Community Feature: Rukmini Poddar

Creativity, Health & Wellness

Today’s post is an interview with Rukmini Poddar, a visual designer and illustrator. She’s based in New York City and also works as a designer for The Bhakti Center. I met Rukmini through Jay Shetty, a mutual friend of ours and was particularly inspired with her Enneagram illustrations. For those of you who don’t know, the Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types. Everyone is considered to be one single type, although one can have traits belonging to other ones. Check out the interview below.

Where are you based?
New York City

What is your creative zone of genius?
I would hope to think that it lies in the intersection of creative illustration and healthy self awareness.

What is the story of this particular project?
The seed for this project, 100 days of Illustrating the Enneagram, was planted in my heart a few years ago. It started in 2016 when I decided to dedicate 100 days of my life to illustrating the murky, unclear and often obscure emotions I feel in my life. That is when I started to become endlessly fascinated with understanding human emotion and different personality frameworks.

Not too long after, a friend told me that I was drawing Enneagram types without even knowing it. I didn’t know what that meant. I soon found out that the Enneagram is an incredibly nuanced and specific personality typing system. It’s a powerful tool for understanding the human psyche and ultimately for self growth and transformation. Unlike most personality typing systems, it focuses on motivation rather than behavior.

Last year I dived into head first into the world of Enneagram when I took 2 intensive Enneagram workshops entitled Excavating Your Ego, hosted by Upbuild. As I was taking these workshops I immediately dreamt of the day that I could help share this knowledge through illustration. I found that visual guides could make the enneagram so much more accessible and understandable to people.

It’s a tool that I found to be so helpful in understanding myself better and for creating stronger sense of empathy in understanding the sufferings and joys of others.

What was your inspiration for creating this?
I find illustration such a powerful way to share knowledge with others. The Enneagram has proven to be so helpful in understanding myself and others better, that I wanted to find a visual language where I could make it more accessible and easily understood to people.

What did your creative process look like in making this project?
My creative process is done daily. It’s as consistent as possible. It’s forgiving (none of my images are perfect), and it involves minimal tools (sketchbook and $20 paint set). Basically, my creative process involves me to sit down and draw an illustration every day and to trust that in consistency and persistence, all things come. I do not wait for inspiration. In fact, inspiration is barely part of the picture. I have to create so rapidly and quickly that I have no time to bother with inspiration. And I find that so freeing. Because the moment I don’t use inspiration as a crutch, I begin to realize that it’s been next to me all along.

How can people help you get involved?
Right now I’m just encouraging everyone to engage with this material. Check out my different enneagram types on my instagram account and see what resonates with you. Learn more on the enneagram if you’re interested and follow me for more daily drawings.

Where can people follow you or see more of your work?
You can follow me on instagram and see my daily updates: @rockinruksi and you can also check out my other side project, Dear Ruksi: www.dearruksi.com

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