Over the last few years, I’ve come to rely on my space to help launch creative ideas and generally make me feel like I have my act together. 

I think it’s important to surround yourself with inspiration and research because the threads of an idea can spring from any notion and most importantly should come from something you actually care about. 

Whenever I do lift my eyes from a screen it’s always nice to have them land on design and art that feels uniquely me. On the other hand, I have also realized it’s deeply difficult to concentrate whenever anything in my eyeline feels visually displeasing, or worse, boring. 

So, fair warning, I have a lot of favorite things, all of which I could live without and if it came down to it and my house was burning in flames I would only grab my cats, Machete and Kitana, because they are my true inspiration.

The Window And Courtyard

I have been blessed by the real estate gods to have a garden apartment with a huge window that opens out into a beautiful Spanish-style courtyard. 

No morning afternoon or evening is complete without basking in the sound of the trickling fountain, seeing the hummingbirds fly by, and watching the bamboo rustle in the wind. 

Moving from New York, I don’t think I fully understood what a huge impact integrating the outside world, nature, and animals into everyday life can do.

It centres, calms, and humbles you, so that every day doesn’t feel like a chore but a bit more of a blessing.

The Chai

I’m Indian, and while I did the coffee routine for a while, chai is what hits the spot. 

And not the morning chai - the afternoon one (or two or three). 

I am no good at making it, so PG Tips tea bags do the trick for now.

The Shawls And Blankets

There are many of these in my house and they are placed strategically at every possible human touchpoint. 

I hate being cold because it makes me lazy, so I am constantly doing everything in my power to stay overheated. 

As the saying goes, cosiness is next to creativeness. 

My real ticket to success, however, are these pashmina shawls gifted to me by my grandmother and mother. 

These are technically family heirlooms and I don’t go anywhere without one in my bag and/or wrapped around me like an old lady - both for sentimental value and style.

The Record Player

I listen to a lot of jazz during the workday, mostly for the atmosphere.

Right now it’s Workin' by the Miles Davis Quintet. 

My dad got me hooked on the idea that records produce these cute 'ticks and bops' which are a wonderful form of white noise and make me appreciate the patina of an old record a lot. 

The more 'bops' the better.

The Notebook And Datebook

Okay, so these are kind of a new thing for me. 

I love making lists, I wanted to keep up that organized spirit by reaching a step further and going analogue with my lists- cue: the datebook. 

I cannot tell you the immense pleasure it has been giving me to constantly write down 'events' into my 'terribly busy schedule'. 

Aesthetics aside, I have found it’s made me sharper and more present about my decisions and time.

I used to be very precious about my work notebooks - using them more as sketchbooks that had to be filled with 'ideas', but I wanted to become more cavalier about writing down things and make it more habitual than precious. 

I started implementing what I call a 'random research power hour' into my day where I look into a topic I am curious about with zero stakes and take down notes about it for an hour - not for any particular purpose but to just feel like I am still learning things. 

So far I have randomly researched bio-music, cave paintings, Rebecca Horn, seances, Joan of Arc, and a lot about WW1. 

We’ll see how long it lasts but so far it’s been really fun to take in information actively and not passively.

The Great Smells

This is very important.

There are a lot of scented candles and perfumes everywhere around me and I keep buying more. 

I realized I like smells that remind me of India and/or of rain.

The Tactile Material

I have always had an affinity for materiality and that can get corrupted by computers. 

To make sure my hands can still do other things besides typing, I tend to have a tactile material of the moment that I make things with. 

For a while now it’s been these bat nuts (previously clay), I’ve used them to make hanging wall charms for myself and my friends and want to maybe use the rest to fashion into a lampshade of sorts. 

TBD on that.

The Tiny Creepy Paintings

Okay, these don’t help my creativity but I have these tiny Francisco Goya witch paintings in every room of my house in these intricate wooden frames. 

I am obsessed with them. 

I love the idea that when anyone steps into my home, they have to get really close before realizing they have been sitting across from something kind of horrific. 

The devil is in the details. 


The Book I Can’t Stop Thinking About

Many books have held this title over the years but right now it’s The Employees by Olga Ravn.

It's a book that was written to accompany an art exhibit and is a bizarre, alien critique of corporate labour. 

There's that and Learning to Die in the Anthropocene by Roy Scranton. 

It’s far more optimistic than it sounds.

And also very short.