Outside Lies Magic

John Stilgoe’s Outside Lies Magic is an eye-opener. It pushses one to literally go outside and just look and observe. I chose to go out on a rainy Monday evening. Everybody was walking around speedily under the shelter of umbrellas or overcoats, trying to get home or someplace dry. With me on the other hand, a rain-lover, walking slowly enjoying every bit of the pleasant drizzle and cool atmosphere. Everytime I walk in the city from school to home and vice versa, I rush through the crowds minding my own business. Rarely do I notice the numerous things taking place around me. That’s how life in Manhattan is. Fast-paced and unstoppable. However, this one walk without any purpose or motives changed my perception. I was now carefully looking at my surroundings. How the trees sway with gusts of wind, how dogs and their owners walk in synchronicity, and how there are all kinds of people out there. Some laughing in happiness, some crying and some just moving on with no particular look. It was a beautiful experience and I hope to do it on a more frequent basis. Yes, it is difficult to disconnect from technology, work, all our tasks, etc. but such moments liven you up and help in ways unimaginable.


Gestalt Primer


In above two drawings, the figures are drawn against a ground (white space). Also the smaller shapes in both appear to be the figures while the surrounding black and white spaces appear as the ground.


The repition of a tri-part pattern is seen throughout the image, which represents the principle of similarity.


The four petals in the top right corner are placed closer to each other, thus forming a group distinct from the singular petal in the bottom left corner. This is an example of proximity.



In this image, the composition of dots in a sequence signifies motion and direction. Each line of dots seems to be moving in a certain direction. Lines can be drawn through the image. This is an example of continuance or continuity.


We automatically envision a mug when looking at this image even though it may as well be two significant shapes composed this way. This is an example of closure, in which our mind automatically completes a picture even without having complete information.

Visual Vocabulary: 01a Idea as Form

Through this form, I tried to emphasize the tomb of the Taj Mahal in India. This form accentuates the beauty and heritage of Indian culture.


The above shape represents the action of joining one’s hands in prayer – a symbolic sign of respect in India.

I have tried to depict a diya (lamp) that is used to signify light in Indian culture. It stands for luminosity, prosperity and joy.

This is a drawn form of the Rupee symbol (Indian currency).

This is an icon representing a plate of laddoos – the most common sweet in Indian culture.

Music is an important part of Indian culture. There are a variety of instruments used like the flute, sitar, harmonium, etc. This image is an abstract form of a tabla – an instrument that resembles a small drum.

The chakra is a symbol of law, truth and dharma (virtue). It is placed in the center of the Indian flag.

Indian culture considers “om” to be the universal name of the Lord. This is a modified version of the symbol used for “om.”

Peacock is India’s national bird. This is somewhat a representation of a peacock feather.

Similarly, India’s national flower is the lotus. The drawing above is an absract image of a lotus with its leaves.