Photoshop Battle Ignites To Raise Awareness About Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Picture source:

Among millions of people participating in reimaging Zahra’s world, this particular image by one of the users named Ged Maybury is turning to be the most powerful image in the history of photoshop battles:

The battle started on Reddit when UNHCR shared a picture of refugee child named Zahra. Photoshop battle ensued to reimagine Zahra in a better place. People joined the conversation on social media.

People are donating along the way to turn these imaginations into reality for Zahra. You too can make a donation through the UNHCR website.

Reimagine Zahra’s World

A study conducted by Brad J. Bushman of the University of Michigan and Amsterdam, and Craig A. Anderson of Iowa State University, aimed to prove that “exposure to violent media reduces aid offered to people in pain.”

With the refugee crisis in its seventh year and the world is close to hitting compassion fatigue. With donor apathy in the discussion, how do we get people to make an impactful change?

Ask Reddit

Reddit community is famous for its Photoshop battles. Millions of Redditors use their creativity and Photoshop skills to change the context of an original image.

For years, the participants of Photoshop Battles have been manipulating, uploading, and sharing dramatically altered reality. But for the first time in the history of PS Battles, an act of humanity played out.

This time, we asked the community to embark on a one-of-its-kind Photoshop battle. To reimagine what a refugee child’s world would be, if she weren’t stuck in a refugee camp.

The Case of Zahra

Zahra is a six-year-old-child living in poverty for four years. The Photoshop battle kicked off to reimagine Zahra’s world. The results were both adorable and heartwarming. Redditors reimagined her world in a safe place, in a warm cozy house, or next to a fireplace; with pets and new friends. They even gave her a trip around the world.

First the original:

Original Image from UNHCR

Photoshop Battle started to reimagine her world.


classroom copy.jpg


Cabin in Woods_TetsuboMTG.jpg

Hot air balloon_Makeworldsuckless.jpgorchestra_Charmmefirst

with cat_CantaffordEvian.jpgWaiting for a school bus_Charmmefirst.jpgKindergarden.jpgPet Dog .jpgSources: ur_help_to/


UNHCR: to turn the imaginations into reality.

Buzzfeed: photoshop-battle-for-good-2y7e9?utm_term=.uf745aYV01#.wpGgVYQ9wa

Happy Holidays from Blank Paper Project

2014 has been a Ferris wheel (hate roller coasters) of a year, one that has taught me so many lessons and has helped me focus on what is most important to me in life and work. As fun as it has been, it has tested me in many ways. I have been constantly challenged to choose genuine, original and real over duplicated and trivial. While I try to stay on top of new trends in the digital world, I am starting to get a little wary of the new innovations or the next app to drown us all in its wake. While the Google’s new self driver car is a kick-ass concept, “Things I learnt from riding a Google Self-driving Car” and other articles floating around on internet translates the new innovations to look impulsive and trivial. My job as a digital copywriter keeps me constantly updated about the world of internet and cell phone communication and information. I love it all, but with the same effect I find myself being propelled towards the old-school face-to-face conversations, letter writing, crafts, arts and silent creations.

Somewhere I hope 2015 brings something more real in the digital world. As I converse daily with the strategists, technologists, illustrators user experience designers, creatives, writers and analysts, I have come to believe that only way we can choose to create something real is by collaborating and creating a team that has a similar vision. A vision to disrupt, create and answers life’s biggest questions and exudes life’s most-real emotions. Hope 2015 helps me collaborate with some of the most brilliant artists, writers and designers and give my readers a glance into a world that is rich with unusual stories, inspirational content, rewarding books and delightful stationery items.

Wishing my devout readers Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2015.


Stalking creativity


Having an archivist’s mind and curator’s soul are important to any creative process.

A month back, I got my hands on the year’s calendar by The Doodlers. What fascinated me, about their art was a light-hearted wickedness they brought to their sketches. Furthermore, there was an unprecedented level of chaos and an undifferentiated interception of  shapes and stories.

Such a beautiful art announced itself to distracting levels. So I listened to my hunch and decided to let our readers in on the creative minds behind these beautiful illustrations.

Neha and her creative partners Sameer Kulkarni and Abhijit Kalan, give us a sneak peek into the idea incubation and a drooling list of their tools of mass creation.

What do you feel when you stare at a blank page, before your illustrations take shape on the whiteness of the sheet?

The feeling is a combination of excitement, nervousness, sudden enthusiasm for exploration, inquisitive thoughts around discovery of something unexpected and many a times just plain challenging.

The mind is not always clear about what has to be done. Sometimes, there’s just an idea. Sometimes, there’s just a style or technique of illustrations in thoughts. Most of the times, there’s just a subject in mind. And of course, a lot of times there’s absolutely nothing in mind.


If someone issues a search warrant through your tools and sketchbooks, what are they likely to stumble into?

Like many art-loving people, we are suckers for stationery. Given a chance to spend a fortune in one night, it would be either for stationery, books or toys. While sketching, we are peculiar about our tools. Depending on the kind of illustration needed, the tools change. Some of the brands/products we LOVE are:

  • Rotring Pens  (Much love to those.)
    Black markers – Camlin/Reynolds
    Permanent Metal markers from Uniball
  • Apsara Eraser & Natraj Sharpener (Let’s not forget these two humble darlings)
  • Staedtler fineliner pens,
    Balls pens – Reynolds, any
    Staedtler pencils ranging from HB-8B
    Staedtler water colour pencils
  • Camlin artists water colours and photo inks
  • Brush pens
  • Water-based and oil-based Acrylics

And the reason we use a sketchbook is because it helps us define our sketches. Umm, not like we don’t sketch on separate sheets, but using a sketchbook just makes it more accessible and it keeps giving us a gentle reminder that we need to fill it up even more.

There isn’t any particular sketchbook brand that we use. What matters is the quality of paper should be great (especially if using Rotring pen on it), the grip should be good enough and size should be decently portable.
We have been buying sheets from paper marts and binding them as sketch books for the longest time. Now, we are experimenting with brands like Moleskin; but honestly, we find it expensive.

One local Indian brand of sketchbook that we recently discovered while making The Doodlers calendar was: Matrix Artist Pad. Typical art paper which has great GSM and quality.


What do you love sketching, just for fun?

We have more sketches that are personal/unreleased than ones done for larger projects. Basically sketching has been an inevitable part of our lives, unknowingly; until one day we realised that we should actually start publishing it.
Abhijit is extremely fond of sketching crows. In fact, he discovered his love for illustrations through his signature crows. He has created over 150 unique crows until now and I think the number will be never-ending. Apart from that, he has also sketched a series of elephants and other many random illustrations.

Sameer is brilliant with caricatures, sketches that involve perspective, animated character illustrations and doodles. He is very fluent at doodling on walls with his marker. He also likes to experiment with different stationery and tools while sketching through which unique styles come out.

And me (Neha), well I am obsessed with drawing lady-figures. My mom said that I was 3 or 4 years old when I started drawing them. It has become a habit that sketching eyes, hair and eventually a face of a woman is the first thing that will come out if I am given a pencil in my hand. There’s something about woman’s anatomy that fascinates me.

Stray their work here:

The Doodlers:




Diary Chooses the Owner – Rubberband

I am a pathological list maker. So I feverishly keep searching for new notebooks to write my lists on. I found these Rubberband Slimseries and liked their minimalistic design.


When I got the package from Flipkart, I knew I had a new addition to my stationery family. If you are on those who squeal a little every time you get a new package, and smell the pages of a new notebook/diary welcome to the Stationeryphile’s World.


The Rubberband journals have a simple design and you can start scribbling on these without any sense of guilt. They do not carry the exclusivity of Letternotes or do not make for a perfect art canvas like Moleskin.

I found these twins for Rs 120 at Flipkart which is quite a steal. Their non-discounted retail price if Rs 160.



The Rubberband collection includes wine and recipe journals, and notebooks with neon covers.

“Part of the appeal of a Rubberband notebook is its lack of embellishment. When piled alongside other journals and diaries in bookshops and stationery marts, the black cover notebooks with pop-coloured pages generally stand out on account of their striking simplicity. Mumbai-based industrial designer Ajay Shah, who founded Rubberband in 2007, told us that he kept the design deliberately understated. “I’m not a big fan of graphics, prints, and excessive details,” said Shah, a National Institute of Design graduate who runs a multi-disciplinary design studio in Mahalaxmi called the Ajay Shah Design Studio.” –



Diary Chooses the Owner: Letternote Notebooks



Don’t you love being called at the reception, with lovely Letternote Notebooks delivered by the courier guy. This is one of the happiest moments of my life.

Letternote Series have this lovely solemnity and minimalism very few diaries sport these days. Everyone in their run to design something kitsch and quirky end up being bizarrely imaginative and utterly shoddy.

Many of us get very hesitant to start sketching on a brand new diary, which I believe is belittling your own creation. Your work is more important than the diary in which it houses. I try to never to forget that.

Letternote Ideas Kraft notebook’s designs remind me to create something ‘Simple, yet Significant’ as Don Draper would say!

Since you folks must have received your salaries by now, it is good time to spend it on some stationery love. See the wide range of Letternote Stationery here: If i could have it this way I would want some sugar daddy to buy me the entire catalog. But Sigh! If wishes were unicorns…