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 🙂

 

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.

Creativity Carnival: Handcuffs

Dear Creative Souls,

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Creativity Carnival. 

I finished the drawing for this Carnival just a couple of hours ago.

Thanks so much for your fantastic response on the Faces Carnival. I loved reading your entries as much as you must’ve enjoyed writing them 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here’s my cue-art for this week. The inspiration for this cue-art was in my environment – I just picked it up. I’ll tell you all about it in my next Carnival post. This week, this image belongs to you.

 

Handcuffs - A pen and ink drawing for the Creativity Carnival Edition 6.

The Rules are Simple.

    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. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

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 The Faces.

Faces is perhaps my most detailed drawing for the Creativity Carnival yet. This drawing wasn’t of an object; it was of a thought. I had in my mind the image of a woman who has just started turning bitter, but who hides her bitterness beneath a tailored smile, and the roughness of her face under layers of makeup. But then, this woman, wasn’t always like this. There was a time in her life when she was happy and innocent, and her innocence made her feel compassion and love for others. Her face reflected her sweet nature – and she had no need to hide anything. Now she’s 27, then she was 16 – but the person she was and the person she now is; they have diametrically opposite perceptions of everything around them.

So you see, it was a thought. The pages symbolized the passage of time, and the faces belonged to a woman who had changed on the inside.

Those were my thoughts. Your responses were so beautifully diverse, so poetic – that they took the cue-art to a different, much higher plane. Thank you for that.

Creativity Carnival: Faces

Dear blogger friends,

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Creativity Carnival.

This has been a busy and tiring month for me, but I’ve loved creating the cue-arts for the carnival. I wait for Fridays. After spending the whole week reading your wonderful takes on the previous week’s cue-art and thinking of what I’d be creating next, I spend my second half of Thursday or the first half of Friday drawing that week’s cue-art for you. I draw for a story or a poem that I’d like to read; I draw for a picture that I’d like to see; I draw for an experience that I’d like to share. And it makes my drawing that much more meaningful for me.

I loved reading your interpretations of the gun-art. You wrote poetry that tugged on my heartstrings; crafted stories that catapulted me into a different time and world; and drew comics that made me laugh.  This week, among the wonderful responses on the Gun Carnival, I discovered a story and a poem – I marveled at how well the story “Hidden Murder” by Ruth Lakes  connected with the cue-art. The poem that touched my heart was  “Adieu…” by RS.

I’d also like to thank Stu for her post. If you want to visit the sites of the bloggers who have participated in the previous 4 carnivals, please click “Roll-up (Creativity Carnival Round-up Links.) on Stu’s blog

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

My Cue-art for this week isn’t an object. It’s a concept. There’s a mystery in it, which you can unravel at your leisure. As always, this artwork belongs to you this whole week.

Women faces in profile on the pages of a book - pen and ink drawing for creativity carnival by shafali.

 

The Rules are Simple.

    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. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

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 The Gun.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Nancy, bought a new gun. We were talking and she brought the gun out and we talked about it. For some inexplicable reason, an image of an engraved gun that I had seen somewhere, flashed in my mind. I asked her if she remembered such a gun and she said that it must have been a Colt. Now those guns were things of beauty. They weren’t just machines made for killing – they had a certain vanity associated with them. Right then when we were talking, I decided that I wanted to draw a gun.

But a lone gun has no story, except that of death, and a death without reason doesn’t inspire a story, nor a poem or a piece of art! A death with love at its heart; a death with revenge at its core; or even a death brought about by jealousy or greed – those deaths give us stories and poetry; art and drama.

This is the story of the birth of the cue-art “The Gun.”

I’ll look forward to your take on this drawing 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Gun

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Thank you so much for your wonderful response. I loved your interpretations of the Mystery Chest so much that I visited many of the posts twice. I want to mention a response that’s going to stay with me for a while. It’s a short-story by Lydia, which you can read on her blog here.  For other fabulous responses please visit the Mystery Chest post.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

This week’s cue-art is a little different. After the nostalgia of the pocket-watch, the romance of the bell, and the mystery of the chest…this artwork might appear somewhat…dark. For this whole week, this gun is yours. Handle it with care. I’ll share my reason for drawing this gun with the next Creativity Carnival post.

Pen and Ink Art - Gun Drawing black and White for the Creativity Carnival.

The Rules are Simple.

    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 and then click on it so that a ping back is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

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 about the mystery chest that found its way into your hearts.

About The Mystery Chest

The concept of a mystery- or a treasure chest have always intrigued me. When I draw a picture, I usually have a story or at least a setting in mind. This is why you don’t see just one object in the image. You see other objects too. For instance in the mystery chest, you see an open locket with two portraits, a star-fish, some gold coins, and…something that nobody noticed. The Cryptex. It’s not easy to recognize a Cryptex, especially if you haven’t read/watched the DaVinci Code. It’s rumored to have been developed by Leonardo Da Vinci. So the mystery chest was indeed a treasure chest – and the Cryptex contained a coded message, which could be anything that your imagination would want it to be 🙂

I’ll look forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Mystery Chest

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 As always, I’ll share my thoughts about this cue-art next week. This whole week, this artwork is more yours than mine. Save it to you computer/mobile device and do something creative with it. Tell a short-story or narrate an experience, write a few lines of poetry, draw or paint something inspired by it…and then share it with the world.

Creativity Carnival - The treasure chest. A pen and ink drawing.

 

Here are a few easy 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 and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

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 the Bell

The bell was inspired by a bell that hangs in my terrace. In fact, I sat a few feet from it and drew it – but I changed the context a little. I also added that little spider, because for me romance and thrill can’t exist without each other. A bell symbolizes a call for anyone, for someone. It could be used to establish a connection between two people or even between two worlds. The creeper that you see in the artwork is a stylized representation of honeysuckle – and the spider at the center of the web, waits patiently for the bee to arrive. Beyond the apparent symbolism of the bell, exists the more mundane concept of the food-chain.

 

 

Creativity Carnival: The Bell

My Dear Super-awesome Fellow Bloggers,

Thanks so much for participating in the first Creativity Carnival – The Pocket Watch. I don’t know if it was a smashing hit by general standards, but by mine, it definitely was 🙂 I loved all your creative gems – they were super-awesome.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 Saying anything more would be wrong, so I’ll refrain from it. Instead, I’ll talk about last week’s cue-art, The Pocket-Watch, but after I’ve introduced this week’s cue-art, The Bell.


Creativity Carnival for bloggers - cue-art - the bell - Write a story or a poem, or draw/paint a picture.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    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 and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

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


The other suggestion of tagging our posts “creativity carnival” did well with the previous carnival 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

How the Pocket Watch happened?

I had drawn that pocket-watch because the concept of time intrigues me. I often wonder who must’ve first thought of it and how difficult it may have been for humans to have reached at an understanding of life as a finite span of time. For me, the broken glass was life interrupted; the time in the watch was the opposite of a smile (10:10 vs. 3:40.)

 

Creativity Carnival: The Pocket Watch

My Dear Fellow-bloggers,

It’s time to unleash your creativity 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Let us kickstart the Creativity Carnival with this cue-art.  This is a Pen and Ink Drawing that I finished this morning. I will not speak about the cue-art and what brought it about, because I don’t want to taint your interpretation of it with my thoughts 🙂


Pocket watch pen and ink drawing - Blogging Creativity Carnival for bloggers - by shafali.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    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 pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

I have another suggestion 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

Let the Carnival Begin!

Finite Creatures: The Evening of the Storm (A Short Story and Ink Drawing of a Sinner)

The Evening of the Storm

(A Short Story)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”

I can’t really remember when I first discovered that our lives were finite, so I’ll take refuge in fiction and tell you the story of a girl who wouldn’t die.
 
It had happened on the evening of the storm. The townsfolk still remembered that evening. They talked about the storm and the brave truck driver who died that night.
“He died trying to save her,” said her grandfather, pointing a knobby finger at her.
“Not a drop of gratitude,” said her grandmother, adjusting her bifocals and looking across the room at Leah.
She tried to drown their voices by turning her attention to the storm that was brewing outside. Lea hated her grandparents who whiled away their time recounting events that had turned to dust, except in their minds.
She had trained herself to ignore them but she knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, especially tonight. This treacherous night looked a lot like the night that they were talking about. Before she could steel herself, the stormy night colluded with her grandparents’ conversation and pulled the plug. Memories tumbled in.
Terrible memories. Of the storm, and of death.
Leah was returning from school when the skies had turned dark. She was just a hundred yards away from home; she just had to cross that wooden bridge across the river and she would have been home. 
But at that point, right before the bridge, her memories slowed down – they turned into a series of snap-shots.
First, the cold steely feel of the knife on the skin of her throat, then the violent shove; little later a familiar smell riding on a hoarse whisper, “come with me.”
Then it all turned into a blur.
A blur of rain, the sound of clothes being torn off, a raspy voice, an unbearable stench of sweat mixed with that of rotting teeth, and throttled cries for help…
That was all she remembered of it. But the memory of the pain still made her clench her teeth and cross her legs, really tight.
It must’ve lasted an hour or more – she couldn’t remember, but those bruises were everywhere.
Later, he lay satiated on the rotting floor of the log-cabin and said in his slimy, wheezy voice, “Don’t tell anyone, or you will die.” She didn’t know then, what dying meant, but she nodded. And then it happened. A strong gust of wind was all it took. The last thing that she remembered was that the cabin shook wildly and then rotten logs under him gave way. They crumbled, then cascaded down into the wild river. The logs were swept away, but he wasn’t. She saw him impaled upon one of the jagged rocks. The overhang was all gone and she lay on the edge, face down, watching his body twist and turn as the water hit it.
She was found two days later. She didn’t tell anyone. She was eight and she thought that if she told, she’d die too. She didn’t want to die.
Leah turned and looked at the pictures on the mantel.
They were all there. Her mother, her father, and he. All three. All dead.
Caricature Cartoon of a sinner - angry mad man with a guilty conscience - fire of hell.

The Sinner

 

The Genesis of this Post:
When Lydia and I discovered that we had both used the Photo-prompt for our blogging assignment, we decided to do the assignment once again, with the correct prompt this time. So we set ourselves a time-limit of one hour for the post, in which we had to think about the prompt, crystallize our thoughts, and make the post. I overshot it by 10 minutes 😦 She was in time with hers 🙂 Please visit her blog here.

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl (A Short Story and an Ink Drawing.)

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl
(Fiction…hopefully.)

She looked down her powdered nose and peered at them. She hated them all. That she was forced to walk the same earth they did, was a fact that rankled all the time, oozing acid into her heart.
“Cretins,” she mumbled, then mused, “how could they have been created by the same God who created me?”
As she looked at them under the wavering light of the torches lit in the wall-sconces behind her, a thin smile crept over her lips.
She looked through the iron-bars into the dungeon from where the tear-stained faces of seven teenaged girls looked up at her silhouette, and wondered if she was an angel who’d free them from their misery.
Free them, she would. One by one. Her eyes moved from one scared face to another, evaluating them for a purpose of her own.
“The one with golden hair and green eyes,” she turned to the gaoler and said in her strong, stern, and clear voice.
A hushed silence fell in the dungeon. The cries stopped, and twelve jealous eyes turned to the girl with golden hair and green eyes. She was going to be freed tonight. Others will remain. Right now, they were all the same, and she was different. The similarity of their fates bound them together in their hatred for her.
The girl with golden hair and green eyes looked up, and through the bars that made up the dungeon’s ceiling, she tried to look into her savior’s eyes, but her face was in shadows.
The lady turned and left. She walked through the labyrinth that took her away from the darkness of the dungeon into her palace above.  In an hour, her bath would be drawn. In the shimmering glow of a hundred candles, the silky smooth mixture of milk, honey, and blood will enter her pores and rejuvenate them. God had given her the boon of eternal youth, and this was why the same God who had created her, had created them. For her.
She smiled again. The thin, controlled smiled of a high-born lady.
Caricature - a pen and ink drawing of a proud, rich, and evil woman.
About the Artwork:
This artwork is important, both due to its inspiration and its timing. I did it about 8 months ago. It was inspired by a high-born lady who I’ve known quite well. Not directly, but through someone I deeply care about. I did this caricature-art when I was hospitalized – a day after my surgery. (That’s why the line-work isn’t clear. There’s only so much you can accomplish when you are propped up on pillows and still under the influence of pain-killers and other medicines.) This artwork is about things that are seldom spoken, and never talked about in public. It’s about mothers who should never have been mothers, about ladies who aren’t ladies, about empathy or the lack of it, and about the pain that’s inflicted upon you, merely because you are you.
The story, however, is fiction; perhaps inspired by a historical account of a countess…I think. Let me google it out. Oh   yes…Elizabeth Bathory.

Who I am and why I’m here?

More importantly…why is this post here?

This post is here because I’ve enrolled in Blogging 101 program that will run for three weeks, and this is our first assignment 🙂 I’ve already taken the whimsy in me to task, and she’s promised to stick to the guidelines. I don’t trust her, and I warn you not to trust her either.

The first question is: Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

Answer: Bipeds are social animals. Why do you think we got up, straightened our limbs, forced our two hinds to carry our whole body weight? To free our hands so that we may use them for shaking other people’s hands. I could’ve kept a private journal, which would have been found by archaeologists in the year 3015; scanned and preserved in a 250 Zettabyte pin-drive – so that some historian could download it into her head and use it to craft time-travel stories. Oddly, that doesn’t appeal to me – I’d rather write, read, and be read, here and now 🙂

The second question (a mere guideline) is: What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Answer: No idea. I end up writing about the strangest things (People trapped inside computers, Atlantis, Tatooine, Politics, Art, Artists, Writers) and I write the strangest stuff (short-stories, parodies, serious commentary on world affairs, biographies of people who inspire/irk me.) I can, however, tell you what sort of images you’ll find here – you’ll see caricatures (people made to look funny with their features pushed, pulled, tweaked, and twisted,) cartoons (you know the stuff,) and portraits.

The third question (and a very important one) is: Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Answer: Two kinds of people:

1. Personally, Fun-loving people – those who like to see the world through glasses tinted with humor. Who step into your world and brighten it up by their mere presence. They post a “hi” in your comments, and you grow wings 🙂 BTW, most of us fall in this category…if you think you don’t, you’ve just misplaced your humor-tinted glasses.

2. Professionally, prospective clients for my illustration-work. As an artist, I illustrate for magazines, books, and novels; and I also license my images for commercial use. I have another blog where I maintain a portfolio of my works here.

And finally,

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to accomplish?

1. New Friends for my Heart.
2. New Clients for my Art.

Signing off…

and

going back to “Draw to Smile” 🙂

Caricature – Sinner: The Fire of Hell burns within the soul of a sinner and singes his insides!

Another long day of sitting in the waiting area resulted in a stiff back, a head full of images that I’d rather not see again, and another caricature.

I don’t think I am an authority on religious stuff of any kind, and yet I’ve read tomes on Hindu Mythology and Indian History…and you can’t separate religious teachings from mythology…not from Hindu Mythology at least, which is intricately woven around our gods and goddesses. I mention this as in religion (and not just in Hindu religion, but other religions as well,) there’s an underlying concept of your being rewarded or punished by being sent to heaven or hell, as the case may be. I don’t know if other religions too share some sure-fire, quick-relief after-death remedies of ensuring that regardless of a person’s misdeeds, he or she may arrive in heaven, if certain procedures were followed.

Within the purview of my currently limited knowledge in this area, Buddhism is the only religion that confirms the finiteness of life in a body and speaks of your soul being the vessel that can be filled either with your reward (peace and happiness) or your punishment (pain, guilt, and humiliation,) all in your lifetime.

This caricature captures the fire of hell that burns within the soul of a sinner; fueled by guilt and humiliation, it starts in his mind, spreads through his entire existence, and then gradually eats through his sanity and darkens his visions with soot and smoke.

Caricature Cartoon of a sinner - angry mad man with a guilty conscience - fire of hell.

I am waiting for the wait to end…

There still are caricatures waiting to be drawn, hiding in the future…when they happen, I’ll bring them to you.

Cover and Other Illustrations for Aunt Rosie’s Children’s Book

I spent the last two weeks working on something different. Moms of young kids may want to check it out. It’s called “Aunt Rosie’s Fables   of Courage, Honesty, Hard Work, and Wisdom – The First Dozen.” It has 12 stories that can be read to kids at bedtime or if the kids are a little older, they could read them on their own too.

Here’s the Cover:

Cover Art for Aunt Rosie's Fables  - The First Dozen

Click here to view Aunt Rosie’s Fables on Amazon.

I’ll be back with some caricatures soon. Unfortunately, there’s been so much to do in such little time. I am not complaining, but yes, I do miss posting to my blog.

If you are Children’s Book Author and looking to hire an illustrator, I’d love to explore the possibility of working with you.

I’ll be cross-posting this to my Children’s Illustrations blog too.

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Drawing – 5 Golden Tips!

Some of us would like to draw…others draw.

What is the difference?

I think the main difference lies in our attitude towards drawing. Those who would like to draw can easily swim to the other side and become someone who draws, and trust me, it isn’t all the difficult. Yet there are many who look at the drawings done by others only to sigh wistfully with longing. Who would like to draw, but who think that drawing is some sort of rocket-science (forgive the cliché, but it fits… and to use another cliché, I am not going to reinvent the wheel if I have ready access to a wheel that fits the chariot of my thoughts.) Actually, in the beginning – drawing is quite like driving or cycling…you practice it to perfect it. Once you’ve perfected those lines, then it becomes a vehicle of your innovative ideas; then your work transforms into art.

The first thing to do, as you can see, is to perfect the skill.

Here’s a short To-do list for everyone who wants to acquire the skill of drawing 🙂

1. Always be Prepared to Draw!

What this means is that there should be no place or time when you shouldn’t have the basic drawing material with you. An artist is always ready to draw. While most people prefer to fill their leisure hours with activities such as watching television, chatting up with friends, reading a novel, and so on and so forth; and artist prefers to draw, and to draw he or she must have the drawing material ready.

Here are the possible places where you can put your rough-sketchbook/notebook and a pencil/pen.

1. In the kitchen
2. In your car
3. In your living room (preferably next to the television)
4. In your office-cabinet
5. In your back-pack/brief-case/carry-all women’s handbag
6. Near your bed
7. Perhaps even in your bathroom if you spend a lot of time on that seat (Before you ask, I don’t have one on the magazine rack in my bathroom, but I have a strong intuition that many artists do.)

So, make sure that you are always prepared to draw. No matter where you are.

2. When you draw, just draw, don’t analyze!

You must draw. In the beginning, the lines will form tediously – they’ll squiggle, wriggle, dance, and jump. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone and with practice everyone grows out of it. If we’d still walk the way we did when we were just learning to lift our butts off the floor, we’d move like drunken zombies – but we don’t. Because we learned. And we learned through practice. So, just draw. Let that pencil become your friend.

What if a snooping friend of yours checks out your precious treasure of funny looking drawings?

Challenge them to draw better than you do. If someone is criticizing you for something, he or she should either be better than you are (and then you must take the criticism as directional feedback,) or shut up.

So draw.

Combine 1 and 2 to get, draw anytime, anywhere.

3. Don’t let curious onlookers stop you from drawing.

People are funny. They think that only witches, wizards, and other sorts of magical beings can draw, and so when they see you drawing in a restaurant, or in a train, or in a park, they stop to look. Perhaps they don’t have anything better to do, unlike you who has something…so feel sorry for them, recite a short prayer for the poor misguided, bored-with-their-lives souls,  “they stand here and watch because they can’t draw… Dear God, give them this day, something more useful to do,”) and  continue. In a few months from now, you’ll be accomplished at drawing stuff – and now when they stop to watch you, they’ll gasp at your work and tell you that you are really talented.

4. Remember that Drawing has nothing to do with Art-Supplies!

Don’t worry about the types of pens, pencils, brushes, colors, paints that you should use to draw. Also don’t worry about the types of paper, canvas, other surfaces that must be used to get that oh-so-nice effect. Effects are effects, drawing talent is drawing talent. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to work with any material with ease. So, use what’s easiest for you to lay your hands upon.

Some of my best drawings are done on Xerox paper with an HB clutch-pencil, and most of my doodle-cartoons are done using whichever pen I was holding at the time when inspiration struck. Art-supplies and art-material would bother you only when you begin to draw professionally. For about six-months to a year, draw with anything on anything.

5. Tell yourself – Practice Leads to Perfection

You can walk, run, even run up a staircase, with a perfect-10 perfection – and you can do it because you’ve practiced it long enough and consistently enough.Drawing is no different. Practice is your best bet. Don’t begin, then stop, then start again only to stop… Draw everyday…and then one day, you’ll wake up and an inner voice will confirm that you indeed can draw 🙂 When that day arrives, you’ll stop waiting for approval from others – you would have got the most important approval – from the most important source – your inner voice.

So if you are interested, pick up a pencil stub, find a scrap of paper  and start drawing 🙂

Important! Whose caricatures would you like to see here this month?

Hi Friends,

I am planning to make some caricatures this month and I am dead serious about this. I haven’t done a lot a caricatures since Romney lost to Obama (Horrible horrible stuff – but recall that this wasn’t scanned, it was photographed, and then it was photoshot (oops, I meant photoshopped) to make it look acceptable. When I was done, I understood why I am never called in to Photoshop-out Aishwarya’s double-chin or make Bips look fairer!) 

Let me stop spinning a long and tangled yarn and tell you straightaway that I think it’s now time to revive the caricaturist in me, and put her to work.

The question is – whose caricatures should I create?

The answer is: I am not sure. There are so many famous people out there that I can’t decide.

Will you help?

In each of the following categories whose caricature would you like to see here. Please leave your thoughts as a comment.

Internationally Famous Personalities:

(Note: I am adding the suggestions that I’ve already taken. Additional suggestions are welcome :))

  • 2 Actors (1 Male and 1 Female)  (Dustin Hoffman, Billy Crystal) and “you-know-who” (even though you-know-how isn’t yet an international celeb.)
  • 1 Singer/Musician (Male/Female) (Bette Midler, Willie Nelson)
  • 1 Politician (Male/Female) (Burlesque-oni)
  • 1 Historical Figure (Male/Female) (“You-know-who” as Akbar.)
  • 1 Fictional Figure (Male/Female)

Please post your thoughts and help a caricaturist in distress.

I’ll  be back soon…perhaps with the caricatures you desire 🙂

I’d like to thank you in advance for your help this important matter,

– Shafali The Caricaturist.

The Caricaturist found her inspiration again…

brace yourselves – caricatures are about to invade your world!

I could list them out – all 10 of them, but then I’d kill the suspense – so I won’t.

I’ll just tell you this that last week I received a package that gave me a shot in the arm. What was there in the package?! Well, it had some drawings that I am going to cherish forever. But why did they inspire me? Ah, that’s a trick question – isn’t it? Okay. Here’s why. Because I looked at those drawings and thought that one day…perhaps in not very distant future, I’ll wake up into a day filled with the possibility of doing nothing but drawing. Those drawings made me want to draw. So, that’s exactly what I did. I woke up the next day, and I saw nothing but the possibility of drawing. I drew and drew and drew…until I had drawn everyone whose photographs I found in my reference folder.

Weird?

…Unbelievable?

…But true! Your caricaturist is back…figuring out ways to get herself killed!

And the end-note…to my idol in the world of cartooning. Thank you for inspiring me.

 

 

Caricature/Cartoon of Neo a.k.a Keanu Reeves hacks into the Caricature Matrix!

Neo has finally hacked into the Caricature Matrix!

In this Caricature Matrix, everyone sees everyone else as a caricature of his real-self…and this is also true for Neo a.k.a Keanu Reeves, who appears here in his caricature avatar!

I’ll be truthful. I didn’t know anything about this gentleman until I watched The Matrix, then The Matrix Reloaded, and then The Matrix Revolutions! Even then, I knew him only as Neo the hacker, who asked the multi-million Dollar question – What is the Matrix? He was this tall, slim, rubberband of a man who wore dark glasses and was never sure of his own potential, which everyone else happened to know about! I found Morpheous (played by Lawrence Fishburne) a far more interesting character…all Neo made me wonder through out the trilogy was why the heck was he interested in that emaciated, vertically stretched, Na’vi-like woman called Trinity, who wore shiny black body paint?

I must’ve seen him in a couple of other movies…but I didn’t give him more than a passing thought…and even that passing thought was – why does he have those oriental eyes on an extra long non-oriental face?

But I gradually began to realize that Keanu Reeves is a popular star…and he rules many hearts, including the one that belongs to our dear Barb.

So…ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else,
Please welcome the Caricature of Keanu Reeves to this blog!

A Cartoon, Caricature, Portrait, Sketch of the Hollywood Actor Keanu Reeves who played the part of Neo in the Matrix Trilogy.

Mysterious Keanu Reeves

Here’s a Snapshot of Keanu’s Biography:

Keanu was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 02, 1964. His passion for stage an acting came from his mother and his oriental eyes from his father who had among his ancestors, a Chinese. His father abandoned his mother when Keanu was 3, and so he never had anything to do with his father. His mother moved from husband to husband, until she married the fourth time, broke up and decided to call it quits. Since Keanu’s mom moved to Canada after her second marriage, he spent most of his childhood there.

Keanu wasn’t great at studies. His lack of interest in studies is said to be because of dyslexia. (According to this page here many famous people suffer from dyslexia, and the list includes “Whoopi Goldberg, Keira Knightley, Susan Hampshire, Orlando Bloom, Keanu Reeves, Richard Branson, Henry Winkler, Patrick Dempsey and Tom Cruise“!)

Interim Update – The Asperger Syndrome?

A comment made to this post made me research some more. Some experts believe that Keanu might have the Asperger Syndrome, which is characterized (among other things) by difficulty in maintaining meaningful social relationships and a quirky behavior. I guess Asperger’s might be a lot more common than what the experts believe!

Keanu Reeves’ Rise to Stardom:

Keanu Reeves journey to stardom began with a movie about hockey (Keanu used to love playing hocky,) which was shot in Canada. Next he was seen in the movie, River’s Edge. His performance in this movie received critical acclaim but what truly established him in Hollywood was his role of Ted in the movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a movie based on Time Travel.The next four years were a quiet time in which Reeves took more sophisticated roles. In 1994, he made an impact with Speed. The next few years were a low time for him, until the release of Matrix in 1999.

The Mystery of Keanu Reeves:

Reeves’ Charisma is often attributed to the air of mystery that surrounds him.

In his own words, “I’m Mickey Mouse. They don’t know who’s inside the suit.”

I think that this sums up his journey rather well…For his first movie “Young Blood” he was paid USD 3000. For Matrix Revolutions he was paid USD 15 Million and 15% of the Gross!

Different Keanus:

Sad Keanu:

Read about the Photoshop Meme (and watch its video too), which shows a sad looking Keanu sitting on a bench, here.

Immortal Keanu:

Could it be that he is immortal? Here’s why some people think that Keanu Reeves is immortal!

Married Keanu:

They say he never married – they say he got married. Only Barb can tell.

Gay Keanu:

He neither accepts nor denies it, so…is Keanu Reeves gay?

Left-handed Keanu:

Well…Keanu’s sort of left-handed, but he plays bass (for a band called Dogstar) with his right hand. Guess that makes him an ambidextrous or…a freak?

 

Are you Keanu-krazy? If you are, and if you liked Keanu’s caricature on this page, you should visit Barbara G. Tarn’s Website at: CreativeBarbwire.wordpress.com.  Check out her Portraits of Keanu Reeves in her book, “Keanu Portraits 2001-2009” 🙂

As always…thanks to Wikipedia and IMDb for being such fantastic resources of information.

Cool Caricaturist – Achille Superbi of Italy

It’s time to give the stage to another Cool Caricaturist:)

Achille Superbi is an Italian Graphic Designer and Caricaturist who was born on September 13, 1959. After receiving his diploma n 1977 he worked for advertising agencies until 1984, when he also began to draw for newspapers etc. (Source: Wikipedia here .)

I like his work for his fine brushwork and smooth presentation.

Visit Achille Superbi’s simple but interesting website here.

Click the following links to view some of his fascinating caricatures.

  1. Picasso
  2. Antonio Banderas
  3. George Clooney
  4. Salvador Dali
  5. Laurel and Hardy

See Achille Superbi’s caricature of the Beatles on a t-shirt here.

Until I put together my drawing of Picasso and Dali…I wonder how I missed them:)

Caricature/Cartoon of A.R. Rahman, Indian Music Composer and Oscar Winner!

A.S. Dileep Kumar who for some personal reasons changed his religion to Islam and his name to Allah Rakha Rahman is an Indian musician and music-composer, who won two Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire a movie directed by Danny Boyle.

Here’s my take on this legend.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Portrait of A R Rahman (Rehman) who won two Oscars for Jai Ho in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire.

The Halo of Music...or Controversies?

A Short Biography of Rahman:

A.R. Rahman was born on January 6th 1966, in an affluent Hindu Tamil family. His father composed music for Malayalam films. He lost his father at a very young age and it was somewhere around that time when he and his entire family decided to change their religion and convert to Islam. According to this article here AR Rahman’s mother (Kareema) was a Muslim and after his Hindu father’s death, the family reconverted to Islam and acquired Muslim names. The reason why he changed his religion is still shrouded in mystery, however, it’s said that he did it to save his sister’s life.

Rahman is married to Saira Banu (not the emaciated yesteryear beauty though!)

An Interesting Bollywood Coincidence, which will make more sense to Indians:

Here it goes.
Saira Banu (of vintage Bollywood variety) married Dilip Kumar, who changed his name from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar – she did have to struggle with Yusuf Khan’s polygamous nature though. However Yusuf Khan took up the name Dileep Kumar only as a screen name with a wider appeal, and saw he was never on the wrong side of the law by having more than one wife.
Saira Banu (wife of AR Rahman) married AR Rahman, who changed his name from Dileep kumar (don’t worry about the spelling) to AR Rahman.

Coincidences happen in a chaotic world…right?

A. R. Rahman’s Meteoric Rise:

Rahman’s rise in Bollywood began with his meeting with Mani Ratnam in an advertising awards function, after which he gave music for Roja in 1992 (Note that Rahman was paid 25K INR (about USD 1000 in those days) to compose music for Roja, this is in stark contrast to around Rs. 5 Crores equivalent of USD 1 Million for composing the Commonwealth Games 2010 Anthem) After Roja, he created music for many Tamil films, until he got the opportunity to compose the songs for Rangeela. After the success of Rangeela’s songs, Rahman continued to work for the Mumbai Film Industry to compose many hit songs. Among his noteworthy films are: Rangeela, Dil Se, Taal, Rang De Basanti, Bombay!

His Album “Vande Mataram“, which he released on August 15, 1997 (the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence,) sold more than a Million copies in India.

Find an extremely detailed biography of Rehman here.

Rahman’s Jai Ho wins him the Oscars:

In 2009, Rahman wrote the score for “Jai Ho“, which helped him win the first two Oscars for India. He got the Oscars for Danny Boyle directed movie “Slumdog Millionnaire”. (Unfortunately, the only movie about India that became internationally famous is an extremely biased movie, which completely ignores the positives of India to accentuate and glorify its poverty.) The two Academy Awards that he won were for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song.

Visit Rahman’s official website here.

Rahman in News Again:

The newest news on the international scene is that AR Rehman has bagged 2 Oscar nominations for Danny Boyle’s 127 hours. What’s noteworthy is the ease with which Rahman has been able to establish a long-term relationship with Danny Boyle – I’d have loved to see him work with other Hollywood Directors too…but Rahman is a steady goat, isn’t he? I hope he gets the Oscars this year, because after the CWG Anthem fiasco, which gave us a soggy song (read about it here) touted to be better than Shakira’s waka-waka, I’d love to get a confirmation that the awards were for the musical score and not for a fantastic rendering of India’s poverty. Go Rahman Go! Get those awards and win back my trust…if you’d care to.

Want to know if I am an ARR fan?

I love some of his work – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have drawn his caricature here:) But I saw him on the CWG stage – and I don’t think that if his…what was the CWG Anthem again?…well that anthem needed the crutches of Jai ho, especially when after the whole corruption scandal we were waiting for him to spin gold or silver at least…so – my current status is “NOT FAN!”

I believe there are things that are bigger than money, fame, and even Oscars. A sense of pride in being what you are and carrying it through with your head held high. I’d never work for a Slumdog Millionnaire nor would I ever charge Rs. 5 Crores for composing an anthem for my country.  (Remember that it was the first time in its history that India was hosting a sports event at International scale!) But I guess I am being the milkmaid, if you know what I mean:)