Cover Art for Fantasy Novel “Quests Volume 2: The Paths of Fire and Earth”

I love this cover that I did for Barbara G. Tarn’s new fantasy novel, “Quests Volume 2: The Paths of Fire and Earth.”  Fantasy readers, check out Author Barbara G. Tarn’s blog here.

Cover Art for Fantasy Novel "Quests" By Barbara G. Tarn by Cover Illustrator and Artist Shafali

It’s one of my favorite covers so far. I had been waiting for the book to come out so that I could share it with you. More soon.

You can download the book on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XR1311/.

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Cover Art for a Vampire Novel makes the Caricaturist travel into the Past.

Though this might be news to my Blogging101 co-bloggers, my old friends and visitors know that I own a Time Machine.

It is an old 2052 model TimMaX110, but except for sundry fuel issues, it works just fine. I confess that I bought it online. There were many options – at different price-points; the Chinese was the cheapest, the Made-in-Germany was the most expensive (and the possibly the best), but finally I settled for the Made-in-America TimMaX110. All these models are from the future, so you wouldn’t have heard of them. It should suffice to say that I own a TimMaX, which sputters a bit while revving up, its fuel gauge doesn’t work, once in a while it lands in odd times and places, and while its mileage does burn a hole in my purse, the pickup is so good that it almost leaves the rear-end of the machine behind.

When I took this specific trip into the past, for the first time, all through the trip my TimMaX didn’t splutter or faint on me. I had to pick up Rajveer the vampire in the thirteenth century, then stopover in the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, before we returned to the present. The space-coordinates were all located in India – thanks to this particular Italian client o’mine who loves India (for reasons that she explains in her interview below.)

Before I introduce you to the author Ms. Barbara G.Tarn, let me show you the cover that I painted for her book Rajveer the Vampire, which you can pre-order on Apple USBarnes&Noble,  Kobo and Smashwords.

Cartoon, Comic Strip - Barbara G. Tarn and Hrithik Roshan by Barbara

Rajveer the Vampire – an historical fantasy novel by Barbara G.Tarn

In this new novel, Barbara G.Tarn combines her love for history (especially medieval) and fantasy. It’s the story of a vampire through the centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

A “sun clan” warrior can never become a true child of darkness.
In 14th century India, Rajveer, a proud Rajput warrior of a Suryavanshi clan, is turned into a bloodsucker by an ancient Celtic vampire. Immortal, he loses his family to war and time and travels through northern India, seeing history unfold. Threatened by both human wars and evil vampires, can he remain true to his sworn vow not to take human lives?
A vampire’s journey through centuries.

Barbara G. Tarn write fantasy literature of a different kind. While most vampire-stories are set in a dark place with pale vampires who have scarlet lips and protruding fangs that drip blood, her stories are set in our world. They are spaced in time, but her well-researched descriptions of those other places and times makes one wonder whether she has lived it all.

She agreed to answer a few questions for this post, and I am mighty glad she did, because these questions have been troubling me ever since I began doing her covers.

Q1. You are an Italian but your novels have many Indian characters. And in your latest novel “Rajveer the Vampire,” not only your main protagonist Rajveer is an Indian, the novel has been set in India. Why are you so smitten with India? 

I guess I summarized it pretty well here… Gee, five years ago already! Where did time go?! Anyhow, it’s probably also a question of previous lives. I know I had some very good life in the European Middle Ages (before guns ruined everything for everyone) and then there was probably some other life spent in India, and it stuck to me… I have also noticed a lot of similarities – besides the name of the country (India-Italia – 5 letters, start with I ends with A) – so even if on the planet we look far away, I think we are very similar…

Q2. The Chinese, the Japanese, the Africans, the Australians, and the Alaskans are all waiting for their turn to feature in your novels. When is that likely to happen?

Japan is my next intercontinental destination. Some day I hope to get to visit my friends down under as well – and study the Aboriginal people. China and Africa will probably have their own vampire mythology, since Rajveer the Vampire will probably be the first of many… Alaska is a very cold place and I’d love to visit it one day! Although… I don’t really need to go there in person to write about countries and places. I haven’t been to India yet, after all… but hope to before I write the second book of the series, so I can show it with Westerner’s eyes!

Q3. Some say that you share a mysterious chemistry with a certain Bollywood star, and his dreams inspire some of your books. Is there’s any truth in these rumors?


barb and hrithik comic cartoon by barbara g tarn

Does this answer your question?

More can be found in 15 years of Creative Barbwire – and maybe soon in another strip or single vignettes (sometimes I publish them on my blog, sometimes I keep them private. Or you can admire my procrastination techniques… Now I better go back to writing!

Please visit Unicorn Productions for more of Barbara’s works. Do visit and follow her blog at creativebarbwire.wordpress.com.

 

Cover Art done in June for B.G. Hope’s New Body Switch Novella “Pat and Babs.”

As I post here once again, after two long weeks, I find the experience quite alien. The past two weeks have been a very difficult time for me on the personal front. And yet, however difficult times may get, we must try to return to our normal routines.

Two days ago, author B.G.Hope wrote to tell me that her book “Pat and Babs” has been published. I had illustrated the cover for her fascinating body-switch novella in June this year. I had also received a 20% bonus on this assignment, which of course, had got me sailing on cloud nine, back then. Thanks, Ms. Hope, for your continued patronage. (The lady in blue (Babs) is modeled on Ms. Hope.)

Here’s the Amazon link for Pat and Babs, and if you’d like to visit the author’s page, click here.

 If you are an author on the lookout for an illustrated cover, please use the contact form, or write to me at my email id (refer the above image.)

As things crawl back to normal, I’ll push myself to make some new caricatures and post them here.

 

 

Guest Post by Barbara G. Tarn – The Writer-Artist shares her experiences on Creating and Publishing Comics.

My blog is honored to present this guest-post by Barbara G. Tarn. Barb is a fantasy writer and artist who loves to create new fantastical worlds. While there are writers in this world who dabble in art, and artists who dabble in writing,  she’s good at both. Every once in a while she brings her two skills together to write graphic novels and comics. In this post, she discusses her evolution as an artist and an author. This post is a glimpse into a self-taught and self-motivated person, who often inspires me to stay true to my course. I’ve always admired people who have the courage to charter new paths and discover new destinations, despite knowing that the beaten path offers comfort, ease, and security. Barb’s courage is all the more exemplary, because she walks her chosen path with a smile on her face and because she can laugh at stuff that could leave a lesser person, bitter and disappointed.

My Dear Readers,

I welcome Barb on my blog. I recommend that you visit her blog at CreativeBarbwire.WordPress.com and follow it. She blogs quite regularly. If you are writer or an artist, or just someone looking for a spark of inspiration, you’ll love her posts.

The Self-taught Creative

by Barb

I’m self-taught and proud of it. Yes, I went to school (up to the Italian equivalent of high school), I attended an illustration course (and failed the second year when we started using brushes), but then I started working in the most un-creative environment possible, and most would have forgotten their dreams and dropped the pen and the pencil.

I didn’t. I know I’m not a talented artist – if I were, I’d be an illustrator or a comic book creator by now. I didn’t go to art school, so my hand can never do what I see in my head, sigh. I love realistic styles, but I can’t draw them, so I had to find my own way.

I kept drawing because I enjoyed it. It’s the passion that kept me going, both for writing and drawing. I did illustrations for most of my stories, started many comics – improvised, so I kept going until I got bored – and especially when I was in my teens, I mixed prose and art: if I couldn’t draw the scene, I’d just write it down.

I slowly specialized in fantasy settings. I love the Middle Ages, so I have plenty of pictures of castles and books on clothes to get some inspiration. I still can’t draw animals, so my characters tend to travel on foot or through magic spells. And I keep experimenting.

I’ve become proficient at tracing from pictures (so I do portraits of celebrities to decompress from writing and drawing and life), but regarding comics and graphic novels… well, I went through many changes. I also learned to do a sort of script to make sure the story unfolds in a correct number of page, that fits print publication (my first complete comic had 21 pages… what was I thinking I’d put on page 22? An illustration? An author’s note? What?) – although this is less important now with webcomics and ebooks.

A little history: I grew up in France with their varied world of “bandes dessinnées” for all ages and tastes. But I also read Donald Duck stories (always hated Mickey Mouse, LOL) and the Peanuts and Marvel comics – and in the 1990s we had the manga invasion. So my style started “realistic” (like comics), went through a manga-like stage, then settled into something a little more personal – between The Peanuts and a comic book (if you can find one without overmuscled superheroes, that is!).

This was best expressed in Fleur de Lys, which I hope to scan and upload soon. On that one I even did my first attempts at coloring with Photoshop (although I will probably publish it in B&W, as some e-readers are still B&W only, like my Kindle).

The whole evolution can be seen on Mercenaries?! – when I finished it in 2002 (started in 1997), I started redrawing and coloring it because I couldn’t let those characters go. Mercenaries?! is 500 pages and if I republish it (it was a photocopied fanzine that sold 10 copies at Italian comicons in the late 1990s), I’ll have to figure out if I should use the new beginning – having a drop in quality after about 20 pages – or do it in chronological order with the new color beginning at the end or in a separate booklet.

Noticing how inking sometimes “ruined” the pencil, I did one comic in pencil, then with Photoshop made it look like ink by toying with the levels and then colored it (Lady Ice on Smashwords free B&W downloadable version and on Facebook online color version).

My current graphic novel, S.K.Y.B.A.N.D, is the next step – it’s all in color from the beginning (check the WIP post on my blog)! It has pages in prose with an illustration next to it (for those long conversations when not much happens) and, like Lady Ice, it has a more realistic style, as the Fleur de Lys style is more for humorous comics and this is a serious (and adult-oriented) story.

Skyband-by-Barb-G-Tarn

 

I reduced the frames number to an ideal 9 (maximum, can be less for opening scenes). I use a European sheet format (A4), which means it would look weird on an American comic book. And I’ve gone back to inking on paper and then coloring on Photoshop. But it’s taking me a long time to finish (three more chapters to go) because it comes after the prose writing and I’m not sure I’ll do another afterward. Well, maybe another funny one like Mercenaries?! and my personalized style, who knows.

Like everything else in life, it takes passion, practice and patience. If you don’t think you can write the story, partner with someone who can. If you can’t draw, find someone who can – I’d love to do some sci-fi or contemporary comics, but I can’t draw technology or even a car, so if anyone would like to try working with me, let me know. I had some good and some bad experiences working with artists, and enough time has passed since the last very bad experience, so I’m willing to take another chance.

Schools might be good, but if you don’t have the passion to keep going, you’ll never make it. You need to dream big, but keep realistic expectations. If you’re naturally talented (not like me), you might find a job at a publishing house (Marvel, Disney or their equivalents in your home country). Or you can do a web comic, or publish an e-book.

Just don’t give up. And keep learning and experimenting and mostly having fun. If it becomes a chore, it’s time to quit. Happy creations, and thank you Shafali for having me again!

_____

Barb on this blog

Barb on DeviantART

Barb on Facebook

Barb‘s blog

Eeeeeks! I am a werewolf…and I am in the trunk of a car…I think.

It’s dark in here. Had I not been adept at telekinesis, I couldn’t have sent the word out. I think they were counting on my being one of those normal humans – not realizing that they were actually dealing with a werewolf. They might discover it eventually, but the Keeping clause says that if our existence was discovered, the entire pack will have to disperse; and I can’t jeopardize my pack, can I?

The point of the matter is that unless I design an escape plan, you’ll have to make do without my wolverine yet benign presence in the blogosphere. This might make things a bit dull for you but fret not, for when I return, I’ll bring you the tail (oops, the tale) of my escape from this dark, confining place! My fabulous nose tells me that I might be rescued by the one and only Napoleon Bonaparte whose caricature will grace this blog upon my safe return.

The wolf inside me a growling. It appears that it has sniffed a threat to our existence. I need to send my soul back into the boot of that tin-box now…

Until I escape and return, I leave you to discover Nicky Charles’ books, The Mating, The Keeping, and The Finding, in that order. They’ll help you figure out the reason behind my recent transformation into a werewolf.

And while you are at Smashwords, do look for Barbara G. Tarn’s “Books of the Immortals”, AIR and now FIRE!

Guest Post by Barbara G. Tarn, Creator of the Silvery Earth, Fantasy Fiction Writer and Artist.

Barbara G. Tarn or Barb is a writer, an artist, a cartoonist, and above all, a world creator – all neatly bundled up in one smart package. I’ve known Barb for more than an year now, and her consistent efforts towards achieving her dreams coupled with her infectious optimism have made me a loyal follower of her blog. I am currently reading her new offering, “Air – Books of the Immortals” and despite not being a regular reader of fantasy fiction whenever I click open her book on my iPad (find it on Smashwords here,) I cross over into the beautiful mystical world of Silvery Earth:) I think I may have discovered a new genre:)
I should now move away and give the stage to Barbara G. Tarn:)

The Life of a Self-proclaimed Artist

by Barbara G.Tarn – Author

I grew up with Franco-Belgian and Disney comics, and I always loved illustrated stories. If you really wanted to know the evolution of this specific artist here, you’d learn that her first comic (co-written and co-drawn with her classmate Sara) dates from 1976-1977 when she was about 10.

When I finished high school, I looked for an alternative to boring university courses (and trust me, Italian universities DO NOT prepare you for your future working life, it’s all theory and no practice, hence a waste of time AND money). I found an Illustration course which, on the program, mentioned also comics and thought “That’s it!”.

Except I didn’t come from an artistic school and my talent is more in writing than drawing. My anatomy sucks, but I’m very good at tracing pictures! 😉 So I spent two years learning to use pencils first (which was OK), then brushes – I ain’t no painter at all. Watercolors? I’m hopeless. And I didn’t even get to oil paintings because I didn’t pass the second year (of three). So, waste of money, even if I learned a couple of techniques (pencils and ink with rapidographs – and I can use the name, as I was using Rotring products -, that was the 1980, computers were still for few elected artists). And no comics whatsoever, by the way.

By the mid 1990s, I started to go to Italian comicons, and doing my own zines. Photocopied, black&white comics, or graphic novels as they are now called, because they’re not infinite series with dozens of reboots like Marvel and DC comics.

So I kept drawing (in spite of failing my illustration course) and some 1500 pages later I guess I found my style. I learned (on my own) Photoshop coloring, so my latest works (available on Lulu) are in full color. My anatomy still sucks, but as long as I get my message through, well… we’re not all divine artists, are we?

I’m not Colleen Doran nor Terry Moore (my graphic novelists heroes), but I’m doing better than most, I think – maybe not commercially, but I do keep producing stuff. Perseverance and passion, they say.

When I finish my current graphic novel SKYBAND, I’ll start a new one which will be set in the same fantasy world but many centuries earlier, when the southern kingdoms are still powerful. I’ll have to learn to draw Indian clothes and Persian palaces, but I don’t mind – throw a blond gay barbarian in that midst, and I’m all set. I thought Shafali’s blog was the perfect place to give this sneak preview on my graphic novel projects because she’s Indian and she’s reading about those southern kingdoms in my novel Air right now! 🙂

I also wanted to say that after more than fifteen years I tend to use always the same faces in my graphic novels. Often the model is easily recognizable (my Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves interpretations should be famous by now, under different names! ;-)), sometimes it’s a mix (like Ylenia of SKYBAND who is a mix of Connie Nielsen and Blas Elias). I wish I were as cute as I draw myself (see either Lady Ice or Axelle of SKYBAND), but well… blame it on my not so great drawing skills! 😀

Anyway, I wanted to thank the Wonderful Caricaturist for having me here today and letting me ramble on art… Drawings, illustrations, caricatures – aren’t they all great?

 Barbara G.Tarn is a writer, sometimes an artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. An indie published author, she blogs at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

The Caricaturist adds:
Remember happiness is many things…

Happiness also is…

Happiness is...Cartoon series by Barb.

"Happiness is..." is a Visual Series by Barb. Click the picture to visit Barb's blog for more Cartoons in this series.

A Note of Thanks :-)

Before I make my big blog-announcement (I know…I know – I get excited about small things, forget all about perspectives and vanishing points, and perceive an absolutely normal everyday event (?!) as something special, but then that’s me,) I want to say thanks to everyone who’s ever visited my blog, read the “How to Draw Caricatures book – The Evolution of a Caricaturist“, participated in the “Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival“, left a comment, written me an email, or offered me a drawing assignment 🙂

I made many wonderful friends in the blogosphere, but I’d like to make a special mention of the following bloggers as my days became better and brighter because of them.

Thank you for your visits, friendship, help, and guidance:) Thank you for bringing me smiles and laughter:)

Coming up shortly is the Announcement Post – It’s going to be colorful, and I hope that you’ll all enjoy it:)

Best Regards,
Shafali