Wednesday, December 25, 2013

WIFI– Gary Yourofsky on Animal Rights

 

Gary Yourofsky at Georgia Tech,  2010, talking about animal rights. Very moving speech. The images of animal slaughter were terribly, terribly upsetting.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Illustration Friday–Pattern

GirlBlackPatternTrees

They told her that there was a pattern to everything. It might not seem obvious right now, but there was. She would find out. It was part of growing up.

It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, that same old banality that everyone repeated. She didn’t want to be told that there was a pattern to everything. She wanted to know how to design a life that would stand out from the common pattern.

The problem was, if anyone did have this wisdom to dispense and she followed it, she would find herself enmeshed right back into the human fabric, a part of yet another pattern.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Artists Need Discipline

ArtistDiscipline2

Someone I know said that 'should' and 'must' are self-limiting words, especially for artists. There is no 'you should make art', no 'you must work hard'. If you have to force yourself, it is completely pointless, he said, being inspired to do art is more to the point.

Which, from one angle, is true, but then again if you wait around to be inspired and inspiration strikes you once in a blue moon, you won't be producing much or any art, would you?

Read more about why artists need discipline.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Children’s Book Illustrations–The Splendid Weekend

Sunday1

Sunday2

Roughs for ‘The Splendid Weekend’.

You won’t believe the things we did. We had difficult time believing them ourselves. But they are all, all true!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Illustration Friday–Secret

Creature

“I have a secret,” he began. “When the moon comes out…”

Then the moon came out and we saw what he meant.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sketchbook–Garden

Sketch

It was a beautiful garden with a brinjal tree in purple bloom.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Children’s Book Illustration–The Screamers

Screamers

Pencil rough. I’ll go for mix media coloring – acrylic, gouache, and digital. The light will be from below, and to get that right, I’ll do a tonal study before I start on the final illustration.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Illustration Friday - Creature

Creature1

“Don’t worry. The creature isn’t dangerous. Just very excitable.”

“That could make him dangerous, couldn’t it?”

“Not as long as he has that cloud hovering over him.”

“Look out, it’s vanishing, the cloud’s vanishing!”

Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy with an Editorial Calendar


Content marketing is an important way of getting the word out about your business. As the whole point of the exercise is to get positive attention that might lead to new clients, you must pay close attention to the quality of your content. The phrase 'content is king' gets tossed around a lot; I've thrown it about a few times myself. And it is true. Content is indeed king, but only if hoisted on the right throne and if paraded before the right public.

Read more about improving your content strategy with an editorial calendar.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Writer's Dilemma Or I Have Nothing To Say


I have nothing to say. That is the reason why I can think of nothing to write. That is why I'm writing that I've nothing to say. I've been told that saying you have nothing to say is just the thing that gets the machine started. Because you have to write you have nothing to say to explain that you do actually have nothing to say, and that is, supposedly (because I loathe the word 'allegedly'), quite something. So here we've made a start. I've written six sentences.

Read more about the Writer's Dilemma

Friday, October 25, 2013

Using Long Tail Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

SEOLongTail2
Most people are familiar with short tail keywords, the darlings of the SEO industry that always get mentioned in relation to anything to do with search engine optimization. In the scramble for ranking higher for these core SEO keywords, the importance of the less glamorous long tail keywords can sometimes be overlooked. Which, of course, is a mistake. Long tail keywords are as essential for search engine optimization, and long tail keyword marketing is perhaps more useful for bringing about conversions; users searching for specific information probably have more intention to buy/subscribe than users just keying in generic terms.
Read more about using long tail keywords for search engine optimization.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Illustration–The Readers

 

BlueReading“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

And while we're on the subject, I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. As if "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn't you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.”

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

The rest of the illustration series – Blue - http://maysuninc.com/Illustration/People-Blue.aspx

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to do Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization

KeywordForSeO2

Keyword research and search engine optimization go hand in hand. Keyword research involves finding the specific words and phrases in your particular field that people are most likely to type in or voice in when they are using a search engine to look for information related to that field. If your website content includes the appropriate keywords, there is a good chance that your site's visibility will increase in the search engine rankings, and there may be a corresponding spike in the traffic to your site.
Read more about carrying out keyword research for search engine optimization

Monday, October 21, 2013

Learning Curve–Coursera

I’ve been dipping a lot  into Coursera lately, while I work. They have so many wonderful and fascinating courses that I feel like I’ve been let loose in a deliciously mind-broadening, chocolate paradise.

Here are some that I either took, or am taking, or intend to take -

1. A Brief History of Humankind - Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2. Think Again: How to Reason and Argue - Duke University

3. The Ancient Greeks - Wesleyan University

4. Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas - Curtis Institute of Music

5. Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative - Vanderbilt University

6. An Introduction to Financial Accounting - University of Pennsylvania

7. A History of the World since 1300 - Princeton University

8. Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade - Mt. San Jacinto College

9. Comic Books and Graphic Novels - University of Colorado Boulder

10. The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem - Tel Aviv University

11. Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World - University of Michigan

12. Sustainable Agricultural Land Management - University of Florida

13. Søren Kierkegaard - Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity - University of

Copenhagen

14. The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators - American Museum of Natural History

15. Designing Cities - University of Pennsylvania

16. Introduction to Guitar - Berklee College of Music

17. Introduction to Music Production - Berklee College of Music

18. An Introduction to Marketing - University of Pennsylvania

19. Conditions of War and Peace - The University of Tokyo

20. Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction - University of Virginia

21. Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society - University of Pennsylvania

22. Data Analysis - Johns Hopkins University

23. An Introduction to Corporate Finance - University of Pennsylvania

24. Useful Genetics Part 1 - The University of British Columbia

25. E-learning and Digital Cultures - The University of Edinburgh

26. Nanotechnology: The Basics - Rice University

27. Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition - National University

of Singapore

28. Roman Architecture - Yale University

29. Moralities of Everyday Life - Yale University

30. Introduction to Genetics and Evolution - Duke University

31. Useful Genetics Part 2 - The University of British Columbia

32. Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part I - University of Virginia

33. Human Evolution: Past and Future - University of Wisconsin–Madison

34. Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers - California Institute of the

Arts

35. Introduction to Public Speaking - University of Washington

36. Learn to Program: The Fundamentals - University of Toronto

Some of these might be helpful career wise. Some are just because they interest me very much.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Illustration Friday–Entangled

 

InnerDemons

Sometimes things seemed so entangled. She didn’t know if it were the inner demons that were haunting her, or if there were real ones out there.

The Smartist–Beware of Me

The Smartist-BewareOfMe

Sunday Song - Happy Days Toytown


I really love this song by Small Faces and their expressions! Ronnie Lane had such kind eyes. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Brief Overview of Search Engine Optimization


Search engine optimization is concerned with making your website content more readily findable for users and search engines. For this purpose, relevant keywords and phrases that a user is likely to type into a search box must be considered and included in the article. To come up with the right keywords and phrases, you have to have a clear idea about the audience for whom the content is intended. For instance, if the content is directed towards a professional audience, you might use terms that a professional in that particular industry is familiar with and is likely to use. On the other hand, you might use less industry-specific jargon if you are writing for a more general audience. Or you can use a mix of both to give your site a wide reach. There are different ways of researching keywords. You can use free and paid keyword research tools – do a quick search and you will find the most-frequently used ones. You can also input a word or a phrase into a search engine and study the sites that are ranked on the first ten pages. What are these sites doing right? What kinds of words and phrases are they using? What are people looking for or talking about? Following social media conversations can also give you some good keyword tips. Bolster your primary keywords with related secondary and tertiary keywords and phrases, and you will have your bases covered.

Read more about search engine optimization.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cloud is the New Way of Hosting

CloudComputing2

Ever since Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, came up with the term, cloud computing has become one of those buzzwords that spread like wildfire, heralding the latest new thing on the horizon that everyone needs to be cognizant of. The fact of the matter is that cloud computing is not actually a new concept. Application service providers (ASPs) follow the same idea, but cloud computing seems to have found a better press and a wider audience. This, of course, has a lot to do with large corporations like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, and Adobe putting their money on cloud computing, and their solid client base readily adapting to the cloud-based business model. Given this, it won't be amiss to say that hosting in a cloud is here to stay and we can look forward to further developments on this front in the future.

Read more about hosting in a cloud.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What is SDLC Methodology?

SDLCTech2

The development and maintenance of information systems can be a very complicated business. A software development life cycle (SDLC) process is therefore necessary to keep things in a manageable perspective. With a SDLC in place, software developers have a well-mapped plan on how to proceed and in what sequence, and are thereby better able to keep tabs on the different developmental stages of an IT project.

Read more about SDLC Methodology.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Illustration–The Healer

SciFiPencil1

Pencil rough for a new sci-fi illustration ‘The Healer’.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Alphabet Illustration

AlphabetD-BW

Sample illustration for an Alphabet Book. The final illustration will be in water-color.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What You Need to Know about Content Marketing

ContentMarketing2

What is Content Marketing

Content marketing is concerned with generating informative and promotional content that is relevant to your business. Unlike regular advertising, where a direct pitch to buy is made, content marketing underlines the usefulness of the product or service, and explains why it might be a good idea to purchase or subscribe. Basically, you establish communication lines with potential customers, and this has been found to be more effective than trying to convert them with continual sales pitches.

Read more about Content Marketing.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

WIFI–Ray Bradbury on Writing

A very entertaining talk by Ray Bradbury, and some excellent advise for writers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sketchbook - Yucca

Yucca

 

The  Yucca plant in our garden has sent out this very tall – over ten feet – stalk. We are now waiting for it to bloom.

I got this plant from a neighbor. He was at the Post Office and there were workers uprooting several Yucca plants from the garden there. He asked if he could have some, and they said, take them all. So he brought them back and gave me this one.

I planted it first in a rock garden, which was later sacrificed during our home extension work and the Yucca went in between the grapefruit and the Bakul, both of which were too shady for its liking. It didn’t grow at all there. Then I decided to move it to a sunnier corner and it has been thriving ever since.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WIFI - Tom Kelley - Young at Heart: How to Be an Innovator for Life



I enjoyed listening to this. Many more interesting videos here - http://ecorner.stanford.edu/index.html

Friday, July 19, 2013

Amir and the Stars

AmirLayout4

AmirLayout8

Two permanent ink illustration spreads from a new children’s picture book ‘Amir and the Stars’.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Photo of the Week–Barkya’s Birthday

Barkya

Barkya is three years old today. He had cake and ice-cream, a race around the garden, and a longer nap than usual.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Trip–Monsoon

TheSmartist-Monsoon

Soundtrack for this - Girija Devi - Barsan Laagi Badariya -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuF2H482_h0

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo of the Week–Rain Lily

RainLily

You can feel the Monsoon approaching. There is a lovely expectancy in the air, and the Rain Lilies are already out.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On Confucian Steps and Gladwellian Hours

Steps2A journey of a thousand miles, said Confucius, begins with one step. What he didn't add - or didn't think it necessary to add - were the innumerable little steps one has to take after that first one. In more modern times, Malcolm Gladwell said it took about 10,000 hours to get good at something. Mr. Gladwell didn't say count the hours and stop when you reach 10,000 and expect perfection to flower thereafter.

Yet there are some Confucian and Gladwellian readers that take it rather badly when one has to trudge on and on and on, hour after hour after hour, with no sign of journey end, and no visible growth of talent. It is rather like the story of the well-meaning tourist who came to the East on a spiritual quest and enrolled in a one-month course to attain enlightenment. The venture proved more profitable for the Easterners than for the Westerner.

Read More…

Friday, April 19, 2013

Getting Fanatic About Time Management

Night Walk2

“Look, I'm not asking much,” my acquaintance said. “It'll only take you an hour or so. It's just time.”

I often get this. Usually from people who want something. Usually something I'm not too keen on doing. Not just because they don't want to pay for it, which is sometimes the case, but also because, 100% of the time, it doesn't interest me.

Yes, only time. That once gone is gone forever.

I wasn't always so conscious about the ephemeral nature of our existence, but, as old age approaches, I've become rather disinclined to wasting time myself and more so to allowing other people to waste mine. I've realized that if I don't value my own time, nobody else is going to. I've also realized that I don't have unlimited quantities of it, and that I do have a number of things, important and meaningful to me, that I need to be spending my equally limited energy on.

Read more….

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Trip–It Is Warranted

TheSmartist - ItIsWarranted

I just read ‘Seven Rules for Managing Creative-But-Difficult People’ on the Harvard Business Review. It left me with the same impression I received after reading ‘The Communist Manifesto’ - not that I’m comparing the two - that the writer hadn’t spent too much time with actual humans.

It is a silly article and the only reason I’m mentioning it is that many of the comments are excellent and worth reading.

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