Tag Archives: creative

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Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog

19 January 2018

Creative Head of the Week: Avantika Mathur

Avantika Mathur thinks she was born to dabble in art. Music and art have always been a part of her life since the age of two. With time, she became more conscious about it and her curiosity grew in art progressively through time.

 

Art imitates life. She flows with it like a bohemian. Stereotypes don’t bind her. Initially, she experimented with form and style trying to find a unique style of her own. With experience, she is growing both in confidence and inspiration to discover herself.
An artist’s challenge is to be able to portray their ideas. So now, she paints and explores her style in different mediums. Her art is a narrative of who she is.
A new age artist also faces challenges of how to reach out to a larger audience and understand art. Further, artists occasionally slip into ‘dry’ unproductive phases in creativity. This can be very frustrating. Overcoming challenges are what makes an artist’s life exciting.

 

Avantika Mathur

 

Art is a universal language. It’s refreshingly liberating to Avantika. It’s her world where she can be whoever she wants to be without any outer power controlling her. It is freedom. Her artworks are like her wings.

 

As a surrealist artist, she is prone to be highly imaginative, easily crossing into a realm beyond real-life imagery. She often explains to people that she lives an uncompromising world which is totally her own. Her paintings are where people can get lost into and try to find the narrative. Another distinctive feature of her art is a riot of colours. She says, “When life shines in full glory, why be subtle? ”

 

As she mentioned earlier, she was into art since childhood. Soon she grew out of crayons into scribbling on scrapbooks, onto canvas and walls – that must be around age six, she reminisces. A decision to take art as a profession came after high school when she was planning to start her study for college. She chose her passion and which gave her happiness. Earning out of something you are passionate about and you love is a dream! And she is living her dream everyday!

 

With a Bachelors degree in Fine Art (Painting) and Art History from the University of the Philippines, Manila, and her Masters in Creative Painting from SNDT, Mumbai, she is formally well versed with fine arts.
A very observant person, her paintings are not just portraits; they are an essay, a narrative, which tries to capture multiple aspects of the character she is painting. Look deeper and you will find that the face in each portrait or artwork will convey not just the features of the individual, but the ethnic identity, the temperament and the power behind those eyes.
Her ‘Emerge series’ is a tribute to women- their rise in the new world order irrespective of their background.

 

A Surrealist, her process is to dream-reflect-compose-sketch-paint-display. Her Imagination is her most favourite and often used tool. The fuel to her imagination is her life and her adventure. Moreover, her artworks are not about the final product but more about the process and the journey to reach there. Each artwork is a discovery. Art teaches her something new every day.

 

The golden words, “Everyone has an artist inside. It is you who has to find your pensive moments. Pick up the material and let go. Who other than you to best understand the voice of your subconscious. Depict it. Art is a channel. Use it to find yourself. You will realise how liberating it feels”

 

Artwork by ©Avantika Mathur

Follow Avantika: Instagram | Facebook

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Interviews | Photography

18 January 2018

Interview with Photographer: Moushumee K Jha

Meet Moushumee K Jha, beating all odds being a woman photographer. 

Moushumee K Jha

 

Inspiro India: Tell us something about yourself and how did you start creating?

Moushumee K Jha: Photography happened to me suddenly. I did not plan to be a photographer. In one of my corporate trips to Corbett, I bumped into a wildlife photographer and my 5-minute interaction with him changed my life. The irony is that I don’t even know his name or remember him. But once I picked up my first DSLR, there was no looking back.

 

 

Inspiro India: How did you develop an interest in this field?

MKJ: I have had the opportunity to have been a theatre, stage, TV artist and have even worked in a few feature films (Assamese language). As such, the structure and the narration of black and white films, the directors’ instructions to “hold the light” and the nuances of using the play of light and shadow while planning a scene became part of my vocabulary. When I took up photography this language became my main tool. In some sense, my images are my stage, my subjects are the artists and I try to find/tell their stories using light to create a show through my pictures. This would explain my preference for black and white, use of light and shadows, patterns and reflections in my photography. Of course, I had to take a break after my marriage, but once my boys had grown up, with encouragement from my family & friends, I started photography as a hobby to pass time creatively. Soon, my hobby became a full-time profession and I gained confidence as my frames were appreciated by all. The larger push happened as I discovered social media and the ability to share my work with professionals and to hold my own. It’s been 17 fulfilling years since then.

 

Inspiro India: Did you face any problem while while pursuing this field?

MKJ: Yes, there are some unique challenges for a woman in photography. Firstly there are fewer women, though changing, the infrastructure – accommodations, toilets, transportation may not be women-friendly. Thankfully, in the last 2 decades as more women have joined the work-force across all sectors, this is changing and changing fast. There are areas whereas a woman photographer I can attract unwanted attention; or where I would consider the Security risks carefully.

At times, when I am shooting at odd hours on the street, if the area is troubled or
disturbed, I get told – “ghar jao”, go home. This is not safe for you. But then there are other areas where I may have an advantage being a woman. Street photography is definitely one such – being a woman gives me better access than a man. I can get close to a subject than a man can.

 

Inspiro India: What is it about Street photography that interests you the most? What are your top three favourite photography locations? and Why?

MKJ: Street celebrates moments, the infinitesimal if you please. I find this pure and unlike any choreographed or art directed setting. It’s the drama of life itself that unfolds in only that fraction of a second. And it is unique, never to be truly repeated. This very trait makes even mundane moments extraordinary. I have spent a fair bit of time shooting in Delhi 6 (Old Delhi), South Of India, Ladakh – especially the Batalik region and most obviously my home region, the glorious north-east of India.

 

Inspiro India: If not this, What would have Moushumee K Jha been doing?

MKJ: A painter most likely. I have always enjoyed painting since my childhood and I still do once in a while. And of course being a mother, cooking for my boys, which I enjoy immensely.

 

Inspiro India: Were you formally educated in photography, or are you self-taught?

MKJ: I was not formally educated in photography but I had a great teacher & mentor, in late Rakesh Sahai. He helped to shape my sense of composition, understanding of light and taught me the nuances of this art form. His role in my development is huge.

 

Inspiro India: Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in Street photography? What are you looking forward to purchasing next?

MKJ: Like any other art form, it takes patience, passion and perseverance. And a bit of luck, sense of timing, Some talent does not hurt either.
Purchase? Hmm… A ticket to Benaras!

 

Inspiro India: Describe your post-processing workflow? Which camera do you shoot with?

MKJ: There is very minimal post-processing involved in street photography. But for all
other commercial assignments, I use CS 6 for my editing. I use an iMac at my studio and MacBook Pro while on the move. I am a Nikon user.

Photos by ©Moushumee K Jha

 

Inspiro India: What advice would the artist inside you like to pass on to our readers?

MKJ: Artists are in love with their art-forms. They are trying to tell us a story, their story. Readers must find their own story in them and with the grammar/language they choose.

 

Follow Moushumee: Instagram | Facebook | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog

17 January 2018

Blogger of the Week: Shivangi Lahoty

Shivangi Lahoty is a full-time fashion designer, fashion blogger and off-lately a Youtuber as well. An award-winning graduate from NIFT Mumbai and FIT New York, her blog “With Love Inaaya” is a personal styling space where she articulates what does and doesn’t work for her in fashion. It is centred around fashion along with a little bit of everything else that comes with it. Through her reach, time and again, she attempts to address some important issues most millennials face.

 

The unique feature of her blog, she believes is in creating content that she herself would like to read and the products she would find comfortable to use, hence putting herself in the shoes of her followers. Unlike most blogs featuring everything that comes their way, she prefers personal screening before publishing anything. Each outfit or look is created with the utmost detail, keeping in mind that her audience includes working women who won’t doll-up to work every day but need daily fashion ideas to use their existing wardrobe as a resource, mixing and matching it to up their fashion game.

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Shivangi Lahoty

 

She has been using her blog to address some bigger issues in the last few years, namely depression, self-doubt, self-love and body image issues. These are the issues all of us fight inside our heads but accepting them is tough. When you have someone you follow or like discusses these issues in an open space, you realise everyone is vulnerable and hence you can find a recluse in the other person, she says. This makes you shed your inhibitions and talk. Being a NIFT alumni, she has recently started a segment called “Weekend Fashion Classes with Shivangi” where she addresses students’ queries about NIFT and fashion education. This adds a touch of educational and professional aid to her blog as well.

 

Her style statement is largely inspired by her Maa, as she has grown up watching the way she dresses up in a starched cotton saree worn in a prim and proper way daily. She’d sometimes tie a scarf around her hair when they went out, or put on a pair of Mommy jeans and team it with a button-down shirt if vacationing. Over the years she has realised her knack for all things vintage and retro, a style influenced by her mom, nothing maker her happier! She likes to dress gracefully, a saree or a skirt, she gives it a retro twist!

 

She loves Jenny Cipoletti when it comes to blogging, for effortless style and Tara Milk Tea for her beautiful Instagram feed. In her life, it is her mother who is her biggest inspiration. A major encouraging and driving force is the need to create and innovate various styles.

She began with creating content in 2011, but her full-fledged fashion blog came into existence in 2015. She was then involved in a research on the ‘Rise of Fashion Bloggers’ for her college and she interviewed Bryan Boy, Tavi Gevinson, Aayushi Bangur, Gia as well as some other fashion influencers. Two months of research and she knew she wanted to do this. It may sound unbelievable but Shivangi had a lot of body image issues and she had built herself over the years to the persona she is today. Once unsure about putting herself out there for the world to criticize, in 2015 she began her journey of blogging.

 

For Lahoty, blogging is a beautiful way to meet new people and reach out to a larger audience with your style and more. She runs a full-time fashion label: Inaaya & Co. It gets exhausting at times: managing all the bills, the tailors, the embroiderers etc. “Honestly, blogging is my escapade”, she mentions. It is therapeutic. Creating different style looks and answering questions for teenagers who want to pursue a career in designing or women who want recipes of dishes she posts pictures of online makes her happy!

 

Her blog name ‘Inaaya’ is her pseudonym. As she mentioned earlier, she was quite sceptical about putting herself out in the world of social media in the past hence she used ‘Inaaya’ as her disguise, which made her feel secured yet confident. She believes there’s an ‘Inaaya’ in all of us, a side which we are hesitant to show to the world. With her blog, the idea was to basically embrace her other side. She has myriad of age-range in her audience, but mostly, she has a generous number of working women looking at someone making their lives easier by helping them decode wearable looks. A huge number of young followers who follow her due to her academic background from NIFT and FIT and also thanks to all the sessions at Fashion Colleges in the past year and her YouTube channel. She also has a section of women in her audience who follow her for her Indian aesthetic towards fashion – a more sustainable approach.

She is admirable of how ‘Inaaya’ has grown in the last couple of years and the small community she has built along with her followers. In her future, she wishes to focus more on the fashion educational segment.

 

For vlogging, she uses a Canon G7X Mark II and for blogging her photographer has a Canon Mark D IV. For pictures on her Instagram feed, she puts her iPhone 7 to use.

As a blogger, she wants the audience to know that ‘the picture perfect 9×9 grid’ is not a reality so one must not feel pressurized to maintain a socially acceptable persona. One should love oneself, embrace their body for what it is and not let apparent ‘social media standards of beauty’ pull them down.

She asks the aspiring bloggers to do what makes them happy and do not let other people’s work affect their growth.

Words by Laveena Behl
©Shivangi Lahoty

Follow Shivangi: Instagram | Website

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

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Blog | Travel

15 January 2018

Know how travel works as a therapy for this week’s | Traveller of the Week: Tushar Panchal

Tushar Panchal, a 24-year-old is a Digital Account Manager at The Minimalist. An engineering dropout, the emotional sense of freedom and curiosity to capture untrodden places became his motivation to travel. His initial excursions were not initiated by passion but work. His first trip was to Hampi, a trip to Bellary for a client meeting, He wrapped up is work as soon as he could and went to Hospet bus station. At a public toilet, he went through a quick change of clothes and started his journey to Hampi.

He then covered the entire Hampi ruins and heritage sites within a duration of 6 hours. This is how he successfully completed his first trip with a second-hand DSLR he bought on OLX.

 

Tushar Panchal

 

Panchal has no specific preference when it comes to travelling, he can travel solo or in a group which entirely depends on the destination and the travel budget for the same. Not a full-time traveller, he has a full-time job and at times it gets tedious to take out time for travelling. He has sacrificed three jobs to fulfil his zeal to travel. His family doesn’t find his travelling agreeable because they are aloof from this field, and at times they are completely unaware of the places he travels to. This at times, causes friction, but nonetheless, doesn’t stop him from continuing on this path.

 

He has covered almost 13-14 states and 2 Union territories (Daman and New Delhi) but has yet to explore places outside India. His favourite travel destinations within India are- Spiti Valley, Hampi, Varanasi (which he plans to visit soon), Srinagar, Ladakh and Gokarna, which can be called “Corsica of India”. His favourite international destinations include Banff National Park, Norway, Iceland, Patagonia and Alaska.

According to him, the five must-haves on every trip are good shoes, sufficient amount of water, a camera kit and a Swiss knife.

 

The freedom to savour any natural landscape in its most raw form is what Tushar feels every traveller enjoys the most. Apart from that, every excursion is an escape from the bubbling social life we all live in urban spaces. For a person like him who lives in Mumbai, travelling becomes a therapy. Instead of going to a psychiatrist or counsellor and venting out your anxieties, Tushar feels, he visits different destinations and talks to them. It’s a conversational bond he develops with the destinations he visits; the thought might sound hippie but in this case, it is true! His upbringing amidst the chaotic life of Mumbai instigated an itch to document the serenity of calm spaces.

 

 

The plethora of experiences he has had while travelling has gained him multiple experiences which cannot be squeezed into a text. To roughly sum it up, he shares two quotes from “Into the Wild”, the first goes like this, “It is important in life not to be strong but to feel strong. At least once you need to measure yourself in the very ancient of human conditions”, and the second says, “If you admit that human life can be ruled by a reason, the possibility of life is destroyed”.

Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Tushar Panchal

 

Follow Tushar:  Instagram

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

12 January 2018

Creative Head of the Week: Gitesh Gupta

Gitesh Gupta, also known as ‘Luke CG’ is a professional photographer who hails from the scenic hills of Kullu. His journey started from his engineering days with the first photograph he clicked from his brother’s camera. His fascination gave birth to a zeal to view the world through the lens of a camera. The episode made him realise the power of perspective and imagination combined with a single click!

 

Gitesh Gupta

 

For Gitesh, the premise of any concept is human emotion, which ranges from the bliss of happiness to dejection of sadness. He feels that photography is a similar journey- it is always about telling a tale through a picture and different types of software are the tools that aid the process. His work is heavily influenced by cinema. He is fond of sci-fi action, and movies that exhibit drama with excellent cinematic experience. There is a lot to learn, he says, from the nuances of such sources- about lighting, camera angle etc. He finds in it interesting visuals and concepts in motion and a great source of learning. Thus trying to implement all of it in his work, in an innovative way.

He is largely inspired by events happening in his surroundings- bustling streets, clouds-anything and everything so to say. He also draws inspiration from another artist’s work. All of it encourages him to create a definitive work of his own. Music is another important feature that adds a cherry on the top of all his hard work.

 

When asked about his post-processing, perfection at first glance, he mentions that it all depends on how one sees things. He thinks of it as a puzzle, which has to be arranged in a  perfect manner, conjoining the right pieces, which don’t make him feel scared about the process, unlike many other people.

He compares post processing to cooking- some like it spicy, some like it sweet, but an excess of flavours might upset one’s tongue. In the same way, one has to be efficient while making use of different kinds of software available due to improved technology, he adds. The Creative Head puts to use his Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 6D cameras along with Canon 70-200mm f2.8, Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 16-35mm f4 and Sigma Art 24-35mm f2 when it comes to picking the right lenses. Phottix Indra500 and 120cm Octabox for the lighting. 

He primarily uses Adobe Photoshop CC for editing along with Wacom Tablet on his iMac 27. He feels Pen Tablet makes life much easier by aiding a precise selection as well as blending different elements together. He also recommends people to try one for retouching.

 

A typical day in his life is indeed scenic with a life in the mountains. Gupta prefers working late at night for editing as it is more peaceful and can focus better on ideas. His daytime is spent in regular official work-queries, e-mails, phone calls etc.

His favourite subject to click is a ‘yes’ to the camera by the subject. The attraction lies in the mysterious ways the eyes try to speak. Gitesh does not have a favourite location but he desires to explore the picturesque landscapes of Iceland and New Zealand.

 

The photography mantra he shares with our readers is to “Learn+Shoot+Practice+Repeat”. The first shot, Gitesh Gupta says, is never perfect-one, one has to rigorously practice for it.

For better results, he mentions, one needs to click a good-quality picture with the camera, and the post-processing edits can add finish to it. 
His message for people struggling in the field of photography is to never search hopelessly for the answers but figure out the right questions which will finally lead you to the solution.

Words by Laveena Behl

 

Images by ©Gitesh Gupta

Follow Gitesh: Instagram | Facebook

 

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Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

11 January 2018

Interview with Artist: Shweta Malhotra

Meet Shweta, a visual artist/photographer based in Delhi who is also passionate about baking.

Shweta Malhotra

 

Inspiro India:  How did you get started? What first got you into Painting? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Shweta Malhotra: I’ve always been interested in art. I first dabbled with paints as a little girl but my career as a professional artist began much later in my life. I painted for pleasure, to keep myself busy and to pass the time away. As a student, I was always attracted to art, and in high school, I won several painting competitions as well but never thought about making a career in art.

4 years ago I felt the desire of picking up my paintbrush again. I went and got a bunch of acrylic paints, brushes and started doing it, and it’s really been a therapeutic thing for me.

 

Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of Visual Art? And the challenges you faced as an artist?

SM: I’m a self-taught painter, who loves to colour the abstract beauty on canvas and enliven its gleam in the viewers’ eyes. For me, art is like being on a roller coaster, ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns. My paintings splash the eternal meaning of all the highs and lows of one’s life into a depth of emotions. My painted canvases are colourful, I cherish old traditions, new ideas, style and knowledge.

 

 

Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain your work process of Paintings?

SM: I work with several tools and try to bring out something new in every new series. But the process is sometimes easy and at times cruel as well. Some pieces take either hours or months to complete. I never set a target for completing my work. One of my paintings in my last show took the longest. I always let my work rest for a day or two and come back to it. This gives me time to think about what I am going to do next in a completely different way.

When I start something new, I have a set direction usually few sketches but when I paint, I let my creativity and mind play on the canvas. That way my work stays varied and fresh. I do not stick with a style and replicate it over and over for a long time. When I start feeling comfortable, that is not a good sign so I change things up.

 

Inspiro India: Is studying Art in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

SM: It is a loaded question but honestly it depends mostly whether you choose the right college or not.

I have never attended any art college and always feel you don’t really get much out of it financially after paying a good amount of fees. There is an overwhelming chance you will not make money in art. You will find a lot of people who will truly appreciate your art but there are very few who will buy it.

From the skill point of you, I will recommend going to small art schools or institutes. Find a mentor instead of looking for an art college. Most of the skills you can gain yourself by intense self-work, but it’s helpful to have a mentor who can guide you out of the ruts you will fall into.

 

Inspiro India: Who/What has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

SM: I’m a person who is influenced by love the most. Fortunately, that is what I got in abundance from my family. They are my most valuable support system. My relationship with God and my family form the foundation of who I am. Everything else is built on top of this.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?

SM: To be honest with you, I never quite knew what exactly I wanted to become. One day I wanted to be a chef and another day a teacher. I always felt a bit insecure about the future and couldn’t imagine myself as someone.

Soon I realised, It doesn’t matter what you always wanted to be. It’s just a fantasy. What matters is this moment, now.

 

Inspiro India: How would you define beauty in less than 140 characters?

SM: True beauty comes from a person’s internal attributes, the unfading beauty of being a gentle and quiet soul. It’s a state of mind, it’s a quality. Nothing in this world is perfect and I always believe that the beauty lies in someone’s eye.  If you see something with a vision of beauty it will definitely become beautiful. Else try it in any form or way that thing or person will never turn beautiful. Beauty is infinite, everyone and everything is beautiful in its own way.

 

Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

SM: Apart from painting, I’m passionate about baking. I love the process of researching new recipes and testing them. I can bake delicious cake and make some scrumptious chocolates and desserts.

 

Paintings by ©Shweta Malhotra

 

Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Some creative tips you’d like to share?

SM: The only advice I can give is, do not wait around for some miracle to happen. All the best ideas come out of the process, the hard work. Just follow your instinct and work on it, things will happen. Definitely!!!

 

Follow Shweta: Instagram | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

8 January 2018

The traveller who has visited 80 countries and gives everyone some serious travel goals. | Traveller of the Week: Abhilash Surendran

Abhilash Surendran hails from Kozhikode district in Kerala right next to a former French colony called Mahe, he calls them both home! Abhilash has quit his corporate job twice to become a full-time traveller and travel blogger. Having failed the first time, the second trial seems to be going good, he says, ‘I had not strategized properly on the pitfalls of travel blogging’.

 

Surendran considers himself to be a mix of an orthodox and offbeat traveller. He enjoys visiting tourist places as well as places unexplored by the crowd. ‘After visiting 80 countries around the world, and almost every part of India, I think every place however touristy, crowded, dirty or polluted it is – has its own charm. It’s always up to the visitor to figure it out’, he says giving everyone some serious travel goals.

 

Abhilash Surendran

 

In 2008, the now travel junkie went on his first solo trip. While working in an MNC in Chennai, he was asked to move to their office in Manila, Philippines. A scary prospect at first, he accepted. ‘Living in the Philippines ended up changing my life!

After the Philippines, I was hooked. I started backpacking to other parts of South East Asia, came back to India to do road trips around my own country, went discovering Europe, Oceania and the Americas. And I don’t think I am stopping anytime soon’, he says.

 

Abhilash loves travelling solo and makes friends in places he visits and does short travels with them as a group to nearby places, a much better way to get to know the places from the eyes of a local rarely on the tourist trail.

 

The biggest challenge for Abhilash is family! He left a well-paying job in Singapore before he changed his profession of becoming a traveller. His family was definitely not happy with his career choice. They are now fully convinced and supportive of the idea.

 

For International trips, the traveller makes it a point to have a general plan in advance for cheaper flight tickets. ‘Like, I will spend 3 weeks in Germany. But what I do in those 3 weeks, is quite flexible’, mentions the travel blogger.

In India, he travels on his motorbike, riding solo around the country which also means he can go with the flow and do a little bit of research about the offbeat places he’d like to visit and save it to google maps. Whenever he is in the area, he makes it a point to visit the pinned locations!

 

The traveller’s 5 must-visit locations would be, firstly, Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Lohit, Anjaw and Changlang Districts are untouched and have amazing natural beauty!

Outside India, Jordan. The Bedouin culture and hospitality is amazing. Also, sights like Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash etcetera are not only historic but also out of this world. Serbia, one of his favourite countries in the Balkan region is full of delightful people, amazing food and easy to travel or hitchhike. Next is Timor Leste, the untouched and the latest country of ASEAN, the country gets only 10,000 visitors every year. A complete adventure to travel to, he was surprised to visit villages where he was the first tourist they had ever seen!

Last but not the least, San Marino. A country surrounded by Italy, it is the only country in the world where there are more people than vehicles. The pristine city views are straight out of a renaissance movie set.

Now, on to his 5 must-haves for travelling and staying outdoors.

In India, he prefers to travel only on his motorbike as it makes any place accessible. Second would be, a sturdy and multi-purpose backpack. Not to forget, offline maps, he suggests an application called maps.me! A sleeping bag, if one is into camping outside.  Finally, a will to be flexible and adapt to situations is a must! The ability to accept different cultures, mindsets, people and the ability to get along with them makes the journey much more fulfilling.

 

The traveller loves meeting the locals on his expeditions. He does admit places, monuments and nature are great for photographs but one can only learn about the place through the eyes and the mouths of a local.

Abhilash prefers to listen to the natives and explore the not so ordinary sites, he remembers his earlier days of chasing the touristy spots, unlike today.

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Andorra, Europe

Brahmaputra, Guwahati

Cairo, Egypt

Istanbul, Turkey

Seria, Brunei

Varanasi, India

 

Surendran has covered all states except Mizoram, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh. Outside India, his travelling has been in circuits as he usually travels for longer durations. ‘I started with the Banana pancake trail of South East Asia, which covers countries like Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Then there is the Indonesia island circuit, taking you through the islands of Java and Borneo’, he adds. In Europe, time was mostly spent doing the Baltic trail (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) or the Balkans stretch (Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, etc).

 

 

One life lesson he has learnt through travelling – ‘That the world is not what you read about in a magazine or newspaper. I am not going to lie, I had many of my biases shattered in different places that I have visited around the world. These biases were formed by media, or opinions of friends, over the years, and only when I visited the place did I know how wrong my understanding was’.

For example, he says before visiting North East India, he perceived the tribes to be orthodox and not set in present times. But once he actually arrived, he was greeted with friendliness and generosity! A much more modern mindset than the rest of India, he says the entire country can learn a thing or two.

Also, media often portrays the Islamic countries around the world as orthodox and conventional. Whilst travelling to Bangladesh, Brunei and the Middle-East, the traveller made a note to wear decent clothes hiding his tattoos as not to offend anyone. He was blown away instantly by attending the craziest house party in Dhaka! The youth did have fun but unfortunately, the media portrays most of the countries in a much different light than usual which shouldn’t stop one from exploring and travelling all the countries out there!

Words by Harpreet
Images by ©Abhilash Surendran

 

Follow Abhilash:  Instagram | Website | Facebook

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

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Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Inspiration

7 January 2018

Artist Spotlight: Joy Brasilino | iiOverseas

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ has been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing creative community.
We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

The end of the year calls for a new fortnightly ‘Overseas Feature’ representing ‘Creative Heads’ from all over the globe.
Inspiro India brings to you the ‘iiOverseas

 

Intense feelings of passion and freedom while creating was what made Joy Brasilino decide her path towards creating art. Feelings which began during her childhood, she began in a playful and uncompromising manner like true artists do. Joy is from São Luís, a city in Maranhão, Brazil. Only in her early teens did she realize that this is what she would do to live. ‘I have taken the practice seriously since’, she says.

 

Joy Brasilino

 

As a child, Joy was very confused by the conflicts between her heart and what the world expected of her. Nevertheless, she always felt she wanted to be in some creative career.

 

Visual art means everything to Brasilino, it is something that carries extremely complex meanings to possibilities. To be more accurate, it also describes what is within her. Art has saved her life, she says. It still has continued to give her higher perspectives on life. ‘I was also given a certain adventurous spirit, a researcher, curious in the way we all are as children’, says Joy Brasilino.

 

Joy doesn’t really recognize her art to be of a particular style. She is still reforming in search for a unique style. Every artwork she creates is quite different from each other.

 

Her approach to illustration starts by analyzing what she has done so far, a more realistic approach than a stylized one, Joy does not intend to maintain a fixed style. She is always trying to reform her practice in illustration for something freer along with more personality as she creates.

 

Her portraits try to capture feminine glances, other times immersions in ethereal, abstract and coloured sensations, and a certain variation of possibilities within it.

 

She also thinks most of the challenges faced by her are common to every artist in the beginning. In terms of financial obstacles, the search for a proper and consistent visual identity is one challenge Joy has engaged with. ‘But a specific challenge has concentrated a lot of her attention, which is to be away from the great courses and art universities, which would really teach me practice and the market. So that makes me self-taught, and sometimes not as well-oriented as I’d like’, admits Joy Brasilino.

 

Pencil, paper, a computer for research and a tablet are the tools she can’t imagine her artistic life without. Her work process consists of trying to capture abstract sensations, combining aesthetic references, and ultimately trying to develop a technique combining with all that she has got. Usually, she scribbles on random papers in random places. And when she gets home, she tries to develop the idea by combining photographic references, songs, and everything that makes her feel what she wants to get through. After that, it’s hours and days of immersion in those feelings and references!

 

Personally, the creative head doesn’t believe in ‘pure talent or in that concept of ‘genius artist’. Everything comes in a magical and mysterious way. She believes that a gift can mean absolutely nothing without study and hard work. So she tries to develop her studies of photography, lighting, anatomy, colour, texture, composition. Most of her published works are studies. She also believes a university can help a lot in this process. The institution helps to stay focused and learn new things that would take more time to discover alone. ‘Having a teacher, an experienced master leading the way is wonderful. But I think a self-directed study should never be abandoned’, adds Brasilino.

 

 

Joy’s strongest skill is the ability she has to focus completely on what she is working or researching on. Not to forget, aligning her eyes with her hand a lot, the ability to portray real things with fidelity. ‘But I don’t believe that the latter is something so fundamental to an artist’, adds the artist.

 

Besides work, Joy is in love with the light. It is something that permeates her daily life, observe the incidence of light, variation, colour. She also believes it is something that focuses a lot on her work, especially the colours and the energy that each one goes through. ‘I’m fissured by all this’, she says.

 

The artist believes Osho and all this oriental spiritual wisdom to be the biggest influence in her way of thinking. It has been a daily reform of her principles which has also brought her closer to freedom, creativity, harmony and authenticity.

 

All that causes pleasure, comfort and enjoyment through an almost ethereal presence, be it sonorous, visual or completely immaterial is what defines beauty for Joy!

 

Joy’s inner artist advises our readers to look for their own voice. She says, ‘Often we think we’re being ourselves, and we have a voice of our own, but we’re actually stuck in what they expect us to be, what they taught us was better, and often it’s so far from the truth and so far from ourselves. To know yourself, for the first time. Find your unique energy and put your strength into it. Only then will we be able to live fully and only then we can make an authentic art. I’m still learning this practice but it makes difference even in the beginning’.

 

Images by ©Joy Brasilino

Follow Joy: Instagram 

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

 

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By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Interviews | Photography

4 January 2018

Interview with Photographer: Jassi Oberai

Meet Jassi Oberai, a pharmacist living his dream life by capturing the beauty of nature and everything that comes his way. 

Jassi Oberai

 

Inspiro India: Tell us something about yourself and how did you start creating?

– Photography happened to me suddenly. I did not plan to be a photographer. In one of my corporate trips to Corbett, I bumped into a wildlife photographer and my 5-minute interaction with him changed my life. The irony is that I don’t even know his name or remember him. But once I picked up my first DSLR, there was no looking back.

 

Inspiro India: Can you talk a bit about your travel photography and way of working?

– Unlike earlier, today my travel photography is mostly on the photo tours that I organise and conduct. And that poses a huge challenge because when you are leading a photo tour, the priority is participants and not you. I have managed to fine-tune the act of balancing.

 

 

Inspiro India: Did you face any problem while pursuing this field? How satisfied do you feel after working in this field?

– Well, nothing except for weather challenges and that is what makes photography ever so exciting. I remember one incident while I was trying to shoot a seascape in Bali. After identifying a spot on the edge of the rock on a beach, I waited for almost 15 minutes to check how far the strongest wave reaches. And I thought I was safe. I set my tripod and camera with ND filter on it and the moment I looked through the viewfinder to do fine tuning before I finally press the shutter, a strong wave came out of nowhere and totally drenched me along with my camera. The camera was dripping wet and so was I. Luckily my camera was waterproof so no damage was done. It took me another half an hour to create one image and obviously it is highly satisfying to see the final result.

 

Inspiro India: Which genre of photography interests you the most and why? What are your top three favourite photography locations?

– I am in love with nature and Landscape Photography excites me the most. My top three favourite photography locations are Iceland, Norway (still on my bucket list) and Ladakh.

 

Inspiro India: If not this, what would have Jassi been doing?

– I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Honestly, I always wondered why people look down on a salaried job but the moment I took the plunge I realised why people do that. There is nothing better and satisfying than living your dream and making it come true. There was a time I wanted to become a doctor, I became a pharmacist instead, spent my better-salaried life selling financial products and managing teams but nothing more satisfying than capturing the beauty of nature through my lens and making it eternal.

 

Inspiro India: How would you describe your photography style?

– Freestyle. I like shooting almost everything that comes my way. But yes over a period of time I know that some genres are beyond me like street, product and food photography.

 

Inspiro India: Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in landscape photography? What are you looking forward to purchasing next?

– Landscape Photography is all about patience. You identify your frame, set it up and wait. Sometimes you have to go there another time or day to get the best shot. One thing people must understand is that Landscape Photography is certainly not photojournalism. You have to be good at post processing to create breathtaking images. When creating slow shutter or long exposure landscape images, accessories like, tripod, ball head, ND filter system are of extreme importance.

 

The list of equipment to be acquired is long and expensive.  But yes I am looking forward to own support equipment to shoot my timelapse.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become when you were a child? What dream is still on your bucket list?

– As a child, I wanted to become a Doctor. My dream is to influence as many as I can with my art and impart photography education. And I am relentlessly working on that.

 

Inspiro India: ‘Studio Light’ or ‘Natural Light’?

– Natural Light any day. I somehow don’t like the artificial studio set up.

 

Inspiro India: Out of all the photographs you have ever taken, which is your favourite and why?

– My favourite is the recent image of ‘Northern Lights’ taken in Iceland. Though I was lucky with Northern Lights with almost daily sighting but somehow good composition was eluding me. While we were at the fag end of our tour, we decided to try a new spot, Black Church and viola we got what we were looking at.

 

Inspiro India: Describe your post-processing workflow? Which camera do you shoot with? Your favourite lenses and other equipment that you use?

– I use Adobe Photoshop and NIK Plugins to process my images. I shoot with Canon 5D Mark IV camera and my favourite lens is my newly acquired Canon 16-35 f/2.8L III USM wide angle lens.

Favourite Photograph // Northern Lights

Photos by ©Jassi Oberai

 

Inspiro India: What advice would the artist inside you like to pass on to our readers?

– Don’t be in a hurry. Embrace patience and keep moving towards your goal. Put skill enhancement on a priority list of gear buying syndrome. A good camera will give you better result only if you are skilled enough to extract the best out of it.

 

Follow Jassi: Instagram | Facebook | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog

3 January 2018

Blogger of the Week: Samee Taskin

Hailing from North-East India, Samee Taskin feels that fashion and style have always been in her living roots. She mentions a memory of her mother making her wear a “skort” (skirt+shorts) for her uncle’s wedding when she was 5 years old. Her style has evolved through years along with influences from various fashion trends. Her primary education was done in Assam and she graduated in B.Tech in Manipal, Sikkim. She shares her love for cooking through her social handle dedicated to food (@themidmess).

 

Apart from that, her other likes are photography and books. She is a tea-holic and a minimalist at heart. Her blog “Sassy and Classy” is about fashion and Lifestyle. She doesn’t wish to limit herself to a single genre. She likes to blog about anything that grabs her interest, for example, she did a blog post on how to plan your Instagram handle, because she feels it is an important task if we wish to present it as our portfolio. Samee thinks that being unique in a crowded niche is not easy. She mentions, “While there may be a lot of other blogs that cover similar topics as my blog, I try to take advantage of my strength and experiences to help make my blog stand out. I try not to publish all the same types of content. Minimalism is my forte! Be it in fashion or lifestyle.” She also documents post-travel diaries and food recipes along with my other blogs.
Since she is fond of minimalism, it is her definitive style. She shares
 “I like anything and everything minimal and simple. I believe less is more and that’s what I go about when I do any styling or buy any home décor. I am fond of earthy tones because of the warm vibes. As for colour palette, I like coral colours and the hue ‘Fall’ is my latest favourite. Casual, Basic and Minimal is what I would describe my style as.”

 

She draws inspiration from current situations, mood or colour palette. The mundane life is where she drives her interest from. Social Media, according to her, is a great platform to get many inspirations from. Her blog came into being on one quiet evening of May 2016. She shares the anxiety she felt at that moment, “Everything about blogging seemed so daunting to me, uploading pictures, being consistent, having a catchy name etc. I have been really interested in blogging since the time I discovered the blogging community back in 2010 where I use to see my sister blogging. I thought I would create a little corner for myself in the world of Internet and share my interests.”

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Samee Taskin

 

The significance of Blogging varies from person to person. It has been a year of blogging for her and yet she feels she’s naive at it. Blogging is not a piece of cake, it needs consistent work and a lot of patience. Blogging does not mean mere posting articles online. The main motive of blogging is sharing. For Samee, it does not matter how you share your knowledge and content with people, but the presentation is attractive and comprehensible.  She shares her anecdote about her blog’s name, “I have a penchant for classic as well as quirky. I think every person has both these sides, hence I chose ‘Sassy and Classy’ as the blog title.”  Her audience comprises mostly of youth from all across the globe. She aims to reach out to everyone. Her future plans include various collaborations and paid sponsors as an influencer and creator. Social Media plays an important role in this. She would love to create a YouTube channel, but that plan is still in pipeline.  She uses Canon 500D for her digital pictures but iPhone does a very good job, especially in portrait mode. She does a major chunk of iPhone photography as well. Yashica is reserved for print photography. She feels “Camera is just a tool, it doesn’t actually matter what camera we use to click amazing photos”.

 

One advice the blogger inside her would like to pass on to the readers is if someone wants to start blogging, just go for it. There will be lots of ifs and buts, which will be there always, so instead of speculating, jump into the sphere and experience it yourself. Her tip for other bloggers is “make mistakes if you can and then learn from them. Experience is the best teacher.”

Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Samee Taskin

Follow Samee: Instagram | Website

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

2 January 2018

Perfecting Indian Classical Dance captured by a way of visualisations and light play | Photo Series by Yogendra Singh

Yogendra Singh who was once a commerce student has now turned into a passionate photographer and a fine art student of ‘College of Art’. He has been involved in the field of photography for the last 2 years and feels highly elated and exhilarated to be the part of the photography community.

 

When taking pictures of dancers, Yogendra wishes to show the beauty and the purity through which the dancers dance on stage. He wanted to show the struggle they take up to perfect their steps. He says, “the efforts they put in every performance, it is quite difficult to see what they are saying, they are saying without words. It’s only our eyes and our mind that tries to understand but ultimately fails. We try to interpret those actions, but we miss them in the blink of an eye.”

 

According to him the process of creating a photograph is different for every photographer. In this case, he first observes the lighting condition of his surroundings where he has to click pictures. He notices which light is coming from where and if it is reflecting on the stage and so on. After that, he tries to visualise what type of shots he wants and if he can get the required lighting conditions. He then proceeds to choose a lens which would help him get the desired shots. In this series, he has used Canon 700d and Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. He felt that this lens would be a great choice for this kind of lighting.

 

Photo Series by ©Yogendra Singh 

 

Singh says that it took him around a week to completely create this series including the post-processing.

 

He has many sources of inspiration but here he names the one that has mattered the most to him. His father who has always supported him and advised him to follow his passion instead of living a life of 9-5 way of livelihood.

Words by Laveena Behl

Photographer: Yogendra Singh

Follow Yogendra:  Instagram

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine