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Studio Diaries: Beyond Van Gogh | Hand-Lettering | Yoga Nidra

Welcome to my Studio Diaries series! Each week, I share a list of what’s been thought-provoking and inspiring in the books, videos, art, podcasts, etc., that I’ve encountered in the last few days.

Here’s what I’ve loved this week!

Seeing: Beyond Van Gogh

This immersive exhibit brings Vah Gogh’s body of work to life through digital projections. Traveling to cities across the US, the installation features a series of texts about the artist’s life and work, followed by a breathtaking projection room. It is in that enormous room where the exhibit comes alive through a nearly hour-long seamless, digitally projected animation of Van Gogh’s work. The installation is not like a documentary—there isn’t a narrative plot—but more like the experience of being inside an all-encompassing screen saver that tells a sensitive story through the interweaving of brush strokes, paintings, and letters that span one artist’s lifetime. Being in that room was an escape and a chance to dwell in the beauty of Van Gogh’s work and the awe of seeing what digital technology can allow us to experience.

Learning: Hand-lettering

I recently signed up for a trial of SkillShare—an online source of lessons and courses in any skill or topic you could imagine—and completed Gia Graham’s Hand Lettering in Procreate course. I have been thoroughly enjoying digital drawing on my iPad, and in this course, Gia teaches all the fundamentals needed to create beautifully crafted hand-lettered work. The world of typography, fonts, and lettering has many intricate details and rules that one wouldn’t know about without studying graphic design. Check out this typography glossary, filled with terms like ‘spur,’ ‘tail,’ ‘swash,’ ‘teardrop terminal,’ and more. Through the course, she teaches you how to create your first lettering piece. I plan to continue working on this skill, as the process is so pleasant and fulfilling. You can see my first piece from her class project below in the Yoga Nidra section.

Sensing: Yoga Nidra

I recently wrote about an episode of Huberman Lab where he discusses sleep. One well-being practice that Andrew Huberman consistently advocates for is what he calls ‘Non-Sleep Deep Rest,’ or NSDR. This includes a technique called Yoga Nidra, which—I won’t pretend to be an expert—is a type of guided meditation that can help with relaxing and gaining rest for the body and the mind and can be practiced in the middle of the day. I always struggle with a wave of exhaustion in the middle of the afternoon, and as an avid listener of Huberman Lab, I finally started dipping my toes into this practice. It has worked wonders. Unlike other types of meditation, this feels more like a nap but is refreshing rather than disorienting (I am not a napper). I didn’t do much research before starting and therefore have been following the guided meditations on YouTube by Ally Boothroyd, who, to be honest, was the first result of my search. I am still exploring other platforms and practitioners, but having the time to reset and rest each afternoon has infused me with a second round of focus and energy, helping me overcome a mid-day exhaustion problem that I have struggled with for years.


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