Life is better on the island (the island being Singapore).
Unfortunately, not all of us can do what we love for a living. We still need jobs that pay the rent. But it’s a good idea to try to have that one thing that nourishes your soul. For me, art is a little oasis I retrear to when I am stressed. It’s an escape into a calm, happy place where I feel entirely at peace for a little while.
I have started a 100 days project over at my Instagram account Sreetama_ray ( you can see it on my side bar too! )
I have rather impractically decided to do a 100 wreaths – that’s one a day! You can also search for #100waysofwreaths
If you want to see how it’s going, say hi to me on insta!
I have only done 2 so far, and possibly a third tonight on day 3. Let’s see how this goes 🙂
In August 2014, I lost a dear friend to suicide. He seemed to have been doing well – handling his depression, making amends for past behaviors. But over the university break, he decided to end his life, reportedly over his long-term girlfriend leaving him. He was visiting his parents home in India and sometime around dawn one morning, he jumped from the 4th-floor terrace. It was over before they found him.
I took this quite hard – despite our many differences over the years, we had been friends since our teenage and I deeply cared for him. A week or so before this happened, he had called to get me to “forgive” him for his selfish behavior in the past ( we were not talking at this point). And I did.
Many people thought of him as brilliant, some thought he was eccentric and yet others felt that he was just another arrogant asshole. But he used to tell me things, allowing me a little peep into his life – both past and present.
I believe the whole problem in his drug-addled, mad, pretentious and brilliant mind, actually came from a deep lack of self-esteem. The locus of his esteem was always external. He liked himself when people liked him. He liked himself if people saw that he was with the “right crowd”. He liked himself if a girl he liked, not only like him back but had a fan-like admiration for him.
I have noticed that whenever this is the case, people lose sight of who they really are. Every time they look at themselves or think about themselves, it is through the prism of other people’s opinion.
In life, all of us are bullied some time or another. Sometimes by our classmates, sometimes by a parent, sometimes a spouse, a boss, a friend. At times this on purpose, but there are also times when people do this unknowingly. It’s important to know that whatever or whoever may be taking away your humanity from you, can’t affect you so deeply if the locus of your self-esteem is internal – as it should be.
Self-esteem is not swayed by other people’s opinion of you. It’s not swayed by how poorly you did in a test or whether people are calling you ugly. It’s not broken by being jobless or buoyed by being successful – that’s confidence, not esteem. Because self-esteem is the mettle you’re made of. It’s your very fabric. Whenever you see or hear people trying to poke holes in it, I hope there’s someone in your life who tells you : Don’t see yourself through their eyes.
If I have perfected anything in life, it is the art of doing nothing for extended periods of time without the slightest guilt or urge to be productive. On a serious note, I really believe that we need to stop this glorification of busy (at least in the corporate world). It’s enough to be productive within the set number of working hours in a day. This madness is not helping anyone.
Before we moved to Singapore, we always had fresh seasonal flowers at home. Something about them really elevates my mood after a long day at work.
After we moved here, for the first few months I tried to keep this up. But fresh flowers in Singapore are hella expensive! They’re mostly hothouse type flowers, which aren’t particularly fragrant. Also, having been in a fridge for days before they actually hit the shops, they die rather quickly after you bring them home.
So, that’s something I miss, apart from having four seasons, winter clothes, and parties by the bonfire.
Once when I was running,
from all that haunted me;
to the dark I was succumbing –
to what hurt unbearably.
Searching for the one thing,
that would set my sad soul free.
In time I stumbled upon it,
an inner calm and peace;
and now I am beginning,
to see and to believe,
into who I am becoming –
and all I’ve yet to be.
I was in New York recently, and somewhere on Chelsea a man looked at me and muttered “You a fine ass woman”.
Oddly, I kind of liked it. Because in Singapore no one, absolutely no one makes lewd remarks at women (or maybe just me). And because in India, when men cat call it’s usually accompanied by rape-y vibes.
Yes, it’s as boring as it sounds.
Literally, a few leaves. My body is so tired I cannot think straight, let alone paint. All the weekends are flying by, the work week is hectic, every other week family is coming over from India to stay with us (not that I don’t enjoy this) and I have started taking some fitness classes. So this kind of uninspiring practice type work, sans stories, is all I have for now.
The weather’s been unexpectedly good in Singapore the last couple of days. It’s wet weather but breezy and cooler than the usual soul sucking heat and humidity that we usually have all year round. Hence this little spring-inspired pattern, using some cool new watercolor techniques I have learnt via my awesome teacher, the Internet. I’m also trying out ink as a sole medium, but more on that later. And because I am in love with this cheery little pattern, I’ll make home decor products in this print and share the link soon.
On a side note, I went to watch How to be Single because I love Rebel Wilson. She had a tiny unidimensional role in it, the movie was a string of regressive cliches and just sucked in a way I did not expect it to.
Singapore is super fashionable, though a tad predictable sometimes. Thankfully, the island is such a mishmash of nationalities that if you go the right parts of the city, you get to see some great fashion outside of the usual branded bores. I tend to lean toward the eclectic dressers, mixing high end with street cool, designer sunglasses with rainbow hair, etc. I also love Korean fashion in all sorts of drapey, futuristic shapes. And as in the illustration above, my absolute fave is Japanese street style in Singapore. Their use of color, personal style choices, quirky accessories and shoes make them stand out among a sea of short shorts and LV Neverfull bags. Japanese men too wear the best suits and their hair is always on point. The only trend I have a little trouble getting behind is the ultra dramatic fake lashes.
If you lie on your back, or lean back all the way on the sofa – this is what you see. A fistful of sky and a green canopy.
This one took a bit of time. But the feeling of finishing is indescribable. The best part about this blog is that I can share my excitement at learning new things.
If you are an illustrator, perhaps you could try the Zig Kuretake brush pens. I think they’re awesome.