Friday, 21 August 2015

D E S I G N S  D I A L O G U E S - II


in conversation with Hina Nitesh

'Art is a unearthing of nature into beautiful forms which are suitable for our use.'

So believes Neha Ramaiya, the lady we are in conversation today. A graduate of JJ School of Art, Neha wears many hats- she is a trained potter, dabbles in an art form known as zentangles and is the founder of Yellow Spiders Tangle Club. OTDB got talking to her and here are the excerpts...

On the pottery

While I was studying at the JJ School of Art, I had to choose between painting and pottery. I chose pottery as it is 3 dimensional art form unlike painting. Its fun to do and I have been dabbling in it since the last 15 years. I didn’t even realize when it transformed from a passion to a fully fledged career.

About Zentangles

Zentangles, comes from the Buddhist Zen philosophy. It is a structured form of doodles based on intuition and, when practiced, creates a meditative state. It’s simple and only requires a black pen and paper; you can do it just about anywhere. Anybody can do it and there is no artistic background or technology needed. 

One can complete a plate or mug in 15 or 20 minutes. Although there is a structure, there is no right or wrong way to do Zentangles and anybody with creativity can do it. At a philosophical level, it clears the cobwebs in the mind and helps you to connect with the inner artist.

Combining pottery and Zentangles

All these years while I was doing pottery, I was clueless about Zentangles. Maybe I was subconsciously applying it in my pottery. It must have been deep rooted in me somewhere and expressed itself in my pottery. Now that I am aware about the art, I love it and am passionate about it. 

Creativity has many positive benefits and Zentangles has helped me
make peace with my inner self. It has taught me to slow down and savor every moment —after all, the present moment is all there is.

On the evolution of an idea

I am inspired by nature; the texture of leaves fascinate me and I unconsciously incorporate such elements in my work. I do not plan or have anything in mind while starting a piece. I just start with one stroke and it evolves. Of course it is in my subconscious and as and when I create it takes shape ergonomically and technically. 

I work on instinct and the end product unfolds only when it’s done. You just stat tangling and see where it leads. The process has no expected outcome other than the enjoyment of putting the pen to paper and waiting for the end result. 

About Yellow Spiders

YellowSpiders is my baby; it is very close to my heart. I started it with one student and ended up teaching so many. I want to help others develop their skill sets so that they can enjoy their art like I do. Each student has his or her story and I have learnt a lot about life from them. It is a creative give and take which is very rewarding. I just want to reach out to as many people as possible and hope to enrich their lives.

On what inspires her

Inspiration is everywhere around us. I love nature and I often use the fluid shapes of flowers/ leaves in my work. Nature has played a significant role in my creative expression. The art we create from nature’s inspiration becomes a part of our personal and cultural identity. But I find my deepest well of inspiration simply in the process of creating something out of nothing. 

On design in India

When I think about good design, I think about functionality and the ability for someone who has never seen the finished item before to ascertain the information he or she needs quickly. Great design adds beauty and style to that functionality. Having an outdated look or one that doesn't match what you're trying to make can definitely hurt the end result, but having poor functionality, especially in an age where we have at least 2-3 other options for a service, can destroy a design. Design has to be simple and at the same time innovative. 

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   
Images copyright: Neha Ramaiya, YellowSpiders

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Snippet * 23    " Maps, Below the Boat "
By Divya Agrawal

One look and these minutely detailed wood cut charts reminded me of the similarly detailed contour maps we use for architectural projects. The only difference being that these are bathymetric* charts, laser cut in birch, hand colored and glued to create 3-D pieces ready to adorn a wall. 

These "Below the Boat" maps are simply stunning. The detail lover in me couldn't help but sigh longingly at each beauty on their website.

Straits of Mackinac

"...The point of art is to reveal something or excite some sort of emotion or wonder. So this art basically peels back the water and allows you to see the under appreciated world beneath the surface." Robbie Johnson, Below the Boat  via

Left: Miami;  Right: Manhattan

* Bathymetry - Underwater equivalent of topography

 All images: Below the Boat

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Snippet * 22    " K i t e   P l a n e s "

By Divya Agrawal
Image : Saatchi Art Gallery

A part of Saatchi Art Gallery's exhibition 'Paper', this is an installation by  Marcelo Jacome - architect, urban planner and painter. 

Titled 'Planos-pipas n17', this lively and colorful work of art flows across space, twisting, bending and flying, using the light weight material to its advantage.

Image: Saatchi Art Gallery