Stuck to the Wall and Plugged into the Phone…

Warning: This is a nonsensical post I am making while I am half-asleep. Nonsensical posts are subject to weirdness risk.

I tried out the Pexel image library.

… … …

I have no idea how it happened but the photographer happened to be around when I got tired with all these trials and decided to doze off with my feet stuck to the wall.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

And here’s another picture of me on phone with my friend writer Barbara G. Tarn, as she guides me through the process of inserting Pexel images.

As you can see, even though you can’t hear, I’m still quite confused. My hairdo is a faux Ted Gibson, the makeup, an imitation Bobi Brown, and the dress screams for Brandon Maxwell’s attention. (My near-basic research tells me that Maxwell is Lady Gaga‘s Designer, but check out the picture at the link…shouldn’t he be a model instead?)

BTW, I have no idea how that NSFW picture of mine ended up in the Pexels image library.

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Now, finally, I’m ready for the plunge.

You, and only you know what happened to me.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Bye!

The Boss Monster Strikes Back!

Hang the hangover!
It’s time to get back to work!!

The Boss Monster has awakened and is now blundering around, looking for you.

Welcome to another year with the Boss…and I hope and pray that the pandemic ends so that we can meet our charming bosses in person, once again 🙂

My New Year Resolutions – 2021.

Hi Folks,

A very happy new year to you.

For the last three years, I haven’t made nor published any new year resolutions, but I have resolved to do so this year.

Here are 5 things that I will work hard to accomplish this year.

  1.  I will go for my morning walks at least 5 days out of 7 a week. I won’t connect it to weight-loss or even metabolism increase….I am going to walk for the sake of walking. This is something odd – but it sounds like me. I draw for the sake of drawing, write for the sake of writing…do everything because of itself – not because it would lead me toward a higher, loftier goal. So…I promise myself that unless I am unwell, or unless heavens fall upon me once again, I’ll walk at least 5 out 7 days a week.
  2. I will draw or paint for at least an hour each day. Life is short. Drawing and painting is something that helps me create something from nothing – and I love the feeling of seeing my imagination find expression. So, once again, for no higher aim, not for an exhibition, not for commissions and assignments – I will draw and paint for an hour or more each day – solely for the sake of drawing and painting.
  3. I will write at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Again, not to spin out so many tales, or write a given number of words – but for the sake of visualizing a scene or a dialog or a character – for the sake of spinning something from my imagination – and give it a concrete shape (not that text is all that concrete.) So I’ll be writing five days out of seven.
  4. I will record and publish 52 episodes of The Spinning Top podcast, in which I serve inspiration marinated in humor and satire, without thinking about how many listeners, comments, reviews, it gathers. I’ll continue to speak my mind through my heart in the podcast, until I’ve finished 52 episodes – and I will be publishing one episode a week.
  5. I will ensure that my social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter don’t exceed two per week. This doesn’t require any explanation, I guess. I just want to focus on creation not on putting my creations on display. Everything that I create doesn’t have to be seen…at least immediately.

I guess this is all that I can do in the given situation, and I intend to be among the 8% who keep their resolutions 🙂

Have a Great New Year Ahead. Stay calm and positive.

Take care,

Shafali

The Caricaturist’s New Year Resolutions for 2021 – and the sharing caring mouse.

… to keep or not to keep them is the Question!

But hey, I read somewhere that only about 8% of those who make New Year Resolutions keep them, while almost 50% of world makes them.

So… to flow with the current, to be fashionable, to go along, to be a spoke in the wheel, and to blend in, I can belong to either camp, but then if I did end up keeping them, I’d be a black sheep, an oddball, a misfit, a crackpot!

So, I’ve decided to do it 50-50…because I really want to fit in. I’ve been a shoe that doesn’t fit, a quirky fun-poking trouble-making caricaturist for what…around 12 years now? Now I want to become the snug and comfy grandma’s slippers.

I seriously want to go for a makeover – like some girls I know would, when they get married. The infinite string of boyfriends, the home-breaker routines they pulled on other women, the marijuana puffs, the cigarette-butts, will all be dumped in a memory-closet, as each morning they would cover their heads and touch the feet of their elders to seek their blessings.

Oh wow!

An entirely new life…is what I’ll be looking at with my new year resolutions!

So, here’s your crazy caricaturist going for her crazy makeover.

In the year 2021,

  1. I’ll stop doing caricatures instead I’ll paint sad-looking, pining-for-their-partner women, sitting under a dusty, orphan little shrub growing on the side of our city roads.
  2. I’ll always have a sweet but sad smile pasted on my face; I’ll stop looking people in the eye, and play with my hair while talking to men – so that I appear mysterious and confuse the hell out of them.
  3. I’ll talk with an affected lilt and I’ll twirl and swirl (which I obvious can’t do in a pair of jeans – so I’ll find a broomstick skirt with sufficient flare to twirl.)

You don’t like it, do you?

But hey, I was only making resolutions. Remember, to disappear in the crowd, I must not keep them!

Ouch!

Here’s your caricaturist, doing the right thing. Making caricatures and cartoons – and professing that sharing is caring.

If you have a mouse in your house, dear reader, it is your responsibility to provide the little mite free boarding and lodging…preferably someone on your person. Be as Ron Weasley is to Scabbers. (This, however, isn’t Ron Weasley.)

Happy New Year - 2021 - Card by Shafali - Sharing is Caring

Happy New Year – 2021 – Card by Shafali – Sharing is Caring

 

Have a Beautiful and Safe New Year!

A Cute Little Monster Micromanages a Pen and Ink drawing and a Funny Podcast.

The crazy caricaturist went AWOL again.

She was finally found this morning, sitting in a corner, drawing a cute little monster with her Micron 005 pen. Why? Because she was inspired by a monster-drawing artist on Reddit.

Yes, she’s trying to tell you that she’s checking out Reddit. Her handle is: u/spinningtopSRA

Anyway, here’s the ultra-cute monster. Isn’t he lovable?

Cute Monster – A Pen and Ink Drawing (6″x8″)

And here’s my funniest podcast yet. If you listen closely, you’ll be able to feel the pain in my voice – but otherwise, it’s funny. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy watching someone else being micro-managed? So, dive in 🙂

That’s all for today.

Tomorrow belongs to another drawing and another episode of the Spinning Top podcast.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year :)

Hi friends from all around the world,

This post is to simply wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year 🙂

At the beginning of 2020, I thought that life was dark enough…and then it became the darkest. The pandemic and the lockdowns just added another coat of black to the inky deep darkness that had welled inside my heart… but I’ve got my fingers crossed for this new year.

This prayer goes out to all those who have been hit by life…in five days, another year begins. I’m going to make my new year resolutions this year – and I’ll post them here 🙂

More later…but still quite soon 🙂

Take care,

Lots of love from your caricaturist.

Hit by Intolerance? This Christmas, Let it Slide!

  • Have you ever been trolled on social media for the unforgivable lapse of not being politically correct?
  • Have you had your fill of intolerant jerks, who love to start feasting on your tiniest goof-ups?
  • Do you, secretly of course, feel that being on social media is a pain-where-it-hurts-the-most, because what you say online could be misconstrued?

If you’ve thought and re-thought whether you were treading upon some unknown toes, while making a simple social media post, then join me in this episode of The Spinning Top.

In this episode, I talk about the importance of letting it slide. Join me on a slightly nostalgic and frightfully truthful podcast about the intolerance that’s growing unabated – fueled, of course, by the digital anonymity of Internet.

If you like The Spinning Top, then subscribe or follow it on a podcasting app of your choice.

You can leave a voice comment at http://anchor.fm/shafali-anand or a comment to share your thoughts.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Thank you!

How to Get up Early? Yes, I am the Expert talking!

Want to get up early?

I wake up at 3 am – and I can almost always decide the time when I want to wake up and I wake up at that time.

It isn’t difficult at all – provided you have a goal.

And honestly, it’s really nice to be up early – when even the birds aren’t up.

It’s so quiet…most of the times

  • when the street dogs aren’t giving a concert, or
  • when the guard isn’t trying to let you know that he’s awake too, or
  • when some whisky-sodden young men and women wearing t-shirts with the label “After Whiskey, Jaat is Risky,” don’t come around in their cars with their speakers screeching the latest, raunchiest Bollywood number…

when all this isn’t happening, then the silence too is beautiful!

But the point still is…you can hear the sound of the ticking clock, the sound of your own breath, and you feel great about having that time – just for yourself – to do what you want to do!

So dive in, and if you like the Episode, please like the podcast video and subscribe to The Spinning Top Podcast, which is inspiration marinated in humor and satire. (what else can you expect from this caricaturist?)

And check out that cool cartoon 🙂 done by yours truly

Krishna’s Key for Success Podcast – and Krishna’s Color Pencil Sketch :)

  • Have you found it difficult to continue pouring effort into an endless pit without knowing if it would ever get filled?
  • Have you experienced the high and the low tides of motivation – flooding your existence in one moment and leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness, the next?
  • Have you found yourself questioning the rationale of working day after day, doing something that empirically has a very low chance of success?

Entrepreneurs feel it all the time, so do writers, artists, singers, bloggers… in fact anyone who must toil for a fruit that may eventually turn out to be a mirage.

And yet…because this is the only way to get where we aspire to reach, we must continuously fuel our motivation to toil – to put in the effort.

The “Krishna’s Key for Success” Episode of The Spinning Top, illustrates the three facets of Krishna’s advice through experiences and stories. If you too love Krishna and believe that his words from Bhagwad Geeta are timeless and forever contextual, you’ll enjoy listening to this episode just as I enjoyed creating it.

If you like listening to The Spinning Top, inspire me by spreading the word.

New episodes are published every Tuesday and Friday, so in order to get notified, please subscribe or follow it on a podcasting app of your choice.

The Spinning Top is now also available on YouTube, so if it’s your favorite listening platform, you can also follow it at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIORMWMGlsXaeRY0fBWCYpQ

And I’d love it if you left me a voice comment at: https://anchor.fm/shafali-anand

If you’d like to connect with me outside this little time-box, please visit shafalianand.com.

Like Worms? Be the Early Bird!

Early to bed and early to rise,

might make a woman old and wrinkly before her time.

Caricature of a middle-aged woman bejeweled, rich, but unhappy.

But they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,
And if the beholden wants to wake up early and get those wrinkles, then this podcast could be of value.

Early bird or how to wake up early - The Spinning Top podcast.

Have fun with it…

and hey, you’ve got such a beautiful voice. How about leaving a voice comment? You can do a lot of things through your comment.

  • Ask me a question (that I can answer. Don’t ask me to figure out the trajectory of a spaceship.)
  • Talk about your experiences with getting up early.
  • Give me an idea for a future podcast.
  • Generally cheer me on 🙂
  • Anything else that catches your fancy.

I’d love to include it in a future episode of the Spinning Top podcast 🙂

More later then!

World News & My Views – An Alien Texan gets Vaccinated!

No…the alien Texan didn’t get vaccinated. In fact, the new Texan isn’t an alien, even though he sometimes looks like one – but hey, aliens do exist and if they ended up in the US, specifically in Texas – there might be some Texan aliens…and they would need to be vaccinated too.

Here are the three top news items that caught the caricaturist’s attention today.

  1. That Aliens exist and Trump knows about them!
  2. That Elon Musk has moved to Texas!
  3. That Pfizer has begun administering the covid vaccine in the UK.

I’m sure Trump knows about the aliens. In fact, aliens too know about Trump or why would they abduct me and have me create Donald Trump‘s caricature? In fact, George Clooney too knows about aliens, as this caricature will prove.

Caricature/Cartoon of George Clooney with two aliens discussing his hairstyle!

Is the Alien Right?

And Tom Cruise too knows about aliens…even though this particular ceremony was kept a secret. I know this is terrible – but if I remember right, it was my first color-caricature, so cut me some slack.

Caricature, Cartoon, color drawing of Tom Cruise and his fourth wife, as Katie Holmes files for divorce due to Tom's insistence of Suri joining the Scientology Church

Tom Cruise finds his Soulmate

About Elon Musk‘s move to Texas, I’m surprised that it didn’t happen before. Whatever little I know of Texans, and whatever littler I know of Musk, tells me that Texas should be his soul-state…if there’s anything like a soul-state. I read somewhere that it’s cheaper to live in Texas and that’s the reason why Musk has moved there – but I think not. He isn’t this guy here – who’d need to scrimp…

Happy Hobo - Caricature, Cartoon, Artwork, Drawing, Poster on Happiness and Spirituality.

Happiness is a State of Mind – Happy Hobo – 7.5 inches by 11 inches. All Rights Reserved, including the Creation of Derivative Works. Contact Artist for Licensing the Artwork.

And that the first shot of Pfizer’s covid vaccine was given to a ninety year old lady in the UK…makes me feel happy. You see, this is how I’ve looked for a while…and it’s really time that I stepped out.

Feeling blessed - a pen and ink drawing - shafali's art. Artists and Commissions.

Feeling frazzled and a bit dazzled!

What’s your take on the news?

A Personal Note…and The Radio Family.

Dear friends and followers of this blog’o’mine,

I find it odd that when too much happens in life, too little gets written about it. It’s also odd that when you are being your strongest, you appear to be weak and damaged.

But then, on the blog of this caricaturist, oddities abound. What is it that she hasn’t yet pushed and pulled and distorted out of shape? You, me, actors, politicians, singers, animals, even words…

But not recently.

Recently, it’s been she who was tossed about and who got all dented out of shape. Here’s a personal voice note to you from her.

Speaking of voices…

Podcasts remind me of the Radio. I remember doing this cover-art for The American Spectator magazine. The requirement was complex in its simplicity – the Radio family of the 1930s/40s.

Think of it for a moment…

The toys, the clothes, the hairdo of the lady, the radio, the wallpaper….

It was fun…mostly because of my client – who gave me as much rope as he could.

But what reminded me of this cover-art was the radio.

Remember the Radio? And now think of the podcast. The only difference is that now everyone can talk…

Even the caricaturist!

Cover Art for the American Spectator Magazine - July August 2013 Issue - The Radio family of 1940s - Shafali

Magazine Cover for the June-July 2013 issue of The American Spectator MagazineThat’s all for now 🙂

Lefties…you are always Right!

Now that title tells a lot about you and me…both.

  • It tells you that there’s a good chance of my being a lefty with an attitude.
    And
  • if it caught your attention, it means that you either are a lefty or have a strong lefty-bias.

We lefties, I believe, were left in a lurch by the right-swaying, right-loving, righty-world – and, possibly to spite us, they built everything in the world for the righties…

Listen to my my rip-roaring (?) gut-wrenching (??) speech for lefty-rights.

Disclaimer: The Spinning Top Podcast pours its molten metal episodes at 1600 degrees. Be careful, wear the right protective gear over your sensitive sensibilities.


Personality Credits: Karma the Dog by yours truly.

 

Hey, you Brilliant Jerk! Listen to This!

I know that most of my blog readers are brilliant…and I really doubt if any of them are jerks… but  I’ll let Shafali do the talking.  (And I didn’t call you a jerk, before Mr. Reed Hastings of Netflix did.)

Click, listen, and fume!

Disclaimer:

Before you decide that I’m a crummy cartoonist…reflect upon the self-satisfied, smug expression on the face of our brilliant jerk and consider the fact that after the light-bulb of the visualization flashed in my head, I spent about fifteen minutes doodling…and of course, I can sell almost anything to myself.

The Caricaturist Cartoons for the Podcast – What’s the world coming to?

So when the writer started The Spinning Top podcast, she engaged your favorite caricaturist to do the cover-cartoons for her. No pay, no credit!

But then the caricaturist resides within the body of the writer, and if this is the rent the writer expects, the caricaturist shall pay…in kind. You see, the caricaturist’s book, “Evolution of a Caricaturist” sells but with the print business going downhill around the globe, if she can live rent-free in the writer’s body, she should. It’s plain prudence!

Here’s what she’s been sketching…

I know you are shaking your head in disbelief – never expected this from her…right?

The Spinning Top Podcast - Episode - 1: When things go wrong... cartoon of a man with a broken umbrella.

 

The Spinning Top Podcast - Episode 2- The Boss Monster Part i podcast - with cartoon of an ape with three little monkeys.

 

The Spinning Top Podcast - Episode 3- Win the War - Cartoon of an anxious and troubled woman with inner conflict.

 

The Spinning Top Podcast - Episode 4- Offer a smile -cartoon of a woman smiling and happy.

 

So that was where the caricaturist was…if you want to listen to what she has to say – just click the images.

She was caught red-handed and turned over to you 🙂

You can also listen to The Spinning Top on:

 

The Spinning Top: Spin with Me.

I’ve been away and while things hadn’t been too great since the advent of Covid, I’ve been tinkering with new ideas, keeping myself hopeful and optimistic, and in general trying out new things. Something that I had been wanting to do for a long time was publishing my podcast – and it has finally happened.

It’s called The Spinning Top.

Why?

I’ve explained it all in the trailer of the podcast.

Hint: If you enjoy my writing, you’ll probably enjoy my podcast too 🙂

Here’s the icon. It’s an oil painting on a canvas that I painted specially for the podcast!

“The Spinning Top” Painting and Podcast by Shafali Anand.

‘m doing the new episodes on Tuesday and Saturday evenings – and so far, I’ve done two. The trailer, which is 4-minutes and the first episode called, “When Things go Wrong,” which is about 8-minutes.

Here’s the link to my podcast’s homepage: https://anchor.fm/shafali-anand

And if you’d like to go directly to the trailer and the episode, here they are:

If you enjoy my podcast or find it useful, please follow or subscribe – and of course, leave a comment. Spotify allows voice comments too.

Have a Great Festival Season!

The Tweak – The Novella that will remain Free forever!

The Tweak

(Crime Fiction: Mystery & Suspense)

(Gift it to yourself at the Author’s Website.)

When Mr. Jacob, the District Collector, shoots himself dead in his office, the only witness is Negi Ji, the calm middle-aged caretaker of the office building.

Negi Ji has harbored a grudge for the last twenty-five years, but when he hears the last seven words of Mr. Jacob, he sees an opportunity to rewrite the story of his life. But this isn’t the only secret that is buried in Negi Ji’s chest.

He has been wronged by the world, and by the only person he ever loved.

From the world, he wants his life back; from her, he wants hers.

Viral Sin – A Crime Thriller that’s an Honest Commentary on Human Nature

Viral Sin is not just an entertaining crime thriller but also an honest commentary on human nature.

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B088X52QN7

Viral Sin has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon.in. If you read eBooks, do check it out – it might change your views on a lot of things. Among other things, the book is an honest commentary on human nature and how each among us has the potential of being a victor in this fight against the virus.

It is a crime-thriller, and its primary purpose is to entertain; however, the reason it got written was because the authro needed to express what she felt, and what could otherwise have impacted her own sanity during the lockdown.

From the reviews at https://www.amazon.in/product-reviews/B088X52QN7


* Gripping and cleverly woven!


* A quick read but will remain with you for a long time.


* I would like to recommend this to all those people who are afraid of facing the situation. It will definitely bring positivity to their lives.


*The theme and the plot depicts something which is beyond the thought.

If you have a Kindle Unlimited account, the download is Free.

Here’s the Instagram post I made this morning…

If you read it, do leave your comments either at your Amazon store or at Goodreads.

Thank you…

Caricature Portrait of Lionel (Leo) Messi – Argentine Footballer and Legend.

Lionel Messi is considered to be greatest football player ever, especially when we aren’t speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo – but we aren’t right now, so we’ll go by Lionel Messi being the greatest.

You know that I don’t like perfect faces – mostly because perfection is difficult to caricature. This is why among the two, Lionel Messi won my heart, and I caricatured him.

One look at him and I saw how beautifully unique each of his features is. His deep-set eyes, his straight long slim-ridged nose that ends in a tiny bump, his chin that sticks out even more due to his prickly beard, the lower half of his face sloping inward toward his neck, his ears with a tiny little lobe and a tinier tragus…but his hair that stands right up (quite like mine when I enter my porcupine avatar,) won me over entirely.

I know you want a quick biography of this football star…my way. So here it is:

Lionel Messi’s tiniest biography in the world.

Leo Messi was born on June 24, 1987, which makes him about 33 years old. He’s got some fabulous awards (six Ballon d’Or, six European Golden Shoes, 34 Barcelona Football Club Trophies) Leo Messi is of Italian descent, he celebrates his goals by looking up and thanking his maternal grandmother who would take him to football matches and training sessions. Quite like our sweet and trusting Indian “boys” he just played football, letting his dad manage all his finances, and ended up being investigated for tax-evasion. <– All this courtsey his wikipedia page here. (Reminds you of a certain Indian businessman who committed large-scale frauds and his middle-aged daughters who said something like, “Dad used to take care of all financial matters…we just signed.” <– Can you guess?

With 157M Instagram followers @leomessi is the most followed Instagram celeb of 2020.

 

Teach yourself – Shapes, Forms, Lights, Shadows, Textures, Depths…and other cool stuff.

I have been toying with the idea of writing some tutorials on drawing and how to use lights, shadows and textures to change your two-dimensional flat sketches into well-formed realistic drawings that have volume and depth.

A drawing has form when it convey depth, or in other words, looks three-dimensional. When a drawing presents only the outlines, it has a shape – and while the shape might be identifiable and extremely well-drawn, it keeps the drawing from conveying realism.

The problem that self-taught artists face is that they are very good at capturing the shapes, but not so great at establishing forms. The reason might lie in the fact that the play of lights and shadows must be learned through careful observation and analysis (where the light-source is, how different textures reflect lights, and so on,) and the self-taught artist draws mainly for the love of creating his own representation of what he sees. He wants to do it quickly and then move on the next drawing, and then the next.

I’ve been through the same grind, and I am still learning, but as I once noted, we all are learners situated at different points on the continuum of learning, and each of us has something to contribute to the learning of others. This is why I wrote “Evolution of a Caricaturist-How to Draw Caricatures?“, which has been performing rather well despite its infra-niche audience, and this is why I have started writing this series.

It begins with the basics. Here’s a rough outline, which might change as the series develops.

  • Shapes
  • Forms
  • Shapes vs. Forms
  • Lights
  • Shadows
  • Textures
  • Placement
  • Depth etc.

The History of Art posts will continue…though erratically, because I must write and teach and to teach through virtual sessions, I must practice a software.