Blog Carnival, Some Reflection, Future Direction.

Blog carnival story telling story writing story in the caricature

NEW, IMPROVED?!

Dear Readers and Visitors,

I’ve been thinking about the “Tell-the-Story-in-the-Caricature” blog Carnival and though I tried very hard, I couldn’t let myself euthanize it. There’s a lot of life and promises left in the Carnival, but I guess I haven’t been able to do justice to it. So I took an off from the Carnival this month, and did something that artists are never given credit for doing. I chucked the pencil, sat down, and thought. Here’s what came of it.

1. The Carnival lives but it doesn’t stay confined to this blog. It moves. The writer who posts the first link gets to take the Carnival to her/his blog and then it remains there for that month. I’ll still do the caricature, but I send the caricature to the writer and she presents it on her blog. I’ll do a post promoting the carnival.

2. I’ll be able to bring the Carnival back by being the first to post a story for a caricature, and believe me, I have no qualms bringing it back:)

3. Oorvi won’t be writing any more stories for the Carnival. She tells me that she wants to write dog-stories, and I have told her that I don’t want to do dog-caricatures…so we are likes cats and dogs now – and we don’t see eye-to-eye.

My takeaway would be the happiness of seeing my caricature on your blog:) What do you think?

‘guess that’s about it. I’ll be posting the February 2011 Carnival soon and see if we can work with its New Improved Version.

Ideas for improvement would be appreciated, as long as they don’t include doing Free Caricatures because I don’t really have the bandwidth for it. I work about 14 hours a day, and the only reason I do caricatures is because I appreciate the freedom of doing what catches my fancy.

Will set the ball rolling if I get at least five votes in. More are appreciated:)

Another interesting idea (for the Artist Visitor of this blog) is brewing in my overworked mind…it’ll spillover shortly:)

Best Regards and Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Shafali the Caricaturist who wants to DRAW TO SMILE!

Update on Feb 02, 2011:  The idea got just one vote in the last three days 😦 So…crish…crash…crush…idea balled up…and here it goes sailing into the waste-basket! More on this later. Ajay, thanks for your kind support:)

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December 2010 Story Carnival – “Walking in Circles” – A Short Story by Oorvi

Well…well.

Finally my dog shook off her sloth, got out of her bed, and posted her story.  You know how lazy she is…and so it shouldn’t surprise you that she’s posted her story as a .pdf.  The good news is that the .pdf also includes the caricature, and so if you click the download button, you’d get something more than the WiseK9’s Twisty Tale “Walking in Circles”!

Do read the story to figure out why you can’t control everything, and why Sid keeps walking in circles.

That’s all for now…

And yes, please let me know if you’d like the Blog Carnival to continue…because I am not sure 😦

 

 

November Blog Carnival Hits a Record Low with One Entry!

and the Caricaturist steps into the dark abyss of depression…HELP! SOS! Where’s the pulley?!!!

A Cartoon, Caricature, Sketch of a woman artist suffering artist's block. She's depressed and unhappy. A mouse, a dog, and a bee commiserate.

What will inspire them?!

The November Blog Carnival was a washout.  Here’s the only story that Romeo and Juliet could manage to wheedle out.

The Love of my Life” a Short Story by the Canine Storyteller, the WiseK9 Oorvi.

This is the story of a modern day Juliet, her Romeo, and their servant Paris. The tale has a twist in its tail, which is natural because Oorvi’s own tail has a beautiful twist at its end.  BTW,  all those visitors who like my work might want to download the story in .pdf form too, as it contains a high-resolution, full-page image of the Colored Romeo and Juliet Caricature! I don’t do a lot of color (blame it on my aversion for time-consuming activities.)

But then there’s some good news too 🙂

1. Oprah Winfrey the Greatest Talk Show Host ever, and Sachin Tendulkar the God of Cricket are ready to make their appearance here. I am happy that they accepted my invitation. Right now, they are backstage, waiting for their cue to appear on the blog-stage and delight you. Amazing…isn’t it? Such famous people waiting for their turn to appear on my humble blog. Wow!

2. I, the renowned artist (yes, yes – go ahead…laugh all you want, but in my house everyone knows me – the picture above proves my claim,) known for her alacrity in matters of artistic workarounds that save time and effort, managed to push herself into creating her first pen-and-ink pet drawing. I’ve done pen-and-ink drawings before, but a pet, especially one who looks  like Albus Dumbledore is a very different and considerably formidable challenge. Every morning, I’d wake up wanting to do the drawing, but then I’d look at the sketch and think – what if I couldn’t?

I know no heavens would’ve fallen if I couldn’t…and I had the much easier option of reaching out for my color pencils – but I didn’t want to give in. This particular pet has a very special place in my heart and wanted to create what I had first thought of creating – a glamorous pen-and-ink drawing!

Yesterday, I drove myself to put the pen to the drawing…and then I just went on drawing! Then I set it on my table and moved back a few paces. Any artist would know that this was the time of reckoning – especially for a pen & ink drawing. You see, you don’t make corrections in these drawings because you can’t. So I moved back and looked at the drawing and the dear dog smiled back at me through his silky beard!

So, the Dungeon of Sloth is a thing of past. The payback to Oprah is done, and everything is back to normal 🙂

I am back…

  • Alone – Not with a Super-child, as Ian feared.
  • Sane – Not with an addled-brain, as I feared.

Not at all different from the Shafali who was taken:)

The aliens, I hope, went away smarter!

I am sharpening my pencils and gathering my references – and I’d be posting some new caricatures soon. I’ll also be announcing the November 2010 Story-in-the-Caricature Carnival soon, hopefully tomorrow:)

Until then…

Draw to Smile!

Beyond My Window – A Story by Ian Holliday!

Beyond My Window

A Story by Ian Holliday

Man in Jail

Why am I here? You come and peer through the window at me and tell stories about me – and you do not know the reason? Do you not talk to each other? No, I suppose you don’t, or you might have realised.

Maybe I should tell you but I am unsure what would happen; although telling you might be part of what it’s all about and the chances of my answering must have been in the contingency plans. So, I will relate what I remember. But don’t treat it as “true” in any way, maybe I have been primed to tell you a lie.

I have been here for so many years I am unsure that I can recall the events clearly. Some things I do recall. I know it was a major occasion, an event which culminated from much discussion and planning among the Council members. There was an air of anxiety and heated talk; as though that which we relied upon was threatened.  How can I help you to understand?

Think about what you do. Are the stories you tell about me, and others like me, original, really original? Are there any genuine storymakers left in your world? I think I see them sometimes, peering through that window and a worthwhile number seem to have the spark.

This is what I know and, as I said, it may be incomplete.

Imagine it, many millennia before your time, people used to ask themselves questions, or maybe the curiosity of their children raised those questions. So they made up stories to push the fears away, they found a way to make sense of their world. They looked around, they used their personal experience; they drew on the traditions of their kin and on everyday events, and they made up tales to fit the facts, tales that gave them a compass to find their way in a mysterious world. And, of course, small in number as they were, and separated by geographical boundaries, each group had its own stories and, in their way, each story worked for a time, until a new story took its place.

Some few hundred years ago, something happened. From our perspective, it suddenly appeared that the number of new stories began to decline. The same stories quickly began to appear in different places, widely separated.  And this process accelerated, until it seemed like people in one place could hear the story at the same time all over the world.  But the stories were no longer “home-grown”; the story of one people was being told to another regardless of their circumstances, or their culture, values, history or the beliefs that had kept their various societies working.  And so, people began to fight for their stories, fight to impose their tales on others.

Think about it. You make up a new story to fit where you live and the people and institutions you know. It has to do that, or it would be too unbelievable for your children. But your story is not a good fit for those who live elsewhere. They naturally challenge your story but you cannot see why, it makes perfect sense for you, they must be wrong! So you argue and you make war. Because, for others, it is your story that is fantastic and unbelievable and, maybe for a good reason (or so they believe) they also want to enlighten you, to save you from error. And so, it goes on.

Ultimately, of course, one set of stories began to win. Thus, many were forced to live in the tales of the powerful.   For those who were ruled, the stories were badly made or badly told, they offered no guidance; they explained little or nothing.  Time passed and, as the story-telling (note my careful use of that word, not the story—making) apparatus was in the hands of the powerful, their stories became the only ones that were told. Although, at first, the ruled knew why the stories were wrong, in the end nobody knew. They just felt a loss, a disconnection with their world.

And that is why I am here and why there are many who fulfil the same role. After much debate, the Council asked for some to come forward to take up a place, to engage in a form of theatre, to be here when people of your time are looking to be storymakers rather than storytellers.  You see, Time does not exist in the mind of the true storymakers and, as they dream, they can reach us, can see us and wonder how we came to be where we are.  And they make up tales, tales which are not those of the powerful, those with interests vested in keeping things as they are, tales which are rebellious, that increase the possibilities in their listeners lives –  instead of narrowing their opportunities for striking out, changing things – being original; being themselves , not what the stories they usually hear, tell them to be.

For we realised that hearing the same bad story will not save your world (and, of course) ours from being the cause of its slow dis-ease and failure. Only in new stories lie the places where even more new ideas can arise. Only there can a thought be sown and nurtured which might save us all from extinction.

But me, others like me and I think even the Council, did not realise that once we were created, we had to stay. The new, saving stories, have to be told and retold, or they will die out and fail in their task of generating alternatives.  It’s not so bad really. When you are not around, I get to eat well and have company. But I must always be ready, in case you appear at the window.  Hasn’t anybody seen me brush the crumbs under my robe? Did you not see, this time, the gate swing to as my partner left the room in panic? And, in the end, I think it is worth it, even though, immortal as I have been made, this is me -forever.

A Story by Ian Holliday (Copyright 2010 Ian Holliday)

(Visit Ian’s Blog here.)

Who Next? Caricatures/Cartoons from Hollywood, Hard Rock, or International Politics?

Hi Visitors,

About the Upcoming Caricatures:

In what order would you like to see the following three personalities appear on your favorite caricature blog?

  1. Edward Norton the Hollywood Actor
  2. Ozzy Osbourne of the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath
  3. David Cameron the current British Prime Minister

Please write the order of your preference in the comments section – popular demand will lead the way:)

About the Storytelling Carnival:

And yes, while you are here…do visit the “Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival.

(Do you know that most writers are discovered by chance? Take your chance now – and rediscover yourself.)

Have fun…

About the Caricature Drawing Tutorial Book:

and yes, learn how you can DRAW TO SMILE!

July Blog Carnival – Thanks to the Participating Authors.

blog carnival story in the caricature

Hello friends,

The Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival for July ended on July 31, 2010.

Here’s the caricature around which the writers wrote their fascinating stories.

Caricature, cartoon, portrait of a woman with a spade for Story in a Caricature Blog Carnival.

What's her Story?

Following story-writers Participated in the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival:

Here are links to their stories:

I thank all the authors for their participation in the carnival. I never thought that the caricature could be interpreted in so many interesting ways. Thank you so much:-)

I hope that the next carnival will interest more authors.  If you think you can’t think up a story, in my opinion you are inhibiting your thoughts – let them out…let them reach others!

I hope that the authors will present the above links on their own blogs as well.  It will help us all find more readers:-)

We’ll be announcing the next Carnival soon. If any of the previous participants would like to take the carnival to their blogs, write to me.

My Childhood Love – A Naked Truth – A Caricature of Life!

Important Note:

This isn’t the usual fare that’s served at this blog. If you’ve arrived here through a search and if you are looking for caricatures click the Gallery link and if you are here for the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, click here.

However, if you are looking for nothing in particular and if for some unfathomable reason you care about the beautiful unique relationship I share with Pratap Mullick, read on.

There’s a good chance that you know neither about Pratap Mullick nor about me, but if you are an artist who grew up in the far-flung regions of India, where if you wanted to buy a magazine, you’d have to travel about 40 miles – you probably have seen Pratap Mullick’s art.

WARNING:

I am NOT talking about Nagraj Comics. He did illustrate the first 50 of those…but I haven’t seen those illustrations. (Pratap Mullick illustrated for Nagraj Comics before 1995 – and Nagraj comics aren’t really what we’d call the “classics” so I can’t find the old issues anywhere. Honestly I don’t care about what I see of Nagraj Comics now! Searches of “Pratap Mullick” often throw up image results that show the work of other artists – and that work isn’t at the same scale of quality as Pratap Mullick’s…so I take no responsibility for misconceptions born out of indiscriminate searches.)

When I was a child, I was not just a child, I was a girl child; and despite being born in quite an emancipated family, nobody thought to ask me what I’d like to become when I grew up. Until I was ten, school was a mercurial affair – it was there, then it wasn’t, then again…it was there, and then it wasn’t. We often lived in places where ours was the only family for miles around. So I had a lot of time to read what I wanted to instead of reading what I had to.

Once a month, my father would take us to the nearest town, and I’d spend my monthly pocket-money (5 Rupees) on comics. I’d buy some combination of Indrajal comics (1 Rupee) and Amar Chitra Kathas (1.50 Rupees, if I remember right.) Indrajaal comics distributed the Phantom comics and the Mandrake comics in India – they later created their own hero, Bahadur too. In contrast, Amar Chitra Kathas (translates to: Immortal Stories with Pictures,) had stories from Indian Mythology and History. After a few months of buying both, I decided that I preferred Amar Chitra Kathas, so I requested my parents for an increment of one rupee in my pocket-money and began buying four Amar Chitra Kathas instead.

It was then that I realized that some of the Amar Chitra Kathas had drawings that were considerably better than those in others. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was a selectively curious child. For a long time, it didn’t occur to me that real artists made those drawings, and I never thought that I could one day illustrate for books and magazines. I drew because it was nice to draw.

Coming back to the point, I realized that certain drawings looked better – in fact, they looked beautiful. They inspired me to draw better. Without realizing that I was learning from those drawings, I began to learn. I learned about proportions, shades, backgrounds, perspectives…I looked at those drawings and then looked around – and then I’d try to draw what I saw, the way they were drawn in those drawings.

I still didn’t know that there was an artist behind those drawings, so next when I went to the town and shopped for Amar Chitra Kathas, I’d look inside, check out the drawings, and instinctively select the Amar Chitra Kathas with those beautiful drawings. My parents would wonder why I selected some and rejected some – but they never asked and I never told. It was my secret.

When kids grow up, they are often asked what they’d like to be when they grew up – in my time, a girl child was seldom asked this question – and so I never could connect art with illustration. If I were asked the question, I might’ve said something like – I would like to draw…and then one thing could’ve led to another, and I might’ve ended up becoming a “real” artist. But for this reason or some other, there was a mental gap somewhere – some synapses didn’t connect – somehow I never realized that art could be a profession as well.

Then during the Nineties there was a time when it was difficult to find Amar Chitra Kathas on the bookstalls, and once in while I’d think about those beautifully illustrated comics, and feel sad. But they probably experienced some sort of revival and I began seeing Amar Chitra Kathas again. One day, when I was in a bookstore, I picked one of them up. I picked it up gingerly – ready to be disappointed – ready to accept that as a child what I found beautiful was indeed crass and mediocre. But the comic that I had instinctively picked up had the same beautiful drawings that I had fallen in love with as a child. I had picked up “Urvashi.

But I was a different Shafali now. I knew that a real artist did those illustrations, and so with my heart beating hard against my ribs, I checked out the cover for the credits – expecting to find none. (Our publishers often fear that they’d lose their illustrators and so they don’t provide credit to the artists.) But there it was. It said: “Illustrated by: Pratap Mullick”! For the first time, I knew the name of the man who had held my hand and steadied it as I learned to draw – for the first time in my life, my thoughts went beyond those drawings and I visualized what his life must’ve been – for now I also know a lot about the struggle that life is for an Indian artist.

It was a moment that was both happy and sad. The fact that Pratap Mullick could survive in this world and that he made drawings that’d survive him – made me happy. The fact that a man of his caliber, wasn’t celebrated – wasn’t known – and wasn’t given the status he deserved, made me sad. I should’ve heard his name as one of the great artists of India – he changed lives, he helped people learn art, and he still remains the best book illustrator that India has ever seen – and believe me when I say that because I spend hours looking at illustrations…and just one illustration is what it takes to tell you what an artist is worth!

As someone who’s keen on art, I wonder why an Amar Chitra Katha that he illustrated should sell at the same price at which all other Amar Chitra Kathas would sell? The comics he illustrated are collectibles – the comics that others did…well they just earned their living! If you don’t know what I am talking about buy “Vasantasena” and “Vasavadatta” – and compare them (Don’t go by the cover illustrations…they are always done well.) ! I just hope that he was at least paid better.

The question is – Why do we normalize? Why do we pull real talent down to the level of mediocrity?

We all know the answer…don’t we? This ability of the human race, is one of the things that define our humanity. We’ve decided to trash the evolutionary theory of “Survival of the Fittest” and that’s precisely why we are headed where we are…

Downhill.