Monday, January 4, 2016

A new notepad design that I'm playing with

It is true that necessity is the mother of invention. My trusty magnetic notepad is getting thinner by the day as I keep using up its pages. This means it's time to get busy making a new one. If you're curious about making your own magnetic notepad, I have detailed out my process in one of my previous blog posts.

While the wildflower design that I worked with in the past is vibrant and colourful--two things that always cheer me up and also the face of my grey, serious-looking refrigerator, I was itching to create a new design. As always, the best ideas strike me when I'm struggling to fall asleep. One night, laying in the dark and thinking about how my next notepad should look like, I played around with a few ideas in my head.

Here's a sneak peek at what I'm up to. Can you guess what this says?

An upcoming design for a magnetic notepad

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Listers gonna list!

I'm a big fan of making lists but I hate the store-bought notepads with their insipid designs and lack of vibrancy. For something that stays put on your fridge almost all the time, it surely deserves a 'character', you'd agree? So, I took it upon myself to make my very own magnetic notepad. And the process was super fun!

First things first, decide what dimensions you'd like your notepad to be. I decided to go with a palm-sized notepad because it's not heavy, not too tiny and looks just about right when stuck on the fridge. With your choice of dimensions, flex your arms, wiggle your fingers and get working in Photoshop.

I didn't start with any concrete idea except that I wanted my design to look colourful and vibrant. I also wanted a design that would look handmade. So, I went back to the drawing board, literally, and scribbled a few flowers and leaves. After colouring them in ink, I scanned them in and started playing around in Photoshop.

Once I was happy with the design, I created a simple template for the notepad. If you're wondering how to go about it, here's one idea: open a fresh PSP document in A4 size, place copies of your notepad design such that you create a 2x2 grid on the A4 document, include 1-2 cm margins on each border of the four notepads (use the Ruler feature in Photoshop for doing this), save the A4 document as a PDF and voila!

You can then get as many prints as you'd like of your A4-sized PDF. I went with 10 copies, which translates to 40 pages since I had 4 design copies on one A4 page. Hope this is not confusing!

From here on, I'll let the images do most of the talking.

The tools you'd need: Ruler, Pencil, Paper Cutter, Binder Clips and Transparent strong-hold glue

The prints after being trimmed

Stacked and ready
Ensure all pages are aligned perfectly, make the stack stand vertically, apply glue on the top portion to bind all pages together and finally fix two more binding clips (on the top) to help the glue stick faster and more evenly
Paste a chipboard or cardboard to the last page in the stack and then stick a magnet on the inside of the cardboard. Here, I have taken the help of a soft cushioned pillow to help prop the pages up while the magnet dries thoroughly
And you're done! Sorry for the blurry excitement got the better of me
This is how it looks on my fridge. Mission accomplished!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Illustration Friday: Reflection

Okay, this was long overdue. Illustration Friday would not be proud of me for posting my illustration this late. But what the heck!

The topic was 'reflection' so mirror was the first thing that came to my mind. But clich├ęd, yes? So, the next best thing was water. But instead of the idea of looking at your own reflection in the water, I thought of sketching something not so literal. Hence, fish. And let's be honest here. Koi fish are some of the most elegant and legendary fishes out there. And if that's not enough, the song Rather Be by Clean Bandit was playing in loop at the time.

Sketching in good ol' black ink

Adding life with orange and red coloured inks

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Don't you love it when this happens:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ace the Base

Getting started with makeup obviously meant that I needed to go out there and buy some! And like any makeup novice, I thought that foundation was the easiest thing to begin with. How wrong was I?!

Foundation, in my opinion, is one of the trickiest things to get right--be it the shade, formulation, texture, benefits and what it does to your skin hours later like oxidation, which is foundation turning orange as it reacts with air. So if you're also on a journey to discover the perfect foundation for yourself, keep these things in mind:

1. Don't scrimp on foundation
If I had to pick one thing that I can't absolutely do without, it's natural-looking, even-toned skin. And no amount of blush, lipstick or eye liner can make you look like that. But hey, that could be just me. Given a budget where I could splurge on one and only one makeup item, it would be foundation and/or a concealer. The result that a great, not necessarily expensive, foundation can achieve is highly underestimated.

2. Check in natural daylight
I cannot stress how important this step is to evaluate whether the shade of foundation that you're wearing matches your skin tone or not. And natural daylight is your best critic; it can't get more honest than that. Even your best friend couldn't give you a more honest verdict. Natural daylight works because it is the harshest light--if a shade looks invisible/natural in natural daylight, it is the right shade for you. A shade that is lighter than your skin tone will make you look greyish/pinkish/whitish. A shade that is darker than your skin tone will make you look unnaturally tanned as it won't match the rest of your body, unless you plan on applying foundation to the rest of your visible body parts. And in case you were wondering, most makeup stores selling foundations have an ambient lighting, which is a warm yellowish light that doesn't reflect the true colour/tone of one's skin. So, don't feel shy--step out in daylight, double check the shade applied on your skin and take your time. You're spending hard-earned money so due diligence matters.

3. Be wary of ignorant sales people
Recently, I visited the Estee Lauder outlet at Inorbit Mall, Malad. As part of their signature services, the beauty advisor (she should be stripped of that title!) chose the wrong shade of foundation to match with my skin tone. I may not be a makeup guru, but I know which shades work for me, and which don't. So I pointed out to her that she's probably gotten the shade wrong. She was either too confident or too ignorant to believe me. As expected, I ended up with a mask of greyish-beige foundation on my face. And if you think that I'm exaggerating, you should have seen how people looked at me while I was (hurriedly) exiting the mall with my clown face. Conclusion: not every word that comes out of the mouth of 'beauty advisors' should be taken seriously. Most times, they are right, but you can know that only if you're knowledgeable yourself. Self-knowledge is paramount.

4. Always try samples
Clinique, a much-loved brand, gives out used to give out samples of foundations for you to take home and try for a couple of times to decide if it's really working for you. And more importantly, to check how it's making you look in natural daylight (see point 2 above). However, MAC, a sister brand, does not give out foundation samples, which is really disappointing and silly. Being from the same parent family, Estee Lauder, one would expect MAC to be a little more sensible. For this reason, I will prefer buying my foundation from Clinique instead of MAC or even Estee Lauder, because I can try it out beforehand, see if it's working for me and also avoid making wrong buying decisions.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll discover some more things about foundation as I go along, but I feel slightly more equipped and confident now in my hunt for the perfect foundation.

Update: I have found the perfect shade for myself--it is the Clinique Stay Matte in shade no. 23 (Ginger). Looks perfect in natural daylight. Looks like second skin but more even toned. Bonus: keeps my skin matte but not corpse-matte. Couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On the spot photography - I

I'm not a trained photographer so I don't understand how my camera works, what ISO stands for, what negative space is...well, I kinda knew that. But the point is, I don't have the technical know-how but I still feel like taking pictures when I feel the moment is right. You know that perfect moment when the light is just right, your subject is interesting and you have a camera or a mobile phone on hand? You do the best that you can and sometimes the result is pretty good!

I like taking pictures on the spot. That way you don't fuss much and work with what you've got. This weekend Alok and I went to The Bagel Shop at Bandra and had a great time. While we were waiting for our order to arrive, I took these pictures with my rusty yet trusty mobile phone.

If you're interested in downloading these stone textures for free, click here and here. Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One small step, one giant leap

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned on this blog how serious I am about selling my art to the world out there. If I think too much about it, I get overwhelmed. But I know that taking small, baby steps is a good idea.

Which is why I got thinking about how I want to portray myself and my brand. Brand--big word, isn't it? But I don't know what else to call it. Plus, someone once told me that unless you think big, you'll never be big. Anyway, a logo seemed like a natural way forward so I started scribbling down words and visuals that would best define me. What I came up with were--musings, cozy couches, tea, clouds and trees. Trees have been a big part of my artistic journey. As far back as I can remember, I have been doodling trees in the margins of my books during school and later in my notepad at work. So I knew that whatever logo I come up, there has to be a tree in it. Coming up with a logo barely took me couple of hours, maybe because I was more or less clear in my head about who or what I am.

The Daydreamer is not just a name--it's who I am, inside and out. It's what I do--I daydream. And this is how I do it...

Let me know what you guys think. Have a nice day! :)