The creative process behind advertising, graphic design and photography is the focus of this blog. That doesn’t mean that every aspect of creative process is discussed. I may air my opinion on whatever I choose from a random selection that needs creative scrutiny. It goes for film, graphic novels, illustration, faith and life in general as well.

© 2020 Mathew Mathew All rights reserved.

Baking a cake is something; making it look appetizing is something else!

That’s what makes food photography click.

Fruitcake is a year-round favorite of most people; it need not be made only during Christmas

Where the mind soars with the eagles

Pencil and ink sketch | A Canyon of No Return

When you let your subconscious mind to do the walking and talking you end up creating something unexpected and out of the ordinary. This sketch of a place I have never dreamed of or visited is the work of the subconscious mind.

The Subconscious Mind

Into the storm

Acrylic on canvas: 36″x 48″

Monsoon storms have rarely stopped a Kerala fisherman from taking his boat into the sea. Especially when there’s plenty of fish to catch. For him waiting for the storm to clear is never an option. Though it may appear to be a risky venture, for a seasoned fisherman it’s an opportunity that comes knocking once in a Monsoon and not many times a year.

Do pictures impact the narrative?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It all depends on the picture and the person looking at the picture. Chances are that some pictures convey the idea without wasting a lot of words. It’s a given in the advertising industry that images help communicate thought and emotion in a way that words on their own may not do.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This one needed just one word: Wow!

A Canyon

Watercolor + pencil illustration from my sketchbook

Sometimes it happens spontaneously.
This one is such a spur of the movement creation.
No planning was behind this sketch.
I think it turned out to be whatever it was supposed to become.

St. Mark’s Square, Venice


No visit to Italy is complete without Venice on your itinerary.

Venice was our first stop of a two-week group tour of Italy in October 2018. Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.

The Gothic pink-and-white-marble Doge’s Palace sits on the east side of the piazza. Before the Christian holiday of Lent, this area becomes the epicenter of Venice’s Carnival, where partygoers dress in elaborate masks and costumes. A gondola ride away are the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, an influential gallery of modern art, and the Galleria dell’Accademia, a museum of Renaissance-era and Vedutisti paintings. The covered Rialto foot-bridge leads to a market that supplies many of the city’s fish-focused Venetian restaurants.

Summer Fun Comes in Red and Green

Watermelon Crush made with watercolor

Watermelon crush is made with watermelon, Sprite, vodka and a good attitude. Try this one for a change. But unlike any other alcoholic drinks, this one could make you cutting a lot of watermelons and pouring bottles after bottles of Sprite and vodka. Enjoy it in moderation.



  • 4 oz vodka
  • ½ cup pureed watermelon juice strained to remove seeds
  • Squeeze a fresh lime
  • 2 tsp simple syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • Sprite or lime soda


The Water Bottle

It was one of those hot January days in Bangalore. The advertising agency where
I worked at that time was in Unity Buildings on Mysore Road. After having a bland vegetarian lunch at Kamath, there was hardly anything else for me to do other than wandering with the crowd that window-shopped the many shops that hugged the lower level of the complex.

A  young man, may be on his lunch break, approached me and casually asked for the
water bottle I was sipping water from. I politely refused him and told him to get one for himself from the deli nearby. He left without saying a word. But he was back in a couple of minutes and made the same demand! Again, I told him to get his own water bottle. He left without saying a word. To my surprise, he was back without a water bottle and insisted that he had to have my water bottle! 

I was more amused than amazed. I relented to his demand, finally. He took the water bottle and walked away without saying a word. It appeared to me that he was probably testing me in a very mysterious way.

◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇

Even though it was only a dream, it kept me thinking about it for days before I decided to decipher its message. And the answer came from two reliable sources without any delay:

“It is better to pray sincerely and to please God by helping the poor than to be rich and dishonest. It is better to give to the poor than to store up gold. Such generosity will save you from death and will wash away all your sins. Those who give to the poor will live full lives, but those who live a life of sin and wickedness are their own worst enemies.” (Tobit 12: 8-10)

God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: “Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2443)

Perhaps I wouldn’t have found a better interpretation of my dream from any
other sources!



Ouseph Varkey, a hardworking farmer from Thekkemala, Kerala, dies from COVID-19 after spending weeks in quarantine at the MMT Hospital, Mundakayam. His death, though a peaceful one, was far from happy. Despite the fact that he was not a very religious man and died in isolation, but found solace because of his faith and hope: faith in God and hope in the life after death that Jesus has promised everyone who followed his words:
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

The journey to Heaven was a quick one. There were no check posts, sanitizers or masked angels. He was escorted by a beautiful maiden to a place that was magnificent beyond words! Hymns of praise and piety filled the whole place. It took a while for Ouseph to settle down and get absorbed in the whole heavenly experience. 

Wow! He couldn’t believe his eyes. Jesus, accompanied by some of the very same people he left behind at Thekkemala, was coming towards him. But how come Chandy, the local rowdy and illegal drug dealer got to heaven and walk with Jesus? Ouseph couldn’t get a handle on what was going on around him. Perhaps he was dreaming or in a trance or hallucinating from the drug that ran through his veins at the hospital. Ouseph closed his eyes and tried to recollect the events of the immediate past. 

“Ouseph, welcome home!” Ouseph got startled and opened his eyes. Standing before him was a smiling Jesus with a glittering crown in his hands! “There’s hope for everyone who has faith. Your past is not an issue if your intentions for your future are aligned with my teachings.”

Ouseph fell at Jesus feet and extolled him.


Creativity in Times of Stress

How would a creative person (artist) like me cope with a pandemic such as
COVID-19? Doing what comes to me naturally is perhaps the best way to deal with it when fear and stress seem to be taking the upper hand.

My attempt at addressing the situation need not be the same for most designers. For a person like me whose main area of creativity was in advertising and graphic design, doing something totally different could have been a problem if I were not already doing illustration and photography. Since my interest in watercolor painting was far more older than my graphic design, the quarantine is perhaps a blessing in disguise.

“Just do it!”


Some of my recent sketches are featured below.
Comments? You’re welcome!

The initial pencil sketch of Jesus
Jesus: After a dash of watercolor
Watercolor over pencil sketch: Canson Watercolor Paper


CoutureRani: The Making of a Brand

When Couture Rani approached MathewWorks for designing a website, their online business was just an idea. An idea with wings but no feather. It took almost a month for us to finalize the concept and strategy. The logo, corporate identity, and mock-ups happened in a matter of days. The concept behind the logo was simple yet emotive. An amalgamation of two language alphabets gave meaning to the logo and Couture Rani’s Indo-Western name.

In about two months a prototype was in place.

The initial landing page of CoutureRani
The final thing. The website was launched in 2011

In the meantime products were selected from designers, photographed and retouched in Delhi, India; webpages were designed; and site construction began in Scottsdale, Arizona. was online with a one page announcement. The real thing followed in two weeks. The response was overwhelming.


Honesty & Forgiveness

While parking his truck Casey Neistat (a celebrity YouTuber), scratched the side of another vehicle at a Venice (California) parking lot. He left a note with his contact details on the windshield of the damaged vehicle owning his mistake and his willingness to pay for the damage. What ensued was out of this world! The owner of the damaged vehicle wrote back:

“Please don’t worry about the scratch. Any money you had to put
towards repair, feel free to please donate to a local Venice food bank.
Have a great week!”

– Source: BuzzFeed | April 20, 2020

“Be kind and tender hearted to one another, and forgive one another,
as God has forgiven you through Christ.”  

– Ephesians 4:32

Forgiving is not easy. It’s not easy especially when iniquities exist. However, if we are to heed the advice of Jesus, we are not to condition forgiveness according to the nature or gravity of the offense against us, the number of offenses, or the character of the offender. We have to show unconditional mercy as God has shown mercy to us. As we humble ourselves and extend forgiveness to others, God opens the way for us to seek forgiveness for our own mistakes and transgressions. God fully forgives all who come to Him with a humble and repentant heart.


An Apple a Day!

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”

~ Bernard M. Baruch
The illustration of the apple shown is my way of looking at it digitally.
Please feel free to interpret “THE APPLE OF MY EYE” whatever way you want.

The apple is one of the most quoted fruits in the history of mankind. And perhaps the only fruit that got a bad rap on its very first day of introduction. The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is now the most desired and venerated fruit of all. Small wonder why every business in the world has something to do with Apple these days!


Brand Identity Design

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”

Paul Rand

Of late one hears a lot about branding. Is this a new phenomenon or an old wine with a new label? Branding has a lot to do with human perception than just design. Successful brands ride on the strength of fulfilling consumers’ expectations and occupying a place in their minds.

Pictures rule: Graphics, Mnemonics, Emojis

That’s about products and services.

But what about the brand called “You/Me”? Me is a brand that’s as old as Man himself. Which means Man was a brand even before Eve was introduced! Long before all the hype about branding began Me was in vogue.  But the question is, does Me gets branded enough to stand on its own? It’s a question worth asking yourself. “Am I doing everything in my power to brand Me enough?”


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

I don’t think the above adage works very well with writers, especially with advertising copywriters. Most of the copywriters who I have worked with would rather take a bullet than betray the words they have penned. And most of the time they would stand by their words! They also had the notion that their words really did play a big role in selling more products and services.

Alleppey aka Alappuzha is a coastal city in God’s Own Country aka Kerala, India

That’s their side of the story.

But there is another side to that story: the story most straight-thinking creative designers would like to tell anyone who would like it hear it. I would say it’s my story too!

When it comes to advertising, marketing, branding or whatever term you may use for selling, I still believe in saying it with pictures. Pictures come first. Words come next. And of course, good advertising is always a combination of both.

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