The Introvert Artist behind the Extrovert Artworks – an interview with Ashwin Pillai by The Gyaan Guru


When I receieved this invite in my mailbox, I was estatic, since it was from Ashwin Pillai; he is special in many ways to me. He was a part of a group show I organized a few years ago and since then has been a steady support to so many Artists, he has a generous nature which makes him extremely approachable and yet he is so humble that you would’nt even know that he is a certified Doctor, a Fashion Designer, a writer, and most importantly a passionate Artist. This Multi talented Man has been always soft spoken, except when he paints, his work offers a voice to his personality that manifests in the vibrant colors and limitless boundaries that he makes and breaks in an outburst of outspoken creativity.

I had the pleasure of seeing his Solo Show in The Space – AUH – and it was brilliant, the selection of Artworks, the Colors, the controversial titles were my favorite and most all the personal tour from the Artist himself, since good things should be shared, here is a one on one interview for all of you; with the Man who constantly speaks through his Art.


On Passion for Art – It’s been a long long journey from my childhood sketches leading up to school and then at college level competitions transitioning to group shows and now finally my solo. I surely got more opportunities to showcase, after coming to the UAE.

A Color Blind Artist – I would state it as being differently abled. I see colors in a different shade than normal people do. So I play & experiment more with contrasts and textures and different shades. Also I have limited my current solo to the colour yellow. This limitation has actually freed up my other technical aspects. Being colour selective in a unique manner make my works more abstract that actually what meets your eye. I honestly feel that is also one of the main reasons why I have has instant buyers and serious art lovers.


Favorite Art Form – I have fallen in love with pour art, which seems to give the maximum amount of freedom to the paint. It usually involves pour paints on a canvas and turning and tiling the canvas to achieve different shapes. In other words it lets me dance with my frame titling and moving in tai chi manner.

Behind the title of your Solo “The Incessant Ramblings of A Yellow Kind” – Honestly I need to thank my friend and curator Archana RD for that. We come up with titles after discussing what went behind each work. Just like after drafting the scrip of the movie… the team decides to give an appropriate name to call it. The titles are merely depict what I see in the paintings, usually stemming from abstract thoughts and ideations. Its just a guideline, you may follow it or not. “Yellow is the spiritual representation of Manipura chakra or solar plexus. The seat of emotions if you may translate in energy terms. To me it also represents youth, happiness and prosperity.”


Timing of your Solo – The solo was always in the offing, it was just  a matter of time, location and ideas falling together. There could not have been a better time. Completely glad about every bit of it.

Solo Experience – It has been a great show with good sales and a wide range of connect with the audience.

Career Highlights – When I was commissioned to present a painting to Shri Pandit Jasraj Ji, one of the stalwarts of indian classical music and to have been able to hand it over to him in person. It was an emotional moment for me.

Art Lover’s feedback – Plenty of feedback in person and from the guest diary at the gallery. “Your paintings makes one think, dream, smile”… is what I can remember immediately… It was jotted by a Belgian traveller who happened to visit the venue. She also bought one of the works.

The feedbacks almost summed up what I hoped to achieve through my paintings.

Media Coverage – Almost all papers and art magazines announced/covered the event. To mention few :

I try to assign a face to emotion try-to-assign-a-face-to-emotion-1.1377699

Ashvin’s art is all yellow

Commercial Success – The sales have been good with as much as 8 pieces sold, and a lot more enquiries.

Show’s Venue – THE SPACE in Abu Dhabi is a beautiful venue, easily accessible and has wonderful positive energy.
Art - passion

5 tips to young artists by Ashwin Pillai

  1. Don’t stop having fun as an artist
  2. Visit and participate in as many as art shows possible
  3. Practice discipline yourself to attract the right people/thoughts into your life
  4. Keep learning art no matter how good you may think you are… invest in right tutors/artists/institutions… everyone enriches you
  5. Forget money

Where can we find Ashwin Pillai’s Art


TWITTER: @artashvin

INSTAGRAM: @artashvin

5 Deadly Sins of a Business Woman – An Entrepreneurs Guide by the Gyaan Guru

As a business woman who has been working in the Middle East close to a decade, its very encouraging to see a rise in females joining the workforce. I love that my gender is being offered the same opportunties as their male counterparts. I see, that there are many women working hard to establish themeselves and rise in the corporate ladder through dedication and sheer will to succeed, these women are truly exemplary and inspiring. One of the most important skills that these successful women have is presentation, they work hard to offer a great first impression. They understand the importance of dressing the right way, So my Blog today will cover the Wrong Ways – so Ladies (and Men reading this Blog) please take a few minutes and review the 5 Deadly Sins.

These points are based on my personal experience and come from years of frustration, looking at young business women making some of these horrendous mistakes over and over again, I have finally decided to stop complaining and instead help by posting these 5 Sins.



1. The 9 inch Heels – Ladies, when you can be heard pounding the floor a mile away before you walk in, that’s never a great start to any meeting, apart from the noise factor, that constantly irritates people around you. The Heels when worn throughout the working day, are bad for your back and your posture. Plus, believe it or not, no one cares if you are taller than your real height, it will never make or break a deal – so stop stressing yourself out and as an alternative,  try a wedged heel, Flat pumps or even Platforms, they are are good  options to wear for work. (Your colleagues and your feet will be greatful for the change)

Messy Hair

2. The Messy Hair – Its great for a party when you have a shabby look, I am sure it adds to your personailty or when you are posing for a Selfie to post online, the hair messed up and the out of bed look can do wonders for your social life however, when you are coming to work and half your face is covered by your hair, no one will be impressed, if we cant see your face properly, people might even opt not to speak to you.  Your face is the window to your soul, so let it be seen, let it shine bright – there are many hairdos that will allow for that to happen, a simple Pony tail, Clipped up hair, an Elegant bun or my favorite the Braids.

express-tie-neck-sleeveless-top_071908short skirt

3. Too much Skin – Yes, Dubai can get hot, I have lived here long enough to know that but we have air conditioning in our cars, at home, and at work. There is no excuse to walk to work looking like you are about to go Sun bathing. It doesnt matter if you have awesome arms and legs, I firmly believe that your experience is what will work in your advantage more than anything else. My advice for when choosing a shirt, please opt for sleeves rather than sleeveless, same goes for a Short skirt, too much skin is not appropriate and you will be ogled at rather than be taken sersiously. Lets not ignore the thousands of Posters put up about decent clothing across public areas like malls, “your work environment”, also falls in to the same category, its public and therefore you have to remember that we work in a multi cultural environemnt in the UAE and we have to be respectful to the sensitivity of the culture here in order to gain the respect and trust of our fellow colleagues in business.

too much makeup

4. Make Up Overload – We all love our makeup brands and no one is asking you to stop wearing makeup –  I only suggest not to wear a Mask to work. When your face is too caked up with makeup and their are visible cracks forming on your face from the extensive layering, nobody will be able to take their eyes off of you but trust me this is not the kind of attention you want. Try to be smart and moderate with your makeup, it should work to enhance your features not to hide who you are.


5. The Girls on Display – This is by far the worst mistake made by women. Yes it will get you attention but, I am obliged to point out that its not the ideal attention you seek at work. To be honest, its offensive for your colleagues whether they are male or females, to witness you on display. It actually hinders concentration levels at work and it reflects cultural ignorance when too much can be seen. Ladies, the only things that need to be on display are your talents at the work place, let your work ethics be the reason people look up to you and respect you. Be mindful and respectful of your environement when dressing for Business.