The Tap Visual Storytelling Mentorship Programme 2023

Ramya SriramComicsLeave a Comment

I’m excited to announce that I will be running a mentorship programme on visual storytelling and creative thinking in 2023! Exact dates to come soon. The goal of this programme is to provide 1:1 support to creators looking to find/nurture ideas, develop strong narratives, and become confident storytellers. If you’re interested, please tell me more about yourself here and I’ll be in touch!

Background

Over the last 11 years that I’ve run a comic strip, I’ve had several experiences that have shaped me as a creator. I’ve explored various themes and topics, experimented with styles to find the one that “fit”, and have pushed myself to be the most honest version of myself in my work. Something I’m still working on. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of social media, been a public figure in my twenties, done speaking events (TEDx, TiE), Comic Cons, and more.

But I’ve always come back to the thing that I love doing: creating words and pictures. My journey as a creator has been incredibly rewarding as it allows me to grow into a more independent individual, capable of things I had no idea about until I put pen to paper.

I often receive emails asking me for advice, guidance and feedback. I would love to pick creators whose talent I can invest in, as a way of passing on the investment that my mentors made in me.

Whom this programme is for

This programme is for anyone with:
  1. A clear creative goal/vision in mind
  2. An existing creative venture (e.g., a comic strip, an illustration series, etc.)
  3. Time and mindspace to invest in the programme 🙂

Unfortunately as I’m only one person with a full-time job, I have limited capacity, so not everyone will be part of the programme.

Whom this programme is NOT for

Anyone looking for likes, comments, followers, or other temporary rewards. Those are brilliant, sure, but the aim of this specific programme is to help you use your art as a resource to grow your confidence and push your creative boundaries.

What the programme will cover

  • Tailored exercises on storytelling
  • 1:1 workshops/calls
  • Links to useful guides and resources

How much will it cost? How much time will it take?

I’d love for you to fill out this form to tell me more about what you’re looking for, so I can shape the course content, fees, and schedule. Fees and dates will be announced in a few weeks’ time. 🙂

Art is self-discovery!

 

The Tap Desktop Calendar 2023 is now available! (Includes 14 postcards)

Ramya SriramComics, Life is beautifulLeave a Comment

The Tap Desktop Calendar is now available for purchase!

Featuring 14 comics about slowing down, growing plants, finding joy in nature, and discovering purpose. You can mix and match which comics you’d like for each month.

New this year: Each comic can be turned into a postcard! I’ve printed a postcard at the back of every comic so all you have to do is simply cut it out and send it to a friend. So you don’t just have a calendar but a set of 14 postcards.

Due to the alarming shipping rates and with the aim of reducing carbon footprint, you can also download the PDF of the calendar, made to fit on A4. 🙂

 

 

Wild Swimming

Ramya SriramComics, Travel and natureLeave a Comment

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for wild swimming. I love the feeling of the ground giving way beneath my feet. I love exploring the underneath of the surface… a glimpse into just how much we can’t see upfront. In the water, I feel like how I’ve felt for most of my life: unanchored, yet afloat. Yes. I think I will get that tattooed 😀
But I’v
For an avid overthinker, swimming has helped me (literally) strip down to the basics. There’s no puzzle to piece together, no mystery to solve. In the water, I feel exhilarated, liberated.. but more than anything else, I find relief. A lightness, a letting down of guard, a letting go of things, an abandoning of all “extras”.

I’ve always loved jumping into waterfalls and have done so across various places in India… from the Western Ghats to Meghalaya. But this year has been the Year of Swimming in the UK. I’ve swum in the sea (Cornwall),  in a tarn (Lake District) and in the river (Cambridgeshire). On a trip to Oslo, I managed to get into the icy waters of a Norwegian sun, where I swam for a good half an hour in the summer sun. Later I snuck in a solo swim in Sognsvann lake, surrounded by pine trees. I’ve now got a nice swimsuit mark on my body that I’m wearing with battle scar-like pride. Swimming has helped me develop a stronger relationship my (otherwise clumsy) body and has helped me deepen my trust in myself. Woooooo ok bye running off to become a fish.

The girl who changed the future

Ramya SriramComics, Giving backLeave a Comment

While I was at university, I used to volunteer at a school near Vellore, in rural Tamil Nadu. A 12-year old girl once came up to me and told me that all she wanted to do was to play football after school but she knew that “girls don’t play football, only boys can.” I asked her who told her that, but she shook her head and firmly insisted that only boys were “allowed” to play. I was with a friend, a female athlete, who was so surprised and taken aback by this comment that she immediately gathered a group of girls, went to the playground, and arranged a game in the mud. I will never forget the look on the girls’ faces as they yelled and shrieked and laughed and played. Pure, unadulterated joy.

Girls all over India face a huge variety of challenges. Being made to drop out of school, lack of access to menstrual hygiene, child marriage, the list goes on. I’ve always advocated for education, but it never struck me how powerful play can be. I truly believe in the power of sport to change a girl child’s future. I was surprised to find that even girls from educated or wealthy families were discouraged from sports because of stereotyping or the fear of not being socially accepted or, in some cases, simply because, “You’ll become dark if you play in the sun.”

This is a super simple comic but I hope it inspires you to leave a comment about organizations you know who are working to encourage girls to be more involved in sports. The most obvious one I can think of is the wonderful Magic Bus, but I’d love to hear of more.

Halfway up the mountain

Ramya SriramComics, Mental health, Motivation & inspiration, Travel and nature, You are enoughLeave a Comment

When the summit is not the goal 🙂

A comic inspired by a recent hike up Middle Fell in the Lake District, England. The route takes you via Greendale Tarn and is supposed to  be a “moderate” walk according to the National Trust, but with a bad foot and improper shoes I found the steep uphill climb really difficult. After a lot of being pulled up by K, I found a spot by Greendale Gill where I decided to settle down and wait while he climbed up to the tarn. I could see the Wastwater Screes plunge into the water before me, and far away in the distance I could see the sea! I could even make out the windmills.

I drank the water from the gill and listened to its musical gurgling. I opened a bag of chips and ate it happily. I was perfectly content, and my initial dismay at not having made it to the top faded away. Maybe there was beauty in being halfway up, too.

Unfair

Ramya SriramComics, Life is beautifulLeave a Comment

It’s hard to help someone who is grieving a grave loss. Life is unfair, as is death. What do you do? You can’t make empty promises or talk about better times when today it’s hard to get out of bed. I made this comic for a dear friend going through a difficult time. I hope there’s some kind of solace for all of us in knowing that you are never alone.

Life purpose

Ramya SriramComics, Searching for purpose, Self-discoveryLeave a Comment

Life purpose. What is my life’s purpose? Ah, the question that deludes us all.

I’ve always been curious, anxious, and eager to uncover life’s purpose – MY life’s purpose. Even as a child, I itched to do something to get my hands dirty. I wanted to make a difference. I went through a severe burnout last year, which led to me quitting my job (and having to find another one, harsh reality!). Then I hit upon the idea that I am living my life’s purpose simply by existing. Drawing and storytelling is part of my life: just like brushing my teeth is. It’s not a separate goal that I seek to chase. It’s not something I fear losing. Being who I am means that I will never stop creating in some form: by playing music, writing stories, drawing comics. By being who I am, I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.

Everything we do is motivated by some kind of external validation. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we lived our life’s purpose every day by embedding it into our core being? Imagine living life without the constant stress of having to find a purpose… because whatever you’re doing right now is your purpose. It could be working in a 9-5 job, having a side-hustle, working with a charity, quitting a job and experimenting with different things, or just being mostly harmless. “My life’s purpose is to be mostly harmless.” Surely that’s not a bad thing! 

I was always searching, seeking, desperate to find something to throw myself into. I wanted an all-consuming purpose, a mission. But now I know that I’m doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. By living my life’s purpose, I defeat feelings of inadequacy. I fight the fear of loss, because I have something that can’t be taken away from me. It’s an incredibly empowering realization.

And we all know that at the end of it all life is pretty much meaningless anyway. We have unlimited freedom to create our own meaning and create the life we want. Finding a life purpose can be as simple or as complicated as we define it to be.