My father’s journal… my first inspiration.

Posted on: June 27, 2011 at 2:33 am

My father's journal is one of my initial inspirations for making art. It was during one of our annual summer vacation to the dusty village of my grandparents in southern India, that I found the journal. Summers were hot and dry, but grandma made sure we stayed cool. She neither had A/C or refrigerator, life there was very simple and basic. We just loved spending summers there.
Once while helping grandma clean up the attic I found father's Journal from his diploma course that he did in Textiles. Father grew up in a...lets say a very tight budget. Things were very different back then, they just had enough for a decent living. Sending father, their only child far away for education was a big decision for them. Similarly, the responsibility to do well was high for father. We grew up listen to those stories of struggle and hard work. Since, this journal belonged to that time, it was special to me.
My Father...picture taken during his short trip to US this year

My Father...picture taken during his short trip to US this year

This journal had notes and drawings about yarn, different weaves and textiles. The left side of the journal contained drawings and patterns and the right side had beautiful handwritten notes. I have always admired father's handwriting, very crisp and stylish.
Though my father never painted or made any sketches. I am sure, I got my creative genes from him. 
He had created the weave patterns with watercolors and sketch pens. I often heard him mentioning how sketch pens was a new thing in India back then, and how he saved from grandpa's monthly money orders to buy them. Often when he would exhaust the sketch pens, he would make the patterns  with just red, green and blue ink, and yet they were amazing. 
One other thing I admire in this journal, are the headings of the topics. He wrote them in most interesting calligraphic fonts and each font was painstakingly colored. The fonts were either inspired from newspapers and books or were totally made up. I admired his creativity with limited tools. It is a book of resource for reference. I have no count on how many times I used those fonts in my school projects. In fact there are a few favorite ones that I still use.
Improvised one of my favorite fonts with zentangle

Improvised one of my favorite fonts with zentangle

Yet another

Yet another

It was a book of creativity and struggle, I could smell that....and have spent numerous hours looking at those beautiful patterns and the lovely fonts laying on grandma's jute weaved cot in her cool shady backyard while she sat there making those tangy pickles....
P.S. Unfortunately, I have that journal safely tucked in my bookshelf in Bangalore, India. So, I am unable to post pictures of it as of now...

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