Yes, our SDLC is ancient mandala reincarnated

Expresiv Studios
Feb 12, 2016 · 4 min read
Dinesh applies polishing strokes to the mandala. An artist and designer, Dinesh thinks this would not have been possible without his team.

What has a modern design studio focused entirely on technology-based media got to do with ancient thanka art? How is SDLC even closely related with traditional Buddhism? And most importantly — how do you really show cloud computing in a mandala?

Storytelling, Storytelling.

Like any other design company, the foundations of Expresiv lies in process, collaboration and quality of a project throughout its life cycle. An abstract idea that we accept from our clients to the final output that we deliver — we make sure that our train chucks through each of the milestones we set for ourselves. We nurture our ideas like a baby and each of the steps of the process is tackled with utmost priority and love.

“तमसोमा ज्योतिर्गमय” means “from darkness to light”

We wanted to show all this in a process diagram. We initially tried an isometric drawing to show the process — which too came out pretty rad, but we wanted to push the envelope further. Where does Expresiv excel? So what is that one thing that we, as visual designers do everyday at Expresiv? Visualize, convert ideas into tactile deliverables — we tell stories.

“We followed the compositional factors and traditional elements of a mandala, but to me it’s contemporary artwork which is much more than just a replica of a mandala — it’s new type of art.” — Dinesh Sinkhwal

Okay, we need a story — and what better way to tell stories than how our ancestors told. Our heritage lies in this rich skills of thanka artistry that has been passed down to generations. How about doing how we’ve done since centuries? How about doing it as a Mandala? Yes, we needed a mandala. But who could design us a mandala? Just like Sergey Brin and Larry Page who wanted a dinosaur in their office with their first million dollar, a Mandala is what we wanted as co-founders of the sexiest design studio in town— although we hadn’t met the million dollar mark yet.

Enter Dinesh Sinkhwal, Sharad Raut and Shishir Maharjan — the magical trio who converted our idea into a full-blown, elaborate artwork that proudly graces the entrance at Expresiv Studios office. We came to know about these terrific folks who had previously been commissioned by Leapfrog Academy for Tesla and SpaceX-themed artworks. Those pieces of work they’d done on canvas was spellbinding. Immediately we knew these were the guys we were looking for. The artwork took almost three weeks to conceptualize, and after three days of rigorous painting — the composition was finally done.

It took more than three days to complete the artwork. The artist team was literally “living” in the studio. (left) Dinesh paints while Sharad takes a Facebook break. (right) The 5'x5' mandala needed more than just the artist’s touch — it needed teamwork!

Dinesh and his team first did multiple iterations of the doodles, adding and removing elements to match the requirements. Once the design was completed, they scanned it and used a projector to display it on the wall — which they traced using pencil and filled colors much later.

From paper to wall

“I think the values of red has given it a wonderful texture and feeling. I love it!” — Dinesh beams with joy. It was nothing less than a magical journey that Dinesh, Sharad and Shishir lead us to.

And the rest is right here on the wall of our Studio. Do pay us a visit check out this awesome piece of art that graces Expresiv Studios — be amazed!

The Mandala is 5'x5' and uses red acrylic over white emulsion. It is up for permanent display at Expresiv Studios, Charkhal, Kathmandu.

Expresiv’s Blog

Official blog from the UI/UX and Interaction Design Studio…

Expresiv’s Blog

Official blog from the UI/UX and Interaction Design Studio based in Kathmandu.

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Random rantings, WIP updates, musings and everything in between from Expresiv Studios,

Expresiv’s Blog

Official blog from the UI/UX and Interaction Design Studio based in Kathmandu.