#Manspiration: The Genius of James Charles

Remember when you were a 17 year old kid who thought it was so cool to skip class and hang out in the canteen? Well, James Charles is a lot like you… NOT. He is perhaps the coolest 17 year old around right now. An internet sensation, James is a makeup artist with skills that will put anyone to shame. More recently, an American makeup brand even signed him up to be their first male model, making history of sorts.

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We’ve been following James on Instagram and YouTube for a while and well, we cannot get enough of his extraordinary skill. We love his ideas, his 100 km/hr talking speed, those insanely relatable tweets and the way he deals with haters.

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Adriel George’s Playlist

I’ve been terrible these past few months. Ever since I’ve got that neck and back problem, I’ve been ignoring my commitments and promises and spending precious time writhing in bed with a cold pack. But enough. Enough of pity, enough of pain sensitivity, enough of ignoring my blog/friends/family/life. It’s 2017 dammit. My 28th chance to finally get it right.

So, meet Adriel George. I met him over nine years ago when we were studying in the same college. I remember watching him with my jaw on the floor as he danced during our graduation party. Although he studied IT, Adriel chose to string together his own path, note after note. He’s now a music composer (a damn good one at that) and producer for films, theatre and those Youtube ads that you sometimes can’t skip and end up liking.

That’s our man on the keyboards

A much sought-after piano teacher, he loves sneaking into hotel lobbies and malls with grand pianos and serenading late-night guests with his renditions of famous movie themes. Although I’m yet to catch him in action, I have heard him tune out the world and drown in chords at his studio in Santacruz (W), Mumbai.
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Meet Biscoot & Rain’s Sirawon Khathing & Ben Ningtoutao

This one is long long long long looooonnnnggg overdue. I met Sirawon Khathing, one half of Biscoot & Rain, back in 2014 when we worked together at Elle Decor India. She’s been one of my closest friends ever since and one of my favourite Indian illustrators of all time. She has been the photographer for some of my fashion stories.

She runs a unique design and illustration studio along with her childhood friend Ben Ningtoutao. Professionally both of them are stellar designers… Sira works in Mumbai, India and Ben in Christchurch, New Zealand. A cross-continent collaboration, their sole source of inspiration and interest is North East India, especially Shillong, the hill station where they grew up. No ocean can keep this creative duo away from their one true love.
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Meet the Puppeteer behind Puppet Diaries

I’ve been out of action for a while trying to deal with a physical aliment. You know what they say… As you grow older, you slowly die inside. While macabre might be my mood of the hour, it is certainly on hold as I type this blog post. Meet the Puppeteer behind Puppet Diaries.
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D.R.R TrollKill: See You Soon, Proxima Centauri b

Click-bait heading of a scientific story with a hopeful ending. Slow Motion Thought’s favourite sci-fi nerd Regan Fernandes aka D.R.R.TrollKill tells it like he sees it

Why it’s cool?
While we have been hunting for exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) for a couple of years now, we never had one this close before, that too in the habitable zone.

And it would also the first planet outside our solar system that we could be able to sort of explore. While we haven’t yet visited another planet with humans, we have sent robots and probes to almost every planetary body in our solar system.

Pic Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

And now we’re aiming for the stars, quite literally. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and real life super genius Stephen Hawking along with a host of backers that include social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg are helming a project called Breakthrough Starshot. It aims to send thousands of rice grain sized “starchips” to investigate nearby stars.
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Meet Nadia Azavedo

D.R.R TrollKill met her before I did. Not in real life but virtually. The three of us are a part of a highly volatile Facebook Group about Goa. D.R.R TrollKill thinks he’s Goan because he spent one year there and his grandfather was from there, I heard so much about that group from him that I had to join it and Nadia…well, she’s a young thinking Goan with an opinion and a cracking sense of humour.

I met her when a misogynistic creature decided to spew crap and neither Nadia nor I could hold back. We somehow joined forces in an attempt to talk some sense into him. The long, long fight ended with the admin blocking further comments on the post. More importantly, it ended with Nadia and I becoming friends. 

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Meet Sumedha Sah

I’ve always had immense respect for artist and more so for the self-taught ones. To have such talent, to realise, develop and harness it …is rather commendable, don’t you think? So I couldn’t help but tip my hat to Sumedha Sah. All of 27, this self taught illustrator from picturesque Nainital has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Architecture. A keen eye for detail and a love for meticulous observation set her apart as is her affinity towards Mamma Nature. A moment with the young artist….   

Tell me about your inclination towards art and creation.
I was born and raised in the beautiful hill station of Nainital in India, traces of which I carry wherever I go. But my affair with illustrating began a little more than three years ago in Auroville, a universal city near Pondicherry. Inspired by the peaceful and mystical surroundings of this forest city, I indulged in doodling the mundane yet unique experiences of my daily routine in a little sketchbook that I carried with me. With each of my illustrations, I wrote a snippet or a story about why I chose to draw them. I drew my kitchen, I drew my dogs, I drew my friends… I drew them all. Somewhere along the way, it transformed into a passion and, as of today, I have over 30 completely filled sketchbooks that document my important life-moments, ideas, thoughts and dreams.

Walk us through your process.
I always start with a black fountain pen to draw out my sketch and after I am satisfied with it I use water colour washes on top. I also like using scraps of paper to make a collage on my artworks because they give a new dimension to my work.
As for my favourite subject, I absolutely love drawing boats because I like how they move and change direction with every coming wave. The dynamics is what I like the most. My favourite medium is watercolours; I love doing washes and really like how versatile they can be.

What motivates and inspires you to pick up that pen?

I think growing up in Nainital amidst immense natural beauty has made a deep impact on how I observe and see things. I am hugely inspired by nature, its many forms, colours and shades and its ever-changing quality. This innate love for nature and a strong desire to travel and to draw my way through the world are things that govern my life right now. The mountains have always astounded me, and I think they will continue to, as long as I live.  

As rightfully said by the Canadian poet, Elizabeth Brewster, I too believe that people are made of places. Places they are born in, places they pass through and places they desire to go. I carry within me hints of jungles and mountains, and in my mind, are acres and acres of misty Oak wood forests.

Your antidote to laziness…
A hot cup of lemon tea does wonders to any glum mood.
Favourite genre of music?
I quite enjoy listening to the new genre called modern soul and chill out. Bands like Jungle, Bonobo and Thievery Corporation.
A movie you feel like re-watching right now
Garden State for its beautiful music and also because it’s about everything and nothing at all at the same time.

If you could be an animal/bird, which one would you rather be and why
A bird of course, after all who doesn’t want a pair of wings!

Do check her website for more sketches or contact her for collaborations or inquiries at theumbrellabar@gmail.com

Meet Maheswari Janarthanan

I came across her work a few years ago and loved it instantly. What’s not to love?  Her courageous sense of whimsy, an unafraid use of colour combined with a gravitation towards the mystical, results in art that transport the viewer into a surreal sort of world. This Chennai based creative’s work is rooted in happiness and sprout out of the land of dreamers. It’s no wonder we can’t stop staring at them! A chat with the 28 year old artist…

Were you always creatively inclined?

I was this shy, reserved, quite, introverted child (I still am) who was always immersed in her own dream world, busy creating things. The only thing I liked about school was the drawing class as well as biology and zoology class. I enjoyed having to draw plants and species. But the creativity sparked in me only after I quit my job as a designer and started working as a freelancer.

Describe your design process.
I usually start by drawing my ideas in a book and go on to recreate them on the computer. I just draw whatever comes to my mind. Elements and other details are only added later. Sometimes, the final illustration looks a little bit different from what I have initially imagined or scribbled. I also love experimenting with different mediums like charcoal, water colours, pastels but my favourite is ink. Ink is magic.
There is a palpable sense mysticism in your work. What is it that inspires you?
The universe… to be specific the underwater and space. There is something so magical about these worlds. It leaves me speechless. The mysticism in my drawings also stems from the universe. I believe there is a portion of magic and mysticism within every living being… it connects us all.

Messy or organised?
Organised. If its messy I can’t concentrate and work as my mind feels chaotic.

You love whiling away time doing…

nothing at all, spending time with nature, reading books and watching movies.


 How do you de-stress?
I close my eyes and imagine myself diving in to an ocean, swimming and immersing myself in the water and going deeper still. This instantly calms me. I think I was a mermaid in my previous life… 

Find Maheswari at Little Ones Doodles. She custom creates cards, totes, ceramics, story books and more.


Home Visit: Rukmini Roy’s Bombay Apartment

I am super excited to introduce Slow Motion Thoughts’ first ever home visit! A big hello to home owner Rukmini Roy, an Indian blogger, whose Bombay apartment will transport you to a cosy cottage somewhere on a secluded beach! Drenched in white with pops of colours, she has really paid attention to the details. Unfinished, rustic and dreamily vintage, this home is one to inspire…. 

White on white, this beautifully monochrome corner comes alive with colour (Thank you, roses). I love how a simple jam jar is upcycled to a pretty vase. 

Dotted with pink, her bedroom is fashionably feminine, don’t you think? She counterbalanced the bright pink walls with soft toned furnishings and all-white furniture. 

I know I said it before but I’m going to say it again, nevertheless. If you are paying close attention, this house has so many do-able ideas you can steal. So much to get inspired by. 
(See: Candle in a wine glass and Old wine crate turned into a coffee table tray) 

Rukmini’s favourite nook at home, this floor bed by the window is dreamy and delightful. A bunch of soft cushions, some herbal tea and a book or two and you’ve got yourself a laid back afternoon!  

A dining table for two! China in chintz and a playful vintage table cloth against sheer curtains, this dinner table doesn’t beg for attention… it demands it!  

I love whites and pastels and decorating around them, mainly because it is so easy and timeless. Check out that starry chair, the tiny table with succulents and the deep red chandelier that keep drawing my eyes towards it… Things that make me go ummmm!

Thank you Rukmini, for letting us peek into your lovely home. And say hello, Fluffy the adorable rabbit. Visit Rukmini’s blog TruMatter, where she transforms her little apartment by the creek into a world of good living… All in half the price! 

All images from TruMatter