Workspaces are sacred, it’s the spot where we put our productive pants on to brew ideas and cook a storm. Workspace can be anything; it can be the kitchen that was passed on to you from your grandmother with extra careful instructions, the spice jars may now have shuffled places from the top shelf to the bottom or the old brass pathiram is replaced by edgy porcelain because the kitchen is now catering to your own needs or it can also be the sleekly designed corporate cabin that rotates into something new with every new boss. A workspace is different for each one of us; it is something that constantly evolves and is a reflection of our sensibilities, for me it is a tiny nook in my humble abode.
A person in the creative industry is expected to have an artsy space with souvenirs collected from around the world, paintings by world-famous artists hanging on the wall and sprawling plants jutting out that your space is sometimes mistaken for a jungle. My space is none of that, it’s a simple desk that co-exists with a chariot shaped prayer room.
When I moved from Chennai to Colombo one of the many things I struggled was to find space, both a place for myself in the creative space of Colombo and space to churn my creative juices. I didn’t have the resources to set up my studio so I hacked the way through to zhuzh up the other half of our prayer room (much to my mother’s dismay) into a workstation. The old desk that is stacked with art supplies, deadlines, motivational quotes and art I created over the years is a reminder of how my impression and interpretation have changed from bold and loud to something more subdued.
Back in Chennai I had an entire house for myself so the solitude let ideas ebb and flow but in the new space, there are always interruptions in the form of my youngest sister who bursts into the latest song or the blender that whisks non-stop. I struggled to make peace and find comfort in my workspace but like my art suggests there is always beauty in chaos so I made the noises and the people around a part of the progress my sister now takes pictures for my brand, of course with a plaster stuck to her mouth and the blender is the soothing music while I draw. I bloomed where I was planted and the result was remarkable.
We now live in a changed place. We started getting a bit too comfortable with the hustle and bustle so the world had to pause for us to introspect and reimagine a new lifestyle. The focus has completely shifted towards our homes and the world now revolves around our tiny workspaces. Over the past months we set up our space we frantically redecorated and moved things to keep us sane. It was the same for me in time of angst and hopeless I surrendered at my workplace for solace and turned my insecurities into art. Only if the walls have ears they'd tell you how I dread with an artist block or beam proudly when I finish every stroke. It is ironic how the space I share with the gods has become my temple, a temple to learn and grow!