Using Art to Connect the Dots

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by Anirban Bhattacharya on Monday, December 1, 2014

Fringe, Geekery & Life Hacks

Session type

Technical level


To make sense of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world using visual arts. Learn to observe, connect, understand and interpret the living environment, to appreciate barriers and enablers in the creative thought process, reframe questions and explore the power of the unsaid. To diverge and look at the so-called “bigger picture”, to listen to, understand and collaborate with others, to develop solutions that can bring about real change.


Art stands for dialogues. And impacts everyone, from the protagonists to the passersby!

Around the world, Art-Based Trainings are changing the way the world is looking at improving performance, overcoming skill gaps, transforming behaviours and achieving strong results. Art-Based Trainings are allowing participants identify, understand and appreciate themselves, their colleagues and their environment better, for greater effectiveness and empathy. Art-based training methods create a bonding experience that facilitates collaboration, communication and out-of-the-box thinking, and accelerates creative problem-solving. Art-based activities are used to develop and reinforce various Behavioral Skills and used strategically to create safety, build trust, find shared values, and shift perceptions.

My company The Painted Sky is a Bangalore based People Development organization, focusing on various high-impact and experiential Behavioral and Skill development programmes and Executive Coaching solutions. The Painted Sky is the pioneer to design Art-Based corporate training initiatives in India, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We use diverse tools like Painting, Theatre, Music and Story-based methods, as well as use LEGO© Bricks and Jazz music as metaphors for development! Over the last 8 years, our facilitators have run programmes across 7 countries, for over a hundred corporate clients. That translates to over 1000 Art-Based workshops, for 15000+ participants.

In my session, I will help participants express themselves through drawings on paper. They will experience freedom from self-limiting barriers and will move out of comfort zones. They will then be asked to proceed to develop their idea through multiple, simultaneous collaborative journeys that will help them look at different views and perspectives, appreciate differences in contexts, and reframe their own thinking to accommodate and enrich the projects. Participants will experience disruptive change, interpret the abstract, seek collaboration opportunities in the process. They will also develop the ability to creatively look at the abstract and translate that in 2D, while sharing resources, communicating and negotiating with peers in a non-threatening and free environment.

At the end, each participant comes away feeling excited, energised and positively reinforced, with deeper sense of purpose and achievement, and respect and pride for each other and their own selves. The individual works can be taken by each participant with them, as souvenirs and positive reminders of the experience and the outcomes.


chart papers, white paper, pencils, erasers, felt-tipped pens and markers.

Speaker bio

I love to paint, cook and travel. I am a almost full-time dad, and as a co-founder of The Painted Sky, I am the lead facilitator for Art-Based modules. I run sessions like the proposed one here for clients and institutions around the world, and am always fascinated by the different responses and dynamics each session throws up. In my earlier life, I spent 18 years in industry, and handled various sales and marketing roles with diverse organizations like ITC, America Express, Prudential, Metro Cash & Carry and PwC. With stints in India, the USA and Europe. I did an MBA long ago, I collect art, love jazz, love using Art-Based methods with children, and also mentor start-ups and entrepreneurs for a bunch of voluntary oraginsations. And I am excited and all set to launch our e-magazine aimed at “what can businesses learn from the arts”.