5 Books that Shaped My Creativity

Who am I? Sometimes, the dreamer…looking to touch the sky. Sometimes, a silent spectator lost in her thoughts amidst a crowd of noisy people. At times, a showstopper, whenever I feel like stepping out in my stilettos. Other times, just a thinker who sits by her window side, staring into the horizon in her comfortably old pajamas.

Books have always transported me away from the mundane reality. These are not just a way for me to escape the truth, mind you. It’s more than that. My memory goes back to my little school library in Panjim where reading sessions were compulsory. I awaited this daily schedule with utmost excitement as the smell of the beautiful children’s publications and lovely drawings made me ecstatic. There are many books that I have adored. To list down 5 is quite a task but it must be done. So, here it is.

Simplicity

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My earliest connection with the fashion industry was this heavy book with aDSCN0454a simple cover and design layout. If I am not mistaken, I had two. One just got lost over the y
ears but I managed to hold on to this one. Flipping through the fashion pages and going over the numerous designs and patterns excited me. Beautiful skirts, ruffled blouses, and elegant silhouettes were ‘in’. There were no fashion pundits to dictate anything. Fashion was simple, flowing, and beautifully imperfect.  It’s interesting to note how some of the fashion ideas have been recycled. This book brought me closer to the world of fashion and turned out to be truly inspiring. After all, in those times when the Internet was not accessible to us kids, this was our only window to the fashion world.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbertdownload (1)

The author’s memoir begins with her battle for her freedom from her current relationship, her constant self-doubt to the moment of finally choosing the path her heart is set upon. This journey is written beautifully by Ms. Gilbert. She embarks upon a life-changing journey establishing her faith in the unknown. With major dents on her personal and financial side, Elizabeth rediscovers herself during her stay in Italy, India, and Bali. Such a beautiful inspiring story indeed that transports readers from eating pizza, to finding our soul through meditation and prayers and finding love.

Tintin and Archie Comics

Really? A comic book? I could have posted something intellectual. To me, this is Archie Comicsintellectual. I had a love for cartooning at an early age. Drawing fashion illustrations and making my own comic strips all happened courtesy these lovely comic books. I still love these books and the wit and courage of Reporter Tintin with the comic antics by Thompson and Thomson that continue to entertain me. The fine line drawings of Tintin and the sarcasm in Archie Comics (Of course, Jughead) still tickle my funny bone. I can’t help but ogle at Veronica’s wardrobe and long for a friend like Betty.  I haven’t read the latest Archie series but the illustrators of the old editions were superb. One of my earliest dreams was to work for such a firm! I know these books helped me improve my drawing skills and I shall soon resume my love for art. 

Picture of Dorian Gray (Books by Oscar Wilde)

Here is an author who touched my heart deeply. Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray and many other stories struck me deeply. It brought out the emotional side of me as an author. Being sensitive to things around you brings out the beauty in one’s writings. Sometimes, it takes a lot of pain to churn out something beautiful. And his writings mesmerized me leaving an indelible mark on my mind.

Books on Photography

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I had a beautiful collection of photography books. Unfortunately, many of them got destroyed in the heavy monsoons of Goa. Interestingly, I still remember the images and the compositions of the underwater life. Life beneath the sea mesmerized me in a time when we had no access to channels that offer a complete life story of aquatic beings as viewed today. My most favorites were the black and white photography books from around the world. Today, it is very easy to access such images with the Internet shrinking the world to a much smaller place. But, believe me, sometimes, having too much of everything is indeed a bad thing. You tend to appreciate things better when you don’t have it in surplus. These books shaped my mind to understand composition and principles of design with a focus on how your image should be. This was less about how expensive your camera lens is and more about what you, as a photographer will do to capture an image that is stunning and shows your expertise in this field without relying on external factors. 

Another of my favorite author is Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime Fiction. All her books made me think sharply, deeply. And, books by Enid Blyton helped me to give a boost to my creativity, letting my mind wander without the feeling of any guilt. Tromping around the coastline to discover caves….what a relief it brought to a creative, restless mind!

Have you got any favorites books to share? I would love to know.

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