Updated: Sep 19, 2021

The oxford dictionary defines the word ‘Profess’ as

to ‘claim that one has (a quality or feeling), especially when this is not the case.’

And from the word Profess comes Professional and Professor

Then what does it mean to be a Professional or a professor. I’ve always found titles to be empty and restrictive. Titles like musician, animator, designer, artist, writer, etc. claim to create a certain identity of the person through a popular notion of others doing the same thing. In my design college there was a popular, invisible notion that ’animators’ have to be ‘animated’ all the time, quirky, funny, loud, like out of a Disney movie. When I see folks in the fine arts at times I see how heavily the notion of being different in attire, in looks, in thoughts, bears upon them.

I was recently asked if I was a comic artist by an acquaintance. Yes I made a couple of tiny comics, but I am not a comic artist I conveyed. As a human being I feel we do certain things that interest us or we are inclined to at certain points in life, I illustrate, animate, make films, write, alongside the myriad activities in life. I cook, read, blog, bike, play the guitar, clean my room, etc. too. But to say that the thing I do should define my identity takes away the power of my identity and its intrinsic need to manifest through the actions it does. The titles and ensuing expectations reduce the complex individual identities to an easily digestible, understandable, marketable product on the racks of its consumers.

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

A person’s traits are reflected only on repetition. Getting to know a person better is basically understanding what are the things he/she repeats and thus then predicting how he will repeat them in other circumstances. Those repetitions can be pleasant or unpleasant to us. Those repetitions can be in harmony or disharmony with our own repetitions and this is how we come to like or dislike a person on various levels. Identity sets repetitions in actions and repeated actions create the identity.

To change ourselves in meaningful ways is to repeat the actions that are in alignment with our desired identity.

If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail - Abraham Maslow

I recently upgraded my old MotoG 5 phone to an Oppo Reno 5, since the camera broke on the former. I’m not much of a sucker for tech these day because of the appalling strategies of almost every company wanting to shove a new device on you every 6 months to a year but I had this observation.

The camera on the Oppo is slightly tweaked in its software processing to saturate the colours it picks and create a conventionally more beautiful picture, especially the blues. I noticed that as I went along using it, and I love taking shots of the sky, I kept becoming more sensitive to the blues in the sky even when I am away from the phone. The sky in my mind is tuned to be slightly more punchy off late.

It got me thinking as to how many of the tools that we are surrounded with shape our default possibilities and thinking. Every good looking corner that we encounter is a potential instagram post to a person using insta. Forced to use a black and white camera for long enough, everything around us will become a study in tones. The fact that am writing this blog on a daily basis is making me consider everyday things as topics to be considered for writing and thinking on more deeply. Someone who sketches people outdoors on a regular basis will always be tuned to seeing subjects in their surroundings. Someone who writes fiction prolifically will always see stories and characters in everyday life.

When you actively notice new things, that puts you in the present….As you are noticing new things, it’s engaging, and it turns out….it’s literally, not just figuratively, enlivening. - Ellen J. Langer

And this is a learning that one can apply so very well in their lives. When we understand that our tools and practices shape our perceptions, not by the output they give us but by the very act of using them regularly, we can more consciously curate them to heighten our observations in the areas we want to.

Tools am currently employing : Mobile photography, blogging, sketching outdoors, writing fiction, watching films