But I am still going to try to post more regularly in 2017 and blog more than before! So Happy New Year everybody! 👏🎊🎉

Shabby Sketches #31: Carnivorous Dolphins

I just realized today that dolphins are actually carnivorous! They eat other smaller fish! I know it is unfair and irrational but I don’t think I like them so much anymore. Their cute ki-ki-ki is actually evil laughter ke ke ke (in South Korean comics or manhwa, that is how evil laughter sounds like).

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Shabby Sketches #30: How to draw a camel!

It’s hump day today and I needed to procrastinate important work so I decided to draw a camel in honour of this lovely weekday. The only problem is I haven’t drawn anything since 2008 and I mostly got C’s in Art class in school. I really think the way art class is graded needs to be changed. You should be graded on effort rather than the final product. So what if my self-portrait looks like something from Beavis and Butthead? At least it looks human-ish and I deserve an A for that! But regardless, there’s a hack to producing somewhat decent drawings and that involves a ton of geometric shapes and lines as I will show below:

First, find a picture you want to replicate as closely as possible. Then identify and draw the most prominent geometric shape you can see from the picture. This is the picture I used:

The most evident shape is the circle in the camel’s torso.

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From then on, just keep extending your drawing with more lines and shapes. It doesn’t have to be exact or symmetrical. I used a roll of tape to draw the circle but free handed all the lines and squares.

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Drawing lines across the drawing help with placement, shape and size of features. In this case, I used the lines to determine placement and shape of my camel’s legs.

Then I added the camel’s neck and face. Here’s a warning – I am absolutely TERRIBLE at smaller features and details like faces, fingers, shadows, etc. So feel free to laugh at what follows.

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Shabby Sketches #28: Redesigning the Indian flag

Today, 15th August, is India’s Independence Day where we celebrate India’s independence from the British Empire back in 1947. India’s current flag (shown below) was instated post-independence and has never changed.

Well, I think it is time for a change! I mean what is that wheel anyways? Why do we have a circular object that revolves on an axle and is fixed below a vehicle or other object to enable it to move over the ground in the centre of our beloved flag. Surely, it should be a symbol more representative of India and something the world easily easily associates with India. (While I am being silly and humorous in this post, if you truly wish to understand the significance of the wheel, check out this Wikipedia page: Ashoka Chakra)

So I have taken it upon myself to create some alternate versions of the flag with symbols the world thinks are more closely associated with India:

Flag #1: The One with the Turban and Handlebar Mustache.

Surely you seen such a man walking around, probably talking really loudly with a brother dressed in a similar fashion and planning to drink and have Butter Chicken later in the evening. He’s Sikh, often Punjabi and an extremely common stereotype of Indian, especially to people in London.

Flag #2: The One with the Man on Fire

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Shabby Sketches #26: I ain’t Mozart

Do you have something you wished you excelled at but never could? I am sure everybody does. My parents probably wish it was Mathematics for me; however, I always wished I was musically gifted. Past tense being key here because I am now mature enough to know that dreams don’t just come true and requires actual effort. My motto is “If it requires more than luck, I do not give a f***.”

I absolutely love listening to all kinds of music. But I had to learn the hard way that passion does not necessarily translate into talent. I thought I was destined to be a musical prodigy like Mozart, like a long-lost sister of his, since we share the same birthday 27th January. But there was probably a reason why we were born two and a half centuries apart.

I took up and quit playing the keyboard three times in my life, once with the guitar and played the clarinet and trumpet moderately well in one semester of Beginning Band in high school. The following is a great summary of my musical experiences: Continue reading