In-Depth Post #6 Raghav

Welcome to my 6th blog post about my In-depth project. I am entering the final stages of my project, however I still feel like there is work to be done. I am doing Indian folk art, and my current project is Madhubani art. There are surprisingly quite a few similarities between Madhubani and Warli, the previous art form I was working with. Both have a carefully measured border and center point, and both use a central circle. However, Madhubani relies more on freehand drawing as well, and there isn’t the same radial pattern all around. 

We focused more on the main drawing itself. We drew a circle at the center using a protractor. 

Last Time, we drew rays coming out of the origin of the circle. This time we just drew a smaller circle inside it. 

From there, we drew an S shaped line across the diameter. We drew a curve on both sides of the line to look like fish. Then we drew the tail, fins, etc. 

When drawing the face, I had the idea to use eyes from human characters I used to draw. These eyes fit the fish very well and added my own touch to them. 

Inside the fish, I drew a pattern of my choice on the body. We will add more design to the negative space left in the circle. 

Moving on from the fish, we drew a quarter circle on each corner. We covered the corner circle in flower-like petals. We will add more here. 

Center Area: 

How Will I Present My In-depth Learning? 

I plan on presenting by putting my two drawings side by side on a board. I will have them clearly labelled, and I will also try to find as many progress pictures as I can find to print out. I will stick these pictures onto a board in chronological order, leading down to the last one. I will also print small paragraphs of information on my art forms so people can quickly read them. To make my post more interactive, I can have pictures of small design features and have people guess which drawing they are a part of. Overall, my learning center will showcase what I have hand drawn as well as my gained knowledge on this topic. In the next lesson or so, I have to finish my second drawing and get it ready to present. I have enjoyed this project a lot, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot in understand my culture and background. I hope to continue learning more. 

In Depth Post #5 Raghav

Welcome to my 5th blog post for my in depth project. My project was on Indian folk art, and recently we completed a piece on Warli art. This week, we decided to begin work on a style of art called Madhubani. This is an old style of art, named after the Madhubani District in India. 

Progress: 

To start, we made two borders around the canvas. One that was 0.5 cm from the outside on all 4 sides, and one the was a further half inch inside. 

We drew dots at every inch on the outside border and inside border, then connected them using diagonal lines to make a zig-zag pattern. 

Then we drew curves around the lines to resemble leaves. 

We traced the leaves in sharpie and colored them in with green sharpie. 

For the remaining space on the border, we colored it in using red sharpie. 

This was all that we did this lesson, as it wasn’t very complex work, but it was the same few steps repeated many times. 

Questions: 

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

There weren’t many learning opportunities given or needed to expose me to new learning. 

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

There are many resources I can search online if I am confused about certain steps. However, no one draws the same exact way as anyone else, so it will be difficult to find someone who draws the same style if I needed. 

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

There are different types of opportunities online to help accelerate my learning. One example of this would be as previously mentioned online videos and tutorials. However I do not want to move faster than my mentor is guiding me so she can guide me as much as she can. 

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

When we get together we do a brief catch up of how we have been. Then we go over the basics of what we will do, and then start drawing. While we are drawing, my mentor points out occasional tips and instructions to improve my drawing. 

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I like how our relationship is very focused and to-the-point. We don’t waste too much time in talking, and most of the class is drawing. I find it very relaxing and I don’t feel too pressured as my mentor is often drawing while I am too. 

  1. What are you learning about one another?

I am learning that my mentor prefers that I listen to her and watch her instructions first before drawing on my own. She often tell me to wait and see how she does something, and for good reason. We have good communication this way, which has helped me understand what she needs to teach me and has helped her understand me too.

Conclusion:

To conclude this week, I have really enjoyed my previous project. This new project that we have started is very exciting, and I look forward to continuing it. Even the start of this project is a little different, as we drew two lines for the border instead of one. I can’t wait to see how this project turns out.

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In-Depth Post #4

This is my fourth blog post for my in-depth project. As a reminder, my project is on Indian folk art. Currently, I have been working on Warli art. This week it turned out that there was still some work left to do on my project, but they were mostly smaller details. We didn’t learn a lot this lesson, however it did take a lot of time to draw out certain parts to finish them off.

Progress:

For starters, I went over some lines in a thicker black marker to make their shape seem bolder. This makes the drawing stand out, and adds heaviness.

I colored in the center of the wheel as well. I drew triangles inside the triangles, and added a wheel on the center, to represent motion.

I drew angular designs inside the tree. You probably wouldn’t see this on normal trees, but I feel like it is an abstract representation of the designs on tree trunks.

Using the empty space above the center wheel, I drew a carpet-like shape with a swastika on it, an ancient Sanskrit symbol. Unfortunately history has ruined the actual meaning of the swastika, which really is just a symbol of prosperity.

Moving on, I colored in the people outside of the wheel. This way they would match the people on the wheel. I personally think they look like shadows, which is interesting to me.

Finally, I moved on to the border of the drawing. I drew inverse black triangles to the green triangles, filling in the gaps. I also drew green triangles on the corners, to make it look like it was alternating. Personally, the border is one of my favorite parts of this project.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

I can’t point out a specific difficulty in my mentoring experience so far. Things have gone smooth for the most part, but there are a few small things that could be better. One of these is the time difference. It’s not just that we live in different time zones, but they aren’t offset by a complete hour. Her time is ahead by 12 hours and 30 minutes, rather than just 12 hours. There have been a few classes that have started a little late, but I have decided to get ready earlier to fix this.

2. What is working well? Why? 

What’s working well in our lessons is the communication between me and my mentor. I have continued to ask her questions. Now I even share how I did a step to know if I could have done it better or to provide suggestions. I believe we have good communication because both of us are patient. We wait until the other is finished talking rather than interrupting in between.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens? 

As previously mentioned time zones are an issue. However, another issue that has been coming up is that my mentor’s camera doesn’t capture everything. She uses two camera: one for her face and one for the canvas. However, the canvas camera doesn’t capture the whole canvas, which means sometimes her drawing goes off the screen. To solve this, we can reposition the camera. I can make sure that this is better by telling my mentor more often when the canvas goes off camera.

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed working on this project. It had it’s issues, but it was very informative. I think me and my mentor have developed a good environment together, and I can’t wait to start working on more advanced art forms.

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In Depth Post #3 (Raghav)

This is my third blog post on my In-depth project, and my second progress report. To recap, my project is on Indian Folk Art. Currently I am working on Warli, a form of tribal art, and I have made significant progress in the last two lessons. I have pretty much finished the project I was working on.

Starting from where I left off yesterday, I learned how to make a pattern of drawing people in a circle. I had a circular grid with lines at every ten degrees, and between each line I drew an upside-down triangle, and a right side up triangle. Then I drew a circle on top of that, with a neck and hair. Then I drew two small lines at the bottom as legs. This is important because this symbolizes community in a village.

Speaking of villages, I learned how to draw many aspects of a village. I drew a hut, with a person similar to the people in the circle. I drew two people playing drums and manipulated the angle of the top triangle to the bottom to make them look like they were bending down. I also made a cow, birds, and a tree. In the center of the circle, I drew a sun.

As part of my homework, I fine-lined the project and colored in certain parts using a sharpie. After this we should be mostly finished.

 

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

These mentoring sessions went very well, as we made a lot of progress. At first it was slow, but once we got the hang of everything, it sped up quickly. My mentor joined the video call with two cameras, one for her and one for her drawing.

The lessons were also very calm. Art itself is a calming exercise, but the lessons were at a steady pace. There was a lot of repetition in patterns, which meant I could easily head off on my own after my mentor told me what to do.

 

What relationship challenges did you face?

I think that for the most part me and my mentor were communicating effectively. Her instructions were clear and precise. When I had questions, I felt comfortable asking them. One example was when drawing part of the border, I started in the wrong area, and my mentor explained that.

We didn’t take care to check out assumptions with each other, mostly because we didn’t really think of any. I was worried that my mentor would be annoyed easily. But she was really patient and understanding, so that assumption didn’t last long.

I believe we were mostly listening to each other. I followed my mentor’s instructions, but of curse sometimes I didn’t understand them. My mentor was okay with stopping so I could fix an error, or explaining a step better. However sometimes I wanted to move on ahead when my mentor was giving more directions, so I will work on improving my patience.

 

What learning challenges emerged?

There weren’t many difficulties in my learning, however I did struggle to see her canvas at first. To fix this we tried putting the camera at many different angles, until we found one that worked. I also wasn’t able to show my work with a second camera, so to hold myself accountable for this I made sure to hold up my canvas every time I finished a step.

Another learning challenge that emerged was the fact that I didn’t always have all the materials needed. To hold myself accountable, I made a list of the items I needed to bring next class. I needed better paper, more sketch pens, and more fine-liner, to name a few items.

Conclusion:

I am really enjoying all these lessons. Even through the problems, me and my mentor are able to find quick or easy solutions, and we have a good understanding of each other. I will post more later about my progress, especially as we will hopefully move onto different art styles soon.

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In Depth Blog Post 2

This is my second blog post for Indepth. My project is on Indian folk art, and I have recently been learning about Warli art. We started with the basics, and are planning to continue next class. 

I learned that to draw the border I have to draw a line 0.5 cm inwards on each side. Then I drew a line that was 1 cm further in from that. In between, I drew triangles with a base of 2 cm each. 

I learned how to find the center of the drawing, by measuring the markings and finding the halfway point, length and width. 

From there, I moved forward by drawing a circle 2 cm in radius using a compass. Then I drew 6 more circles, increasing the radius by 0.5 cm for each. 

From there, I drew a line from the center at every ten degrees, and I started to draw a pattern using the grid made. We will continue this specifically next class. 

Frustrations And Solutions: 

One major frustration for us was that the paper I was using the first class wasn’t thick enough. When we tried to paint, the paper bent too much. To solve this, my mentor found a better paper and recommended it, so I bought it before the second class, and we started from scratch. However I knew how to prepare beforehand this time, so we got a little further. 

Another frustration we had was the time zone difference, as my mentor lives in India. We had planned to do the lessons on Saturday night for me and Sunday morning for her, but this interfered with other things. To solve this we moved the schedule a day back, so my lessons were Friday night, and this ended up working much better. 

 

My mentor is Deepshika Varma. She has gained her knowledge through lessons she took herself, but a part of her knowledge comes from self-teaching as well. She has also been giving art lessons for years. 

From these experiences, she has gained a deeper understanding of this art, and has grown a passion for it. Teaching children has also been beneficial because she now knows several different stages in learning, and what works best to teach each one. 

As we only have had two classes, I haven’t gained a lot of wisdom from my mentor. However, I have learned that she is very patient, especially with all the frustrations we had. She is also patient during drawing, when I make mistakes or if I need clarification. 

In terms of facilitation strategies, I have learned that it is important to be patient as previously mentioned. I have also learned that it is important to be clear when giving instructions, and I sometimes got confused with instructions. For example, I wasn’t sure where to start the triangles, or where to draw the border lines, as through a camera the lines weren’t very clear. 

 

So far, I think this project is going well. I believe that, despite the hurdles, we are going at a steady and expected pace. I am not sure if I will be able to meet my goal of completing one art style per month, but it is too soon to tell. I am looking forward to learning whatever I will learn either way, as this form of art is very enjoyable. 

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InDepth 2022 Introductory Blog Post

This year, the skill I have chosen to pursue is art, specifically Indian folk art. Indian folk art has a rich and vibrant history, as art has always been an important part of Indian culture. It has been used to represent mythological stories and beliefs of people in that culture. It has also been used to express the inner creativity of people, using satisfying shapes and strokes.

Why:

I have chosen this because I have always had a great interest in art. I have never been great at it, but I believe that I just need the right practice. I have chosen specifically Indian folk art because of the meaning it has to my family’s culture. We come from India, and I have always been fascinated by the culture because of its age and how it’s still popular today. I also have practiced certain forms of Indian folk art before in school, such as mandalas, and I believe that my experience in these is a good starting point.

What:

I will learn specific styles of Indian folk art, as there are many different styles with many differences between them. The styles I want to focus on are a style called Warli painting, a form of tribal art, and another form called Madhubani. This form of art is very popular, and originates from the area of Bihar in India. It is used to represent mythological themes, themes of love, and the beauty of nature. As well as learning how to create these art forms, I will also hope to learn about their history and cultural significance. I want to learn about their evolution, and how different art styles might possibly be connected. I also want to learn if there are any folk stories behind these forms of art.

Outline:
In the first few weeks, I want to learn Warli art and painting. My plan is to finish this by 4 weeks, having lessons every other weekend. After finishing this, I want to focus on more complex forms of art, as Warli is better for beginners. I don’t completely know what styles my mentor will choose yet, we will discuss that as we go depending on how much I learn, but I know that styles like Mural, Lippan and Madhubani are options we have. At the end of the project, I will create an exhibition of my works. This will be either in person, using tables to show different art projects and some basic information, or a Powerpoint presentation that will be shared online with pictures of my work.

Challenge:
My challenge to myself will be to create an original piece of art using only the name of the art style I need to make as guidance. I want to be able to recall most of what I learned about this, and use my knowledge and creativity to create something unique. I also want to be able to explain why this style is unique from others, and the significant history behind this.

Vision:
My vision is similar to my challenge, as I want to be able to create different forms of art. I also, however, want to use the skills I learn in these lessons and apply them to different forms of art. I think it will be very interesting to see if that’s possible, and if it is, I can do research as to if there is a historical reason for those forms being similar. One of these reasons could be trade across many nations, etc. I also want to be able to arrange for materials I may need to create this form of art, and use little to no notes as resources.

My Mentor:
My mentor is Deepshikha Varma, a family member who lives in India. She offers lessons to students, both in person and online through zoom. She has agreed to give me lessons for the next few months, and if everything runs smoothly we may continue these lessons in the future. I have met her a few times in person, but as she lives in India, the lessons will be online.

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What Makes A Good Rain Tire? (Science 9 Project, Raghav)

My Talon Talk

Welcome to my Talon Talk. I delve deep into the mystical world of tires, and about what makes tires different from each other. I hope you learn something, and feel free to leave a comment!
Warning: The audio may sound strange, my guess is because of the computer overheating while recording, but my voice should be clear

The 360° Leader (Reflection)

When we see people who are above us, we often feel jealous and wish we were in their position instead. But in John Maxwell’s book, The 360° Leader: Developing Your Influence, he says that the higher your position is, the less free you are. Or in other words, “The amount of responsibility you take on (may even increase) faster than the amount of authority” (Maxwell, 2006). I think this is an important lesson for me, because sometimes I may feel jealous of power, however I may not have the patience or durability to deal with it yet. In TALONS, this concept gives us more respect and admiration for students and teachers who lead events and trips. We learn that if we want to be effective leaders, we must be prepared to make some sacrifices in our lives, and that we aren’t completely overwhelmed when we get there. If we listen to Maxwell’s quote, then we will be more willing to compromise with our leaders and even be willing to help them more. It’ll create a sense of empathy and bring the members of a group closer together. All we have to do is understand that the top positions aren’t “paradise,” and that being a leader is actually a lot of work. And the way to make things not as bad as they could be is by working together, because a stressed leader means a stressed team. A stressed team leads to suboptimal results, which increases stress and restarts the cycle.

minute-with-maxwell

(Picture: johnmaxwell.com)

Growth is an important aspect of life. The 360° Leader: Developing Your Influence, by John Maxwell, points this out by saying that you should be more “growth-oriented than goal-oriented.” We should be striving to become better, rather than following the same schedule each day. I picked this quote to talk about because I think I should start looking at everything that happens this way. When life gets monotonous or even boring, I should start challenging myself, even if that means risking failure. It is better to fail and learn than to not fail at all and remain the same. I think this relates to TALONS because one of our goals is to be individual learners. This requires us to be willing to grow and gently push beyond our capabilities. We can take small steps at a time, such as increasing the difficulty of something each day, but it should be at a helpful pace. It also relates because when we grow, we become better leaders. This could be through experience, as we know more today than we did tomorrow. The more we mature and grow, the more other people will have confidence in us. However, if we focus more on achieving a daily schedule, rather than seeing what we could be, then we’ll be stuck where we are. There would be no progress in ourselves, or in the world. Life would become boring, and possibly won’t function properly without necessary changes. Growing will help us create and prepare for change. 

 

When someone other than us comes up with an idea, it can often be difficult to be enthusiastic about it. However, John Maxwell’s book, The 360° Leader: Developing Your Influence, tells us that it’s important to be supportive of these ideas. This is challenge 6 of “The Challenges 360° Leaders Face,” “The Vision Challenge” (Maxwell, 2006) as John Maxwell calls it. I chose this topic to discuss because I usually like being in charge of situations, and radically different ideas are seen as an attack on mine. Maxwell says you can still have influence when listening to other people’s ideas, as you can build off them. This relates to TALONS because as leaders in training, we have to learn the importance of other people’s ideas. We have to learn that sometimes other people know things we don’t, or have ideas that didn’t occur to us first, and that it’s perfectly normal. We can use this as an advantage instead of feeling defensive. When planning TALONS trips we have to communicate really well, because other people’s enjoyment and possibly safety can rely on us. It’s better to be wrong than ruin someone else’s experience. And accepting other people’s ideas doesn’t make you wrong either. You can combine ideas and come up with a compromise, or have your own ideas inspired from someone else’s. The important thing however, is to be supportive of your teammates and their ideas. The goal of a team is to achieve a good end product as a group, not for you to show off how great you are. 

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Practice Interviews

To prepare for our interview for the Eminent person project, we split into groups and interviewed each other for practice, and rated our interviews. I think that I learned a lot from these practice interviews. For example, one thing I learned was that I have a good habit of addressing the interviewee before interviewing them. I asked them about how they were doing, etc. Another thing I learned was that elaborating on questions was helpful. When I or the person interviewing me was asking questions, they sometimes got confusing either because of length or complexity of words. To counter this, we gave examples or explained what we meant more thoroughly. This turned out to be very effective in showing the main idea. However, I learned that I have some things to work on as well. My posture was sometimes not proper, as I had my arms crossed sometimes. This made me look uninterested in the person, so I need to fix that by keeping it in mind. As well as this, I learned that I need to improve on my enthusiasm. I sounded almost bored sometimes, or robotic. This probably made my interviewee feel pressured to answer, or feel uncomfortable and not bother give good answers. I can work on this by altering my voice or expressions to show my feelings well, such as showing excitement, surprise, and awe, or even negative emotions such as concern if the interviewee tells a sad story or fact. And possibly to get a wide range of emotions, I can add more interesting questions, which was one of my strengths. I can ask questions that really make someone think, and mixed with breaks in the form of simple or closed questions. I feel I was good at doing a mix of these, but I also learned it was difficult to come up with a mix of questions that I could remember or insert into the conversation. I learned that I had to make questions that related to each other, or at least make the really important questions interconnected somehow. This way I could add them into the conversation in a professional way, and avoid making it sound awkward. That was the overall goal of these practice interviews as well. I learned a lot about how to make my interview professional, and hopefully this will help me with my actual interview. 

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