2018 has been a particularly interesting year for Artoo — a kaleidoscopic mix of wins, heartbreaks, surprises, and immense learnings. This year brought with it changes of the kind and intensity that we had neither expected, nor bargained for, and it may be fair to say that all of us, at some point of time this year, spent a fair amount of time trying to find our bearings in the midst of it all — what were we doing anymore, and more importantly, why?
Everybody needs a chance. To move up a rung. To take a big gulp of an opportunity. To push a dream.
Sometime in early June this year, Sameer had been tossing around the idea of having the Artoo manifesto painted on a wall up in our office. Perhaps because of all the whirlwind changes that had been storming through our lives at Artoo especially in the latter half of the year, this particular idea resurfaced. If there was ever a time that we at Artoo needed to be inspired, needed to revisit the answers to our bigger ‘WHY’s once again, it was this year… and this seemed like a cool way to do just that.
It’s everybody’s right. And something’s wrong if it isn’t happening. Yes, something’s wrong if the underserved continue to be underserved.
And so, we called in Manasvini.
Manasvini is a now 19-year-old budding artist — an alumnus of The Valley School in Bangalore, who graduated earlier this year ( you might recognise some of her classmates — Maya , Meghana , and Shloka — from some of our earlier blogposts!), and is taking a gap year before applying to colleges, to do art, art, and more art. Manasvini popped into our office bright and early on a Thursday morning, with her sketch books and paints and a whole lot of wonder. We talked to her about Artoo — filled her in on our work, our culture, our dreams, our personality — and she listened wide-eyed and enthused. And then, when we were done talking, she picked up her pencil and sketched our story across the pages of her notebook in the words of our manifesto reborn into a magical, magical design.
It’s not fair if they’re not allowed into that tight little circle of sunshine where technology touches lives and weaves its magic.
Manasvini with the initial sketch of the manifesto up on the wall.
We spent many, many, hours spread over four whole days measuring, marking, sketching, painting, retouching, detailing, laughing, sharing, creating, remembering. Everyone chipped in — a paint shade here, a brushstroke there, a pencil sketch eventually erased out, a spray of fixative towards the very end. Everyone stopped by at some point of time in their day to ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Ah!’ at the art and good cheer slowly but steadily spreading across our office wall. Everyone offered a compliment, a suggestion, a question sometimes — and Manasvini, for her part, answered them all with the bright-eyed enthusiasm that can only belong to the young of heart, to the believers, to those still raring to take on the world. As she sketched and erased and painted and retouched along with the rest of us, she also shared with us her art, her stories, and her optimism born of a desire — nay, a need — to create. We were grateful for her art, we were blown away by her attitude — and at that point of time in our Artoo-lives, we desperately needed both.
Ideas should have no walls, no boundaries, no favourite places. In fact, ideas should step in fearlessly where few have dared to go.
It’s been an interesting year for Artoo indeed — we’ve had ups and downs, celebrations and disappointments, so much change and learning and all the accompanying uncertainty that has seemed to dominate our world recently. Despite, in spite, and perhaps because of it all, we’re looking to do better — to grow and learn and create and contribute to the impact that we’ve always dreamed of having. As this year stutters to a close for us, as we look towards the new year with some amount of trepidation, some amount of hope, and a whole lot of determination, one thing remains: this beautiful work of art up on our office wall, serving as a reminder of what incredible things can be achieved if we follow the same recipe that it did to come alive — talent, and hard work, and an extraordinary, unflinching capacity to believe.
That is the creative mission of Artoo. To take technology to the people. Especially to people who need it most.
Thank you for infusing our little space with all your colour and magic and wonder, Manasvini! All you readers can find more of her work here .