MAGICAL IMAGINATIONS

One basic shape, 48 hours, 100 + participants, 150 + magical imaginations.

‘Magical Imaginations’ is a workshop series I have crafted for Chembur Naka Mumbai Public School. If you’ve read my about page, you would know how much I love creating, learning and sharing. I especially love it when I can do activities collaboratively with large diverse groups of people. I gives me a magical rush and opens up fresh perspectives.

Although I had initially designed a physical workshop for school students, later I thought of taking a part of it online on Instagram as a quick exercise with a diverse audience.

Instagram exercise

I made a basic shape on Instagram stories, posted it and asked people to take a screenshot of it and doodle whatever they see the shape as. For 48 hours we had a wild, wild party on Instagram. I had 100 + submissions of Magical Imaginations on my DMs. I’m adding a few gif compilations of the zillion imaginations below. The Instagram handle of each artist being mentioned below their respective frames. The pencil sketches above are my interpretations in my sketchbook. I generally do all my initial brainstorming with pencil on paper.

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Thought behind the workshop

My thought behind having this workshop in school was to let kids have fun while letting their imaginations go absolutely bonkers, and use this exercise as a metaphor while approaching life.

Your mind is magical. Allow it to be a magician.

When you face a problem, don’t get stuck in your first interpretation of that problem. Remember that your mind is magical and allow it to make it’s further magical interpretations. eg (w.r.t school students): Maybe you are feeling sad because you just lost a pen. Now don’t just sit with that. Allow your mind to look at the same situation in a different manner. Maybe the second time the same situation could be an opportunity to make a new friend and borrow a pen. If you further allow your mind to look from yet another perspective, maybe the same situation could look like an opportunity  to try out a different pen or to enjoy writing with a pencil after a while.

The possibilities that our mind can come up with are endless; our only job is to allow it to be what it is – a magician.

Add any other situation that you are currently facing in place of the example given above and brainstorm on different ways to look at the same situation to experience abundance of magic in daily life.

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When anyone (including me) first sees the basic shape shown above, each of us sees one thing, not necessarily the same thing. When asked to search or imagine what else it could be, we all start thinking and start to experience the magic of seeing a zillion things in the same one thing! Isn’t it wonderful how our mind works?

Further Exercise

For a few days from doing this exercise, try looking at situations in multiple ways. Try looking at your friends, family and yourself in multiple ways. Everything you see and experience might be the same at first. But then ask yourself ‘What else/How else’ again and again and again and experience the magic in the same old things and beings. Let me know in the comments below about your experience.

I am now parting with a few of the many parting notes shared with me by the participants of this activity.

Instagramers’ Experiences

“I had fun without thinking about what could go wrong and only enjoyed the process of making art.” – @sachin_prabhu

“I felt the universe is infinite cz there are infinite number of possibilities to just that drawing, so talk about life.” – @allaboutperspectives

“I just think that this was like an exercise to take our imagination skills to different levels and about how simpler things can be turned into beautiful creations by strong visualisation!” – @ayushi.mehra

“This was therapeutic. In between the chaos, you completely immerse yourself in creating something so beautiful and pure, without any expectation of the outcome or presure.” – @koratee

“It’s such a great way to look at things differently! Thanks for that!” – @vin_nair

“What a beautiful idea. Everything you can imagine is real. This activity brings to light just that!” – @mepandicorn

“It gives a kick to my brain, I start thinking in different different ways as to what could be made with one shape. It’s like a teaser to my brain.” – @sayali_harde

“It was like an exercise to the dead brain which made it alive again.” – @mojojojoseries

“It was a super fun exercise. With the matchstick I doodled, I was able to fire up other ideas for other stuff too. Try this at home!” – @artist_saahil

“Imagination surely has no limit.” – @mission_stone

“Art is all about sharing it with others. My submission was in lines with menstrual blood and I know some of the viewers might’ve thought it’s such a gross thing to think of, of such a simple shape. But that is exactly why I posted it. I want to see the taboo regarding menstruation go away and want people to talk about it.” – @lostinthesmog

“I have suffered from anxiety forever and art is my meditation routine. Thankyou for this quick imagination project, looking forward to more of these!” – @always.pmsing

“It was whimsical, like revisiting childhood.” – @siddhi13

“Humans are so incredible in their power to imagine.” – @jineshabagadia

“I’m not an artist, but a great appreciator of art. I’ve never been able to experiment on art myself. But that was what you made me do.” – @aakashselvan

“It’s like a modern interpretation of imagining object from the clouds. So techinically you’re like the cloud god for us.” – @aishwaryashetty__

“A great experiment to stimulate your mind to associate a shape in the real world.” – @indieskater

“It was like reading a book. If a book says, there was a small house by the river, everyone sees a different house. With visually representing content on all the social forums, there’s usually very less chance for creating your own imaginations. this gave me a chance to do that.” – @geosminandgreen

“I get art block a lot of times but this exercise just proved that a simple stroke or shape can emerge into many beautiful forms.” – @divz.mysterious

“This activity was really unique and compelled to think, imagine and create from the minimal.” – @itsharshitagram

“The full activity seemed like magic to me. It was a chance to get to know the unknown, to know about the minds and views of other people. Not everone can express their mind, but through art it can be expressed beautifully.” – @akshayaramamurthy

“Started by being inquisitive about the possible creative expressions of others, I just could not help but get dragged into it.” – @jalplakhia

“My experience – A chance to be a part of a wild party.” – @nishkatj

“This was refreshing. A great way to bring out the hidden artist in all.” – @debaratidutta

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