“How do Mad Artists think” workshop at The Pianoman Gurgaon – Timing and Details

Picasso's painting and an African mask

Picasso’s painting and an African mask. A combination of tribal art and the invention of film (among other things), led Picasso towards Cubism.

Workshop Title

How do those Mad Artists Think? Lessons in creativity from the world of Art.

See what happened at previous Mad Artists Workshops >

Workshop duration

4 hours

Date and Time

Saturday, 8th November 2014, 4.30 PM – 8.30 PM

Introductions (10 minutes)

4.30 – 4.40

Introductions, with name and favourite artist, film maker, writer etc.

Post it discussions – ‘Big Words’  (1 hour)

4.40 – 5.20

Discussions on the meaning of ‘Big Words’ from Art and Design and the relationships between them. What’s the difference between Craft and Art for instance? Or what’s the difference between Performance Art and Theatre?

That's me, randomly pasting 'big words' from the world of Art, all over the floor of the workshop space. By process of discussion we will dispel the notion that great art is esoteric.

That’s me, randomly pasting ‘big words’ from the world of Art, all over the floor of the workshop space. By process of discussion we will dispel the notion that great art is esoteric.

5.20 – 5.40

Rearranging the ‘Big Words’ to demonstrate how they all fit into a very logical artistic process.

Break (10 minutes)

5.40 – 5.50

Cigarettes, washroom, answering missed calls

Creative Geniuses from Art History – Part 1 ( 45 minutes)

5.50 – 6.35

Presentation on the arc from Realism to Abstraction and the beginning of Modern Art. Will include musical history too.

Break (10 minutes)

6.35 – 6.45

Creative Geniuses from Art History – Part 2  (55 minutes)

6.45 – 7.40

Presentation on major Art Movements from 1900 to the present, with key figures. Will include musical history too.

The Art of Jazz (20 minutes)

7.40 – 8.00

A short articulation of how to get the most out of any Jazz experience.

Conclusion (30 minutes)

8.00 – 8.30

Questions/further discussions


The Pianoman Garden Cafe,

CK Farms, Carterpuri Road,

Palam Vihar (Near ITM College)

Ph: 8800946360




Tributes to Dylan in Kinetic Type – College Design Projects

I was, and still am, pretty obsessed with Bob Dylan.

The footage for ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ from D.A Pennebaker’s film ‘Don’t Look Back’ could arguably be described as one of the the first ‘motion type’ videos, couldn’t it? With that in mind, back in college, when we were doing a motion typography course, I thought I’d use his incredibly lyrical song for my project. Here’s what I had made:

Here’s the original clip of Dylan dropping ‘word cards’ along with Pennebaker’s commentary in the background. Apparently the alley still has construction work going on. 🙂

Here’s another one I did to the words from ‘Tambourine Man’ using completely analog means. I dropped hand written ‘word cards’ just like Dylan, only I dropped them from under a light table (a back lit table we used to use to trace stuff). I kept the unedited sound because it sounded nice and dark and spooky, and seemed to add value to the video. It was a happy accident, in keeping with my theory of how randomness helps me in design.

I was inspired to do this post by Blockader’s post ‘Now for something completely different’ in which he digs out a college comic project he did in the 1980s. Thanks Blockader.

It’s also interesting, when you dig into college work, to see what typefaces you used back then. Typeface preferences change so drastically. I’d probably never use Palace Script ever again, though it’s renegade ‘god save the queen’ sort of attitude’ mirrored my own approach to life back then. The cynicism I felt for the outdated flourishes in the script (using them as a parody almost) mirrored my own disparaging opinion of institutions.

Also It makes me miss the creative licence of the world of academia, and the truly ‘open’ approach to design, far from the conundrum of commercial art I mentioned in this post.


The looped video phenomenon. A precis of our culture?

They’ve seduced us haven’t they? They’re passed around as animated gifs which makes them even more light and shareable. No buffering time, you get your kicks in seconds, what’s not to like?

The thing that strikes me is that behind the frivolity and the hedonism of watching animals and people do funny things on loop, lies something softer and more subtle that has lent itself to their popularity.

Think of those videos of old, like the ones from the History Channel archives. Silent films, ranks of soldiers marching in Hitler’s Germany, arms swinging faster than usual. Think of the grainy family footage from the Wonder Years, of baby Kevin Arnold splashing about in an inflated pool .

The visual quality of the looped video phenomenon has a lot in common with this kind of impressionistic footage, wouldn’t you agree? They’re often silent, equally grainy and visceral, and allow you to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

It corresponds with the way we remember things, speeding up time, making summaries of things, jettisoning linearity and savouring of the moments that mattered.

There’s some high quality content out there on YouTube archiving every day in the life of the world, but if the popularity of SnapChat and Vine are to be taken into account, a precis version of our culture is being created too.