In the very first batch of Dancing with Tigers, in one of the sessions called ‘Winning Habits’, we all took a challenge. We decided to learn a new habit by repeating it everyday for 30 days. I had always wanted to learn to draw caricatures. I took the challenge to draw one inspirational caricature every day for 150 days.
Of course, I did it. There were days when I didn’t have the time, when I was travelling, when I was tired, when I was unwell, when I was just not in the mood. But I did it.
I would post on our batch whatsapp group daily and also on FB. By the end of six months I had a ‘body of work’ of my caricatures.
One day I got a message from Aarti’s aunt Indu Rao introducing me to her friend Jennifer Riegler in Vienna. Jennifer was writing a book and was looking for an illustrator and Indu aunty had referred me!
Me? Illustrate a book! What?
But Jennifer liked my work (remember now I had a body of work of 150 drawings?) and she said she would love for me to illustrate her book. Her book ‘Quick Sand’ is a true labor of love and it was a deeply personal project. Besides it was a joy to experience Jennifer’s intense positivity and sense of purpose.
I am not a trained artist. There are many much better than me. But I got this brilliant project.
One of the reasons is simply that I created a ‘body of work’ and put it up shamelessly for all to see.
Almost everyone who has done something significant in their life, created a body of work. They took up something, stay committed to it, and kept on doing more and more of it. There were ‘prolific'.
Pablo Picasso created more than 50,000 artworks in his lifetime!
William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 150 sonnets!
From 1908 to 1942 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested 13 times!
Warren Buffet made his first investment at age 11 and has been at it since then!
Narendra Goidani has been writing ‘Life School Messages’ every week since the last 6 years!
Bill Gates started writing computer programs at age 13 and never stopped!
Flynn McGarry, a 17 year old celebrity chef with his own restaurant has been cooking everyday since the age of 10, as he didn’t like his parents' cooking!
You and I may not have started at 11 or 13. But we can start now. Creating a body of work is fun, satisfying, and can open up opportunities that we cannot imagine when we start.
The most important thing is to START, without thinking of what others will think, and then keep doing it, without giving up!