Face in the Fire – A Short Story and the Caricature of Anger Divine.

“If I could, I would kill him!” the man in the tattered jacket and stained trousers hissed as he watched the flames that danced violently mirroring his own state of mind.

He didn’t expect his cry to be heard, nor his pain to be felt by another. He sat in a small recess that was between two cliffs that faced each other, touching and teasing at times then moving away, just a little, just enough to let a man escape the freezing wind that could peel the skin off his face; just enough to let a man build a fire that could warm his chilled bones and melt the blood that had frozen in his veins.

“If they wouldn’t hang me for killing him, I would kill him,” he muttered to himself, contemplating why he hadn’t killed him. He knew they would hang him, or take him out to the fields, ask him to make a run for his life, then put a bullet in him – they’d call it encounter. They ignored the law when it came to punishing a crime against their own kind.

And now, more than ever before, he couldn’t die. He had to live. He couldn’t even get arrested and be put away for years.

He turned his attention to the fire. He needed to stop thinking about that man.

But how did you stop thinking about someone who stole your reason to live?
How did you tell yourself to go on, when your reason to go on, had gone away… taken away… wrenched away…hacked away?

He couldn’t staunch the flow of his thoughts, but watching the fire soothed him. The fire hadn’t lost its strength yet. It still burned strong, nearly white in the center; and a fiery orange outside. It threw a golden glow on the walls of cliffs that faced each other. The flames still danced passionately, angrily, demanding to be assimilated, absorbed in each other.

And then he saw a face – among the flames, made of flames; so full of anger that it could have been his own. The matted hair that coiled on the top, the impression of a third eye – he knew the face, and he knew that the anger that filled this face that was made of flames, was the force of justice.

Caricature Portrait of an Angry sadhu -

“What did he do?” he heard a voice, which sounded like it came from the face in the fire.

The calm voice from the angry face, made him feel better. Gradually he began remember everything in vivid detail – everything including that which reminded him why he couldn’t kill the man who had rendered his life meaningless. Images rushed to fill in the space that his receding pain and anger left vacant. He saw the woman he loved and their son waving him goodbye – the image was lit with the soft morning light that fills hearts with joy and hope. Then he saw the broken door, the picture of him and his wife on the floor with its glass shattered, and inside, he saw blood on the sheets. The light he saw it all in had the ink of night spilling into it – throwing his soul into the dark abyss of hopelessness. She wasn’t there, nor was his son. Then he saw her – bloodied, clutching her throat and dying near the scarecrow they had both built together. Finally, he saw in her fist, the piece of paper that stopped him from going after him and killing him. He had taken away their son! He had known him for fifteen years and considered him a friend.

“He should pay,” said the angry face in the fire, or he thought it said. But could he? If he killed him, and they killed his son, what then?!

The stream of his thoughts was dammed by a scream that came from above. He looked up and saw a man falling, hitting the walls, rebounding from one then from the other. He crashed to the ground just a few feet away from him on the other side of the fire he had built. Before his body struck the ground, the man’s face turned toward him. His head smashed against a boulder that lay at the bottom of the cliff’s wall and spattered it with blood, before his eyes closed forever. The police uniform that he had always admired on his friend was soaked in blood, even his badge was twisted out of shape.

The man watched spellbound. He had wanted this man to die – but his death didn’t soothe him the way he thought it would. His death couldn’t become life for her…and his son? He was still missing.

He turned to look at the fire.
The face was gone.
Or was it never there? 

He looked up, wondering if the face was up there among the stars, but it wasn’t. Instead he saw a tiny silhouette of a little head. He could’ve recognized it anywhere. Against the backdrop of a moonlit sky, he saw the child. They used to come here, father and son; they knew the place like the back of their hands. His son was safe. Now he had to only get up there and pick the threads of his life again. He had a reason to go on.

Before he prepared himself for the climb, he turned to look at the fire again. It was suddenly close to dying, like it didn’t have a reason to blaze and sing anymore.

But he was sure.

There was a face in the fire.

Aspiring Writers! Looking for the ‘W’ Factor? Let David Farland help you find it :)

A Drawerful of Manuscripts begs their Creator to Pursue Publication – This month we are sharing a writing success story for anyone who writes manuscripts with their whole heart and soul . . .

and promptly puts them in a drawer.

 Or

for anyone who stresses over if their stories have the W factor.

If you are an aspiring writer and don’t yet subscribe to David Farland’s Writing Tips, please do so now:)

Remember this badge I once shared on the blog:

Writers of the Future - Honorable Mention badge for my science fiction short story.

My first sci-fi story won an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest, and his Writing Tips newsletter is what motivated me to participate. His book Million Dollar Outlines helped me see my writing from the reader’s viewpoint, and this year, I might finally start approaching agents and publishers for those manuscripts in my desk-drawer:)

David Farland's Newsletter and Website - My Story Doctor.

On the art-front, after I’m finished with my current illustration assignment, I promise to draw a few light and bright caricatures, solely for this blog and for you:)

Three Portraits for Cover Art – Clinton, Bumpers, and Pryor

I recently did this artwork for the cover of TBP Magazine’s March-April 2016 issue. While it might look like three regular portraits of three gentlemen standing in suits, sharing a joke; the assignment was a challenging one, and when the client’s approval came in the first shot saying “I like it a lot,” it felt great.

Here’s the artwork:

Portraits of Bill Clinton, Dale Bumpers, and David Pryor for the cover of Talk Business and Politics (TBP)

 

The cover:

Portraits of Clinton, Bumpers, and Pryor for the TBP Magazine
And the story:

Portraits of Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Bill Clinton - for Talk Business and Politics Magazine.

Photograph Courtesy: Bryan Pistole

 

The Challenge:
This might sound like a problem from the GMAT Question-paper, but it isn’t – it’s real, factual data. Mr. Bumpers (the gentleman at the left) is about 10 years older than Mr. Pryor (the gentleman at the right,) and Mr. Clinton, the rather cute looking gentleman in the middle is about 10 years younger than Mr. Pryor. Mr. Bumpers belonged to the expensive and low-res era of photography and so the web isn’t choke full of his pictures (which obviously means that the references weren’t easy to come by.) Mr. Pryor was close to retirement when the digital era began, so there were some pictures of his older self available but not many of the time when he was politically active. However, there was no dearth of pictures, as far as Mr. Clinton is concerned.

But this is just one part of it.

I needed to paint all the three gentlemen as they looked in the past; as their younger selves. That and the differences in their heights – all that had to factored in while creating this artwork. I enjoyed the challenge and also the fact that I was drawing and painting portraits for a change:)

So that’s that. Coming up soon is a post by the writer in me.

 

Feeding on the Carrion of Humanity: The Two Vultures.

The Two Vultures

“I didn’t kill it,” said the human.
“It doesn’t matter,” replied the avian. “What matters is, whether or not you want to survive.”
The human slipped deep in thought. The avian hopped closer and looked into the human’s eyes. “What’s wrong?” he enquired.
“I’ve been thinking,” replied the human.
The avian raised a brow. “If you are repelled because it’s carrion, remember that this is all what we will get to eat today, and when we have eaten, there are others who must feed on the remains.”
“No,” said the human, assessing the booty that crawled with maggots.
“No what?” asked the avian, confused.
“We can store the rest. We can use it tomorrow and the day after – why should we let others consume it?”
The avian remained silent. Storing food for tomorrow and the day after wasn’t the way of the vultures.
“But it won’t last forever, then what?” the avian asked.
The human turned to look at the avian and allowed a thin, cruel smile to creep across his lips, “then you, my friend,” he replied.

Caricatures of a man and a vulture - artwork name: two vultures .

Artwork: Two Vultures
Size: 6″x8″

Smiles – Frolic: A Color Pencil Artwork that celebrates life.

In 2014, I had started working on a series of drawings that I had named “Smiles.” I had barely managed to color one of them when I faced my first real loss – the loss of a loved one. All other drawings in this series found their way into my Incomplete Drawings folder, and have stayed there as sketches.

This morning, I was struggling to find something happy to post. As I rummaged through my drawings done during the last two years, all I came up with were dark angry works – works that have no business appearing on a caricaturist’s blog. Then I came upon this, and I thought that if it was bright enough to bring a smile to my face, it was bright enough to be posted here.

Caricature of a funny girl smiling with a mouse that swings from her ears. Smiles Caricatures by Shafali.

Series: Smiles, Title of the Work: Frolic, Actual Size: 8″x10″, Medium: Color Pencils

I hope this spring-summer caricature brightens up your day too. Now I must get back to painting the Cover for Barbara G. Tarn’s novella “Charioteer of Buddha.”

Read some, draw some, write some, but blog none? Ho hum!

I last posted about the Song of Ice and Water series by GRR Martin. I can now declare that I am two books into the series already. With the way life’s been this past month, Martin gets the credit for this feat of mine. He weaves such a complex web of tales studded with such intriguing characters, that once caught in it, you can’t leave, until you’ve traversed along every shiny sliver that holds his web of ice and water together.

So I read some.

Then I painted a magazine cover with the portraits of three gentlemen, and now I am painting another cover with a whole mad group of toony looking people on it. I got some inquiries that made me scratch my head rather furiously and lose some hair. I’m also looking forward to painting a couple of beautiful covers for SFF author Barbara G. Tarn, who is also a long time friend.

So I drew some.

I spent some time writing some short stories around the concepts that inspired my hat paintings. I should’ve been writing a new story for the new quarter of the Writers of the Future contest, but for some inexplicable reason, I was more drawn to explore the human mind and its machinations – and so ended up writing these stories, which are more in the realm of psychological fiction.

So I wrote some.

But I couldn’t blog. There are times when you want to find a quiet corner and create. I guess that the last whole month was that time for me:)

 

The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Sometimes somethings come to you unbidden. They steal upon you with the finesse of a cat and surprise you; they wipe the frown off your brow and break your face into a smile.

I had been hankering after The Song of Ice and Fire for more than a year. Actually, since I watched Game of Thrones on TV. I’d look it up whenever I’d visit a book shop, but I could never bring myself to buy it. A set of seven books, each splitting at the seams with about a thousand pages, can make you worry. Will you be able to read them all? Will you like the author’s writing style? Will the story be engaging enough? It’s one thing to sit through an hour-long episode and another to plod through an unending ocean of words. Before you’ve read an author, you never know whether his words are tiny angels that will take you in a world that you won’t want to leave, or little black devils that will plunge you into the depths of reading hell. I had never read anything by George R. R. Martin, so I had no idea what kind of little guys his words were.

Now you must be wondering why I didn’t buy just one book at first and then went for the others? That would be the practical thing to do. Unfortunately, I am not practical. I haven’t made a single practical decision in my life. I am impulsive and emotional. One of the zillion impractical impulses that drive my life is buying books that aren’t just great to read but that also look beautiful. I also like books from an author to look like they belong to him. So unless I’ve already fallen for a specific writer’s work, and I must buy their books as soon as they hit the stalls, I enjoy getting sets. They give me a sense of security and continuity. I know that after finishing one book, I’ll have the next one waiting!

Now George Martin’s books tell one long story, they look mysterious and attractive, and I couldn’t say if I’d be hooked or be saddled – and so the plan of getting the books went into limbo, but the secret yearning didn’t fade away.

Three days ago, I received an unexpected gift. Wrapped in red, it stood on my desk. I suddenly knew what a groom in an Indian arranged marriage feels when he first sees his bride – a package wrapped in red, a bundle of surprises, but first he must lift the veil.

I picked it up, expecting it to be lighter than it was, and immediately knew that it had books inside. All those words, they weigh a lot. For the last whole month, I hadn’t mentioned my craving for GRRM’s books – not once! And yet, there they were! Looking awesome, fantastical, mysterious, rich, and inviting!

Here’s a picture of my treasure:

Song of Ice and Fire - the set of 7 Books - Game of thrones by George R. R. Martin.

Ready to forget myself!

The books in the picture aren’t in sequence. Here’s the order in which you must read the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
  4. A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold
  5. A Feast for Crows
  6. A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
  7. A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast

I’m already at page 359 of A Game of Thrones, and this is just the beginning of my journey into Westeros and Essos.

I am also reminded of the only Game of Thrones character that I’ve ever sketched – Peter Dinklage in the role of the unforgettable Tyrion Lannister – the only Lannister who stands tall (I speak from what I know of him through the first 359 pages.)

Caricature, Cartoon, Pencil Portrait of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

Knowledge and Cunning are my most lethal weapons!

 

 

Interview with StudioVox

Dear Art-lover Visitor,

This one is for you. StudioVox interviewed me last month, and the interview went live just a few hours ago.  StudioVox is an online network for creative professionals. They’ve recently partnered with Robert Redford‘s Sundance Studios to provide artists with an opportunity to exhibit their works in the Studio’s gallery.

If you are interested in learning my thoughts on caricature-drawing and painting and are looking for a few quick tips, head over to StudioVox.

Shafali Anand Caricaturist Interview with Studio Vox

If you want to set up and Art Gallery and connect with fellow artists, Studio Vox provides an interesting, easy-to-use environment that facilitates connecting with other artists.

Writers of the Future Contest – Honorable Mention.

Here’s the story of the story that I wrote for the Writers of the Future Contest, and which won me this cute blue badge:)

Writers of the Future - Honorable Mention badge for my science fiction short story.

It all began in mid-September with David Farland’s newsletter, in which he mentioned that the deadline for sending the fourth quarter entries for Writers of the Future contest was September 30th. Like all serious readers of his newsletter, I considered the date seriously, and noted it on my whiteboard. Then I checked out the site and realized that the contest invited entries only in Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, which meant that the stuff that I had been writing until then, which included modern-day mysteries, thrillers, or even inspirational stories involving non-fantastical real world beings such as cats, dogs, even birds; wasn’t welcome.

This limited the scope somewhat. My connection with fantasy genre is limited to a casual reading of Tolkien’s LOR and an artist’s peek into my wonderful client Barbara G. Tarn’s books. That left me pondering if science fiction was something I could play with. I enjoy watching science fiction movies and I am Michael Crichton fan. My regular readers know that I own a rickety time-machine that has developed a habit of running out of fuel in odd places and times. Oh, and I am an engineer by education. All this made me decide upon science-fiction as the genre for my contest-entry.

And so I wrote a story and uploaded it for the contest. Right after the bird had flown, I began to see the cracks in my story. My descriptions of smells, sounds, even the characters were either non-existent or minimal;  stuff that I had just skipped over suddenly started looking important, the climax of the story came too late, the resolution could’ve been stronger…the list went on and on – the only thing that actually made sense still, was the story, and a wow that it had garnered from its only reader, my rougher and saner other-half. After berating myself for being in such a tearing hurry all the time, I shook my head, got rid of those nagging thoughts, forgot about the story I had sent, and got back to work.

In the first week of December, I received a surprise email from Ms. Joni Labaqui of Galaxy Press telling me that I had won an Honorable Mention for my story. The badge arrived this morning and I just had to share it:)

So there you go. That was my story of the story that I wrote for the Writers of the Future contest.

Now I must get back to the drawing tablet:) I will share some of my new creations with you very soon.

 

Pilgrims arrive in Cuba – Illustration: Governor Hutchinson & Castro Brothers

Following is one of my more recent illustrations for the Talk Business and Politics magazine.
Pilgrims on Mayflower - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson travels to Cuba to meet Castro Brother for trade. Illustration for the magazine Talk Business and Politics

The Artwork:

On the left page, you see Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Randy Veach, and Lisenne Rockefeller. The right page has the Castro brothers (Fidel Castro and Raul Castro) in a red car. The left page artwork (which also was the cover-art) is conceptualized around the Pilgrims theme.

The Pilgrims:

In 1620, 132 people sailed from England to America (or the New World.) They arrived on the shores of America in an awkward looking ship called the Mayflower. This ship wasn’t built for long voyages on the open seas, and so the journey from England to the East Coast of America lasted two long months. Upon arriving at Cape Cod, they experienced a climate that was colder than they were used to, so they stayed aboard facing an outbreak of a disease that dwindled their number to 53. The passengers then made huts, settled down, and came to be known as the pilgrims.  Land was sighted on November 9, 1620 and it was then that the first prayer of thanksgiving was offered.

The connection:

The brief was that the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and two other dignitaries who traveled to Cuba with trade-plans must be shown as the pilgrims approaching the Cubans in a ship (Mayflower.)

The Castro Brothers:

Fidel and Raul Castro have ruled Cuba for more than 50 years. The brothers are often seen together in public.

US-Cuba Relations:

More than 50 years ago, Cuba was placed under sanctions by US. The sanctions that were the outcome of a tussle on oil were imposed in the Kennedy era, and are still in existence. A few years ago, relations between the two countries began to thaw, with both President Obama and Raul Castro “apparently” being on the same page of the embargo story.

And yet, Cuba isn’t really opening its heart for trade with the United States, because despite the green-flag that the United States has been waving on the business front, the embargo is still on – and they would remain until Cuba demonstrates democracy. In general human rights in cuba have been a serious concern for the world-community. According to the US Government, between 1959 and 1993, 1.2 Million Cubans left Cuba for the US for reasons ranging from political executions, forced labor camps, and myriad other instruments of oppression have been in use to the lack of decision-making freedom on issues of health, religion etc.

For the embargo to go, Cuba must become more democratic. Changes are underway and the US Government has been taking a note of it. For instance in 2011, it became legal for Cubans to buy and sell homes. In 2013, Cuba abolished travel restrictions, allowing Cubans to travel the world over. If things move in the right direction, Americans might even get an opportunity to own a home in Cuba.

Right now, US and Cuba are approaching each other with caution and hope:)

Check out the Cover Art here.

 

7 Googling Accidents – What they wanted and what they found.

There’s a saying that an empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Yesterday, my mind was empty, and so the devil rented it for a day, set up office, and went rummaging my stats.

This is what it found:

1. madurie dik shet necked pic

Either you know what that is or you don’t. The underside of being a screen-diva is that about half the world population wants to witness you in all your “necked” glory. It doesn’t matter if the diva is now past her prime, it doesn’t matter if she now wears the highly respectable shoes of an Indian mom, all they want it to see her “necked” pic. Now why a passionate search for such “pics” of Ms. Dik shet should bring someone to my blog is beyond my comprehension. I never sketched nor painted Ms. Dik shet, and I never draw necked pics. In fact, sometimes, even the mice I draw are either wearing diapers or at least a bandolier.

2. download images of scheching in acters

Scheching in acters? What is scheching?

  • Scratching?
  • Measles?
  • A euphemism of something unspeakable?

Or could it be a euphemism for sketches? Aha. Perhaps it is. Glad I got it right. But why download such images, if not for the nefarious purpose of painting over another artist’s sketch. Over the years I’ve received odd requests. A lady wanted to “copy” my caricatures and sell them with my permission; a gentleman wanted to use a drawing to create a 3D model of the face with it, another young man wanted to use a caricature for his avatar. I come across bloggers using images of paintings that they found by googling in their blogposts – without a permission statement/declaration that it’s a free image.

3. +18 caricature stories

Now this is a 66 percent match! caricatures and stories you can find here but unfortunately the +18 stuff isn’t. (I presume +18 is the steamy stuff of the “necked” kind.) I am genuinely curious to find how that search-string was born. Do people really enjoy +18 stories drawn as caricatures? Perhaps they do. Years ago I heard of a comic that presented a certain bhabhi (elder brother’s wife,) a +18 super-woman who engaged in various +18 acts with a wide-range of men. I am not a caricaturist who does those kind of drawings. Sorry searcher. You’ve got to take your searches elsewhere.

4. pics of dirty and comedy indian people with name laxman

I’m lost again. Dirty and comedy Indian people with name Laxman? Specifically named Laxman? Huh? I know that dirty clothes can actually make you look funny (comedy) but only if the dirt tells a story. My blog isn’t about Laxman, nor about dirty and “comedy” people, and so I trust that this searcher didn’t find what he or she was looking for, at least on my blog. I wish the searcher luck and cleanliness.

5. death caricatures

What?
Are you really looking for caricatures of death? I am not sure if I’ve understood your requirement correctly. I also have a feeling that upon arriving on my blog, you felt cheated. You wanted to give me a single-star rating and tell me that you didn’t find what you had expected, and so in your opinion my blog isn’t good, while I’ll continue to wonder how a basket of fresh apples could be rotten just because you were looking for oranges.

6. pictures of ugly people cartoon drawing of a naked woman

???

Ok. Pick one of the following:

  • Ugly people drawing naked woman
  • Cartoon drawing of ugly people with naked woman
  • Cartoon drawing of naked woman watching pictures of ugly people
    Pictures of ugly people that’ve grown hands and are now animatedly drawing a naked woman
Now the clincher.
None of these options are available on this blog. Ugly and naked don’t happen here.

7. was cleopatra ugly ?

Finally. Now this is a question that only an intelligent person can ask. Cleopatra’s pedigree doesn’t matter. The fact that she was the last Pharaoh of Egypt doesn’t matter. That she could seduce both Caesar and Antony and wrap them around her pinkie doesn’t matter. All her accomplishments don’t matter. She couldn’t have become this famous by using her brains – could she? If she weren’t beautiful, then how in the world she did all that?

Good question. It is answered on this blog. Search again.

My Tutankhamun Affair resulted in this Caricature!

First, the caricature.

Caricature of a Grumpy Old Man (Inspired from the description of Theodore Davis in The Tutankhamun Affair by Christian Jacques)

My friends know that I love Egypt. Not the bundle of confusion that it is today, but the Egypt that existed in its glorious past – the Ancient Egypt. Blinded by this love, a few years ago, I purchased a book called “The Tutankhamun Affair.” It is written by Christian Jacq, an author noted for the fiction and non-fiction works on Egypt. My friends also know that I have a marked preference for fiction. When I picked up the book around a decade ago, I had no idea that the guy wrote non-fiction too…and that I was buying a somewhat boring biographical account of Howard Carter’s quest for Tutankhamun’s tomb.

I brought the book home and settled down for a thrilling ride that I hoped would take me through both ancient and modern Egypt. As I started turning its pages, I realized that there were easier ways to die than reading The Tutankhamun Affair, and as dying wasn’t on my to-do list, I pushed the book the farthest I could inside my boring-books book-rack.

A month ago, one of my archaeological expeditions yielded The Tutankhamun Affair – a book I hadn’t read. So I gave it another shot.

Oddly, I didn’t find it as boring this time as I did earlier. Either my own boredom-resistance quotient has gone up, or I’ve learned a few things in the last 10 years – things that now enable me to relate to the tribulations of poor Mr. Carter.

I know that the yarn is growing longer – before you get tangled up and are thrown off-balance and off my blog, I’ll let the story of this imaginary caricature of Mr. Theodore Davis out of the bag.

Mr. Davis appears on page 124 of the soft-cover edition.

“Of average height, Theodore Davis gave an impression of weakness.He did not move without a stick, hid his throat with a white scarf and covered his head with a wide-brimmed hat. His Jodhpurs and puttees made him look like a rider without his horse. A thick moustache spread like the wings of a bird covering the lower part of his face. His gaze was aggressive behind the round lenses of his tiny spectacles.” – Chapter 28, The Tutankhamun Affair by Christian Jacq

I removed his Jodhpurs and puttees and gave him a sensible pair of trousers. (Jodhpurs and puttees are both Indian terms – puttees: bandages.)

That description painted a picture for me and I laughed. So I drew that picture for you, hoping that it would make you laugh too:) I hope it does.

Paris Attacks – Why?

Paris Attacked

They attack everything that celebrates life.
They love to spread hatred and sow strife.

They do it…
Because they follow orders unthinking,
They walk around like zombies, unblinking.

They do it…
Because they think that the world is theirs by right.
They kill because they want to show their might.


They walk into a concert, they throw grenades,
they blow-up and smoke rises against the colonnades,

They do it…
Because venom was injected in their blood-stream,
long before they began to love, desire, and dream.

They do it…
Because caught in the web of their rote-learning,
they only want to see everything else burning.

Pen and Ink portrait of a girl - 9/11 and Terrorism. Cue-art for Creativity Carnival.

Sometimes the harshness of reality blinds us. It makes us avert our eyes, turn our back, and run away – back to the comfort of our homes, where we think we are safe.
But the reality doesn’t cease to exist.
It exists as 9/11, 11/26, Charlie Hebdo, and yesterday’s Paris Attacks.
We see the flares and wonder how it may have happened.
Then we turn and go back to the comfort of our homes, where we think we are safe.

 

The Kingfisher – About Rain, Dew, Tears, and Fish.

As a student of Management, I had learned about TOMA or Top of the Mind Awareness. If we remove the chaff of the jargon, what it means is that some brands grow so big, that when a customer thinks of an industry, that particular brand comes to his mind first. For instance, if I think of sport-shoes, I think of Nike, if I think of watches, I think Titan, and so on. TOMA is the final stage of creating brand-awareness – the first two being brand-recognition and brand-recall.

This is precisely the case with this kingfisher who often sits on the electricity wire that kills the view from my window. I sometimes wonder how various animals and birds make such connections. Either evolution hardwired these connections in them or they got conditioned to make these connections, but whenever I look at the kingfisher, I feel that he’s connecting the dots.

Bird kingfisher painting - wildlife, pets, and bird paintings by shafali

A single-minded, focused individual is like this kingfisher here. An artist or a writer is however the stark opposite of this kingfisher. For these ilk of people, a raindrop is pregnant with a hundred possibilities; a dewdrop with a thousand. The creatives need the kingfisher to continue creating; the kingfishers need the creatives to make their lives worthwhile.

The Caricaturist Returns from Krypton via Atlantis!

Just returned:)

A time-travel-space-travel combo can leave you drained! As you might’ve already surmised, my visit to Krypton took place in the past, before the planet had exploded. I didn’t go there by choice, General Zod‘s forces had abducted me and taken me away to caricature the whole council of elders. (Apple-polisher, that General Zod.) I had finished creating all their caricature-portraits just a few days before the cataclysm – and from there I was jettisoned into the future and landed in Argo City. Most of my time there, I was a prisoner who was tortured and had to draw whatever they wanted me to draw.

Superman helped me escape. Mainly because Krypto the Superdog put in a good word for me. I must tell you that Superman might be a great guy otherwise, but he really needs to wash that cape of his.

Unfortunately, before I could land safely back and before my feet could find solid ground, Superman was charmed away by a bevy of Atlantian beauties; meanwhile I was whisked away to Atlantis, where I was once again forced to paint their council of elders.

Last night, I suddenly woke up in my own bed. I have no idea how I reached home, but I have a feeling that the Atlantians decided that I was changing a nation of beautiful people into caricatures of themselves, and so they decided that enough was enough!

And so, ladies and gentlemen! I am back:)

Caricature Portrait of Jimmy Fallon – the New Donald Trump.

Today is Jimmy Fallon’s Birthday. Yes, I’m talking about the new Donald Trump:)

Caricature Portrait of Jimmy Fallon - the Tonight show Host who is the New Donald Trump

Your Interview of Donald Trump was Fabulous.
Happy Birthday, Jimmy Fallon.

This is huuu……………..uuuuge. Isn’t it?

Creativity Carnival: Inspiration

(Note: Please disregard the previous carnival post done today.)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Creativity Carnival.  The previous carnival “Girl” wasn’t a bright and happy cue-art – and yet some fabulous bloggers bit the proverbial bullet and plunged in. Thank you for participating. I know that you want my dark spell to end.

I hope that this week’s prompt will accomplish that.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. It’s very different from all the previous cue-arts. I must tell you that this is one of my older drawings. The cue-art that I had actually created for this week, turned out to be even darker than the one I posted for the previous carnival. I think we all need a break from me:)

Pen and Ink Drawing of Newton biting into an apple.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs:)

About Girl

In my opinion, Girl is one my most complex drawings. The mood that I was in the day I drew it, has a lot to do with the thoughts that became the Girl. In my mind, she is the ISIS girl. A girl who either joined them of her free will, or who was abducted, used, sold by them. She is young. Fifteen. Or she is No. 15. She has been persecuted for her faith, her family’s faith, and for being a woman. She hopes for peace but finds none. She lives in a dystopian future, symbolized by the torn calendar – with no hope, she is terrorized for footsteps coming her way…

Creativity Carnival: Girl

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Creativity Carnival.  That this edition comes to you on the anniversary of September 11 attacks makes it special. A tribute to humanity, courage, and kindness, yet a warning for the times to come, if the world took just one wrong step. It appears to me that the world, as a whole, may already have taken a few wrong steps – steps that in a few years from now could change our way of living.

Thanks for responding to the cue-art Handcuffs. It was a difficult prompt. Handcuffs usually have an immediate relevance for most of us, until of course, we venture into the realm of philosophy and psychology. And yet, the responses left me speechless.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. Please take it away with you, think about it, read the clues, then give a freehand to your creativity. I leave my drawing in your care.

Pen and Ink portrait of a girl - 9/11 and Terrorism. Cue-art for Creativity Carnival.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs:)

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About Handcuffs.

Handcuffs were inspired by an event that I hope will never repeat itself. A rich socialite murdered her nineteen-year-old daughter. The story is complex and you can read it here. She was apprehended by the police and taken away for questioning. The image of her manacled hand, the possible reason for the murder – they didn’t leave me; they drove me to draw the handcuffs with the rose. It was a simple drawing, but a complex prompt. Thank you for participating.

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the Longest-reigning British Monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II (British Monarch: 6 February 1952 to Present.)Caricature Portrait Color Painting of Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch of Britain. Overtakes Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria who reigned as the Queen of United kingdom from 20 June 1837  to 22 January 1901, and who also remote-ruled India from 1 May 1876 to 22 January 1901, has been dethroned as the longest reigning British Monarch by Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria was Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great-grand-mother, so she might’ve been genetically pre-disposed to long reigns.  Queen Elizabeth II never ruled India. (her reign upon the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Nations began on 6 February 1952, almost 7 years after India gained independence from the British.)

And yet, the fascination of the British with their monarchy never fails to amuse me. Perhaps they love to keep alive their connection with their glorious past, when the British, being the tiny nation they were, had conquered more than half the world. I don’t understand the reason why, and yet and as an artist I can’t marvel at the beauty of her crown, her dress, and her bearing. This is perhaps why I painted her caricature a couple of years ago.

I’ll end with an honest quote from Her Majesty The Queen.

I have to be seen to be believed.
– Queen Elizabeth II

Hats Women Wear: Portraits my Heart Painted.

I am painting the fourth portrait now. I started at 2 in the morning.

I love these hats because I paint them for the creator who lives inside me. Each of these hats is special because they lack design. I haven’t attempted to channel or even hide the chaos. Each of these has evolved organically. Usually I start an artwork with a sketch  then paint over it. I do this more out of need, I’d say; when you illustrate for a publication, there’s a review process that entails an approval on the sketch. The hat-paintings are all done without a supporting sketch. I would start painting a face, expressions would emerge; I’d then read those expressions and paint a hat that told the story of the expression on the face.

Artists speak of inspiration, of a portrait that painted itself; illustrators don’t. But within every illustrator lives is an artist. I don’t meet mine very often, but when I do – I paint stuff that’s oddly out-of-place on this blog.

For those who haven’t seen the hats yet.

Hats women wear - hat number 3 - portrait art - shafali - emotional and physical abuse

 

Women Girl Portraits - Face and Hat - Depression - Digital Painting by Shafali

 

Portraits of Women - Face, profile, side face, hats that women wear - this is hat 2, the hat of ambition.

 

The hats happened quite suddenly. Then they stopped. For about three months, I didn’t paint any. Now, I’m painting them again.

I can’t explain my behavior. Perhaps you can. I just know when I must paint them – the why of the hats as well as the inspiration, evades me.