Sketches in a Singapore coffee shop

While Travelling to Singapore, I did a few sketches at a Starbucks on orchard street. It was midnight and raining outside.

While I was sketching people around me, I suddenly realised that on each table sat groups of friends busy with their phones. They were hanging out but not conversing or acknowledging each other. Smiling into their devices wrapped in its glow they hardly looked up at each other. Then they paid the bill and left.


Here’s another page that’s an ode to coffee!


And here’s one more exploration from my monk series that’s an attempt to add more color to my illustrations and also attempt a much larger format. It explores the meaning of equanimity.



I haven’t been documenting everyday moments much while exploring hand lettering or doodling funny animals or monks.

Note to self: carry sketch book around and explore interesting snippets of every day life on paper.

15 simple manifestos that will surely ignite a need for one

“A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government.

Manifesto is derived from the Italian word manifesto, itself derived from the Latin manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous

Here are examples of manifestos visualized graphically that I found on Pinterest.

These inspire me to look inward and assimilate everything I hold dear and that which resonates with me, pen them down as my very own manifesto for living, working and being.

Coming real soon to a blog near you! 🙂
















One of the most inspiring manifestos ever! The magic of Bruce Mau’s words


A friend of mine handed me a copy of Bruce Mau’s incomplete manifesto for growth 15 years ago. These words have probably had the biggest influence on how I built the organisation and its philosophy.

I wanted to share this with anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

An incomplete manifesto for growth

1. Allow events to change you.You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you.You produce it.You live it.The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors.Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

5. Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

7. Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

9. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

10. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

11. Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.

12. Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success.Resist it.Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.

13. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

15. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

17. ——————————. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.

18. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.

19. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent.Work on what it stands for.

20. Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic.Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow.The work you produce today will create your future.

21. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

22. Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.

23. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

24. Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone has it.

25. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

26. Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you.

27. Read only left-hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”

28. Make new words. Expand the lexicon.The new conditions demand a new way of thinking.The thinking demands new forms of expression.The expression generates new conditions.

29. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

30. Organization = Liberty. Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context.That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget.The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’

31. Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.

32. Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

33. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic– simulated environment.

34. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

35. Imitate. Don’t be shy about it.Try to get as close as you can.You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable.
We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

36. Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.

37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

38. Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack.We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot.Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.

39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference.Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

40. Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

41. Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

42. Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event.That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.

43. Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives.We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.


Famous Historical Figures Envisioned Today | Inspirationist


An interesting assignment in projecting history forward to today!

UK history channel Yesterday imagines what famous figures would look like in contemporary times with this series of official portraits. Commissioned in promotion of their upcoming series, Secret Life Of:, these digital renderings take a look at famous faces from history such as Marie Antoinette, William Shakespeare, and Henry VIII.

Superb idea and a fascinating rendition of these figures in todays day and age!

Queen Elizabeth 1

Marie Antoinette

King Henry VIII

William Shakespeare

Admiral Lord Nelson

Famous Historical Figures Envisioned Today | Inspirationist.

The murals of Mission District

20130701-204258.jpgI was in San Francisco this week and a friend drove me down to Mission District. He promised me that the murals there would blow my mind. He said the streets were covered with some of the most expressive and colorful murals ever seen. He shared that they all had a story or made a statement for something the artists believed in.

I was awestruck and walking around mouth wide open at the intricate works of art. Each of them a different style and influence with direct or subliminal meanings that the artist expressed to the world.

Here a few pictures of some striking murals from Mission District, an important landmark for art lovers, designers and curious travelers. 20130701-204308.jpg20130701-204313.jpg20130701-204303.jpg20130701-204318.jpg20130701-204325.jpg20130701-204339.jpg20130701-204346.jpg20130701-204352.jpg


Vegas through my iphone


I was in Vegas this week and here are some pictures of the city through my iphone.

Vegas has a vibrant energy of its own and weaves its dreams for anyone who visits. I loved the kitsch, the neon, the details in the architecture, the amazing sense of service across the city and the amazing shows by Cirque de Soliel. Each hotel is themed and inspired by elements of that theme. Venice, New York, Paris and a host of themes are reflected in the best hotels in Vegas. Each hotel is a self sufficient Eco system in itself with its casinos, shopping malls, pools, world class restaurants and facilities.

I was there for just 3 days and here are some pictures from the trip.






















Super fun office in Manila


The office of Migo, a media and entertainment company in Manila is fun, hip and high energy. Using traditional elements from homes in Manila and fusing it with an urban theme, they pulled off a space thats high energy and reflects the culture in a rather cool way. I love the textures and the fusion and the bold use of the traditional.

Workspace That Promotes Collaboration and Creativity – Design Milk.

Really inspiring art by Louis Vuitton

A series of films on travel books by Louis Vuitton. This is so inspiring and it makes you want to travel and paint!!

Louis Vuitton have created series of city travel books, starting with Paris, New York, London and Easter Island. Each spring, the fashion house will enlist the talents of an emerging artistacting as a pictorial accompaniment to the label’s popular city guides – which feature select addresses of where to stay, shop, eat and drink in an array of international destinations.

These exclusive videos with the illustrators of the  Travel Books provide an insight into the depictions.

Witnessing the bahrain protests

As I drove by from my meeting, I saw traffic slow down and hordes of police cars on the roads. A helicopter circled low and I noticed clouds of smoke from a distance.

The driver casually told me that this was normal and still a regular sighting especially on the weekends. Protestors burning rubber tyres and this had now moved into setting show rooms and other disruptions lately. I saw tear gas smoke also in the area as we drove by.

Life goes on in Bahrain but for sure business and every day life is affected slightly . It is a remarkable city with friendly people, a hospitable culture and a unique blend of modernity and tradition. I pray things get back to its usual vibrancy very quickly.