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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogging, Events, and 5 Easy Ways of Staying in Touch :)

My blogging life has two distinct phases. The Pre-blogging101 phase and the Post-blogging101 phase. The post-blogging101 phase has helped me make new friends, brought new followers for my blog, made me follow new blogs, correct the numerous error of my blogging-ways, helped me discover new blogging events, and given me a reason to organize the Creativity Carnival. That’s a huge takeaway for a 21-day mostly informal course. There’s no denying that it was a challenge to stay on course, and yet many of us managed to finish the race.

But there still is a challenge that looms large. It’s a bigger challenge than finishing the course. For the course was finite and had a definite end in sight. The other challenge is to continue blogging – and blogging, as we learned, isn’t about making posts – it’s about connecting too.

So how do we stay connected in the Post-Blogging101 world?

Here are:

5 Easy Ways to for Bloggers to Stay in Touch!

1. Use tags Smartly:

Before Blogging101, I was tag-ignorant. I’d use tags and I’d gun for quantity instead of quality. Now I know that for the WordPress Audience, following rules will yield best (better?) results:

  • Make sure that the sum of the number of categories and the number of posts never exceeds 15.
  • Use specific yet generic keywords. So if you want WordPress bloggers to arrive at your blog, “drawing” is a better keyword than “pen and ink portrait art.”
  • Use specific keywords as a group. For instance, if you want to connect with bloggers who took the Blogging101 course in July, use the keyword “blogging101july2015.” If all or many of the group members use this tag with their posts, and they also follow this tag in their Reader, there’s a good chance that they’ll all stay connected.

2. Use Reader Effectively:

Reader allows you to do the following:

  • Read posts from the blogs you follow – all in one place, in the chronological order of their posting.
  • Follow tags of your choice – You can add them (even remove the ones you don’t want anymore) and when you click one of those tags, the Reader will show you  Wordpress posts that’ve used that tag. Some of these could be specific tags that your group has decided to follow, others could be generic ones (such as, “drawing”, “writing” etc.) The generic tags will help you connect with new bloggers with similar interests.

3. Connect on other Social Media:

If you are an avid tweeter, you may want to follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter. If you are on FB perhaps you may want to connect on Facebook. Fellow blogger Carol Moulin has started Cafe Blog here. It’s a closed group, so when you send a request, Carol will have to approve it for you to become a member. I just joined, and I think it’s a great place to find new blogger-friends – read their posts, and invite them to read yours.

4. Participate in Blogging Events.

All of us know about Daily Post and the two main challenges that are hosted there – The Weekly Photo Challenge and the Daily Prompt. The idea is to choose a couple of blogging events and start participating…of course, based on the nature of your blog. Then there is listing of various blogging events, where you can also see our very own Creativity Carnival too (though it’s listed under Photography and Visual Arts – where it doesn’t really belong …)

If you want to explore the Creativity Carnival you can just click the following image.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Wondering how events help you connect?
Many bloggers participate in an event and when they do, ping backs are registered on the event-page. Participating bloggers are generally interested in finding out what others posted on a particular prompt or topic. This helps us build connections.

My personal opinion is to stay with one, two, or maximum three events of your choice for a while. It will nurture the connections you build, and will help fortify the expectations of your visitors.

5. Connect through email:

I am sure that in the course you’ve met a few people with whom you’ve really felt comfortable talking. Perhaps you’d like to email them. Remember that email is more personal than a comment – so if you don’t receive a reply, don’t feel bad. Perhaps the other party isn’t interested in a personal connection. Leave it there, don’t sulk, don’t unfollow, and please don’t ask why. Friendship is a two-way street.

If you can think of any other ways…let us know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

Blogging Neighbors make a Modern-Day Hamlet Soliloquize.

My Blogging101 Neighbors have changed me into a soliloquizing modern-day Hamlet.

In the past 10 days I’ve made some new friends and these friends have made me ask the following to-be-or-not-to-be questions:
  1. To Cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?
  2. To run or just snuggle under the sheets for a couple-of-more-hours?
  3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?
  4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?
  5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?
  6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity or just not bother?
  7. And finally, To be a fanatic and fly at the throats of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?
I know that I have missed a lot of other fantastic blogs that’ve moved me in the past few days, and consequently deprived this post of other deep and relevant questions.  I’m known to be more forgetful than that allegorical scientist who drank the glass full of bacteria-infested water.  I hope those sweet bloggers will forgive my lapse and leave me a reminder. I can and should soliloquize some more – and your reminders will make me answer more of these important, philosophical questions.
Coming back to my list of questions, here’s what I think, and regardless of what it makes you think about me, I stand (nope, lounge) by it.

1. To cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?

I cook, but each time I cook, the same dish ends up tasting different! Why? Because I can’t follow recipes. I admit that the kitchen reminds me of a Chemistry Lab, and the recipes remind me of those chemistry experiments that I disliked and even feared. Measure, pour, heat, add something else; let it simmer; when the color changes or when there’s a distinctive smell, do something else! It’s erringly similar to a Chemistry Lab experiment. So to make myself feel positive about the kitchen and cooking, I think of myself as a kitchen-witch who brews magic potions – but that’s a different story and needs a different post.

2. To Run or just snuggle under the sheets?

Is that even a logical question to ask? If your whole family is into running, then I understand that you must – or how will you be together? Imagine breakfast time in a family of runners. Dad has already run 500 yards, son is at 250 yards mark, mom tosses the sandwich and the OJ to Dad at 50 yds/second to get it to him in 10 seconds. Can’t imagine all that action! It makes me run (no, amble) for cover! The thought of all that action makes me exhausted – but kudos to our runner mom – I can only doff my hat to her.

3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?

It jiggles a bit, alright. But getting into those yoga pants is something that I haven’t yet made up my mind on. Sorry Yoga Guru. First my boss who is now in Canada started organizing Yoga classes in our office and asked if I wanted to join. I checked my then hourglass figure in the mirror, and snickered at the idea. Later mom and dad watched me getting chubbier and slower; they tried to train me in yoga but failed. Now, I’ve begun to wonder whether I should’ve heeded their advice. BTW, Yoga is for people of all shapes and sizes. But what about those yoga-pants? I don’t want to look like a stuffed pillow, and doing yoga without yoga-pants isn’t my cup of green tea.

4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?

Is this even a question?
Of course I want to be an Earl’s cat. Why? Because then I’d speak Elizabethan English, purr a lot, and while purring, I’d casually remark upon who the Countess may or may not hoist her tail for. As a human, if I did that, I am sure the Earl would have me captured and flogged to correct the error of my ways. Earl’s cat – for sure.

5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?

Is this, too, even a question?
ZuZu… wait for me! Just allow me a few minutes to brew myself a cup of Felinosca potion and turn into a cat. A chubby woman scampering behind you on all fours will attract the eyes of entire Berkshire, and then you may have to drop your adventuring like a hot pot of boiling milk.

6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity, or shutter myself in?

As I grow older, I cement my views and opinions, and I become unwilling to change. What I often forget is that even the unwillingness to embrace change is a choice.    Do I want to shutter myself in, is a question that I ask myself, especially when meet someone as cool  as these two bloggers.
 I know I’ll try to remember this all, but then I can’t really trust the absent-minded kitchen-witch whose idea of a perfect day is a quiet afternoon with a Wilbur Smith novel. She travels at the speed of thought and sees the world through the words of her favorite authors…and now…bloggers!
And finally,

7. To be a fanatic and fly at the throat of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?

As I said before, if possible, I’d like to live in a world sans fanatics. I don’t like fanaticism. And so I’ll set aside the only unpleasant experience in the blogosphere, and continue to Draw to Smile!
Feeling blessed - a pen and ink drawing - shafali's art. Artists and Commissions.

Feeling frazzled but blessed!

Happy Blogging 🙂 and thanks Blogging101!

The Happy Hobo – Happiness is a State of Mind :: A Caricature for the Heart.

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

Happiness is a State of Mind – The Happy Hobo – 7.5 inches by 11 inches. (All Rights Reserved.) Available for Licensing.

Once in a while…this caricaturist too feels colorful…and Dogs do Rock!

I love black, and white, and gray. I like color, but only when I have to like it. If I were invisible to others, I’d wear black, and white, and gray. Here’s a bit of color for this colorless blog 🙂

Cartoon of two dogs on a rocking chair!

India Wins the Semi-finals, Sachin Tendulkar declared Man of the Match

BREAKING NEWS!

India won the World cup Semi-finals against Pakistan. Sachin couldn’t make his 100th 100s but he helped the team win 🙂 by contributing 85 runs of 115 balls.

Presenting…

Sachin Tendulkar – The Man of the Match

Cartoon, Caricature, Portrait, Sketch, Drawing of Little Master, Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, World's greatest batsman!

Turned Lucky 4 times!

Waiting for Sachin’s 100th 100, which may yet happen…in the finals…in Mumbai! Good Night:)

Update: Oh…and if India wins the World Cup…You might want to buy anti-glare glasses. You know why? Find the answer here.

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – December 2010 – Edition 7!

Header for Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival Announcement December 2010

Dear visitors, bloggers made of matter as well as antimatter, and all other esteemed treasure-seekers,

The November 2010 Storytelling Blog Carnival was…well, to be honest…it had but one participating entry – so, you can’t even say that it was a carnival 😦

But let’s not worry about the past; let us charge into the future!

Here’s the caricature for the December Carnival.

Caricature, Cartoon, Color Drawing of a Sad young man sitting on the steps - Concept image for the Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival.

What's his story?

Here are the Rules for the Carnival:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of December 31, 2010.

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in January  2011, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll, and of course in the Carnival posts that I make through out this month.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Let your creative juices flow…tell us your story 🙂

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – November 2010 – Edition 6!

Dear Visitors, Aliens, Occasional-stopperbys, and Everyone Else in this Beautiful Virtual world,

The October Carnival ended on October 31, 2010 – on a really low note (sniff!) I guess the drawing failed to get your creative juices flowing. But two brave-hearts persisted.

Here are their stories:

Now if you are wondering why I am still keen on continuing the Blog Carnival, the answer is:  I have a lot of faith in my fellow bloggers. I know that there are many who are sitting on a gold-mine of talent (including some who’ve recently visited mine,) and that one day, I’ll come up with a caricature, which will make them want to write a fabulous story.

So, here’s the Caricature for the November Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, which I hope will inspire you to write:)

A Caricature, Cartoon, or picture of Romeo and Juliet, the characters from Shakespeare's drama, in a modern balcony scene.

O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou?

The rules remain the same, but I am adding a new constraint.

Your story SHOULD have a Romeo and a Juliet, who are called Romeo and Juliet, respectively!

Here are the rules:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of November 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in November 2010, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Waiting to hear from you, O fellow bloggers! Tell us your story!

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – October 2010 – Edition 5!

header image for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for October 2010

Dear Readers, Visitors, Tourists, Treasure-hunters,  and Creative Bloggers!

The September 2010 Blog Carnival ended on September 30, 2010. Following were the stories that were written for the lady in the caricature.

Stories Written by the Authors:

I thank all the writers who spent their time and taxed their creativity to come up with their colorful stories.  Thank You:)

Now, of course, is the time to unveil the caricature for the October 2010 Carnival. This caricature is different from the previous caricatures in two ways:

  • It’s got two characters instead of one.
  • It shows more pleasant (apparently) people.

So here it is…

Caricature of a man and a woman in a wine glass for the Story Writing Blog Carnival 2010

What's their Story?

Don your thinking cap, get into your most comfortable clothes, and find a writing pad…tell us their story!

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of October 31, 2010 (Sunday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in the first week of October, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

Never written a story?
Why not start now?

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!

Blog Carnival for Story-writers – 3 Days to go…Read the Stories that have come in!

Hello Visitors of both the Serious and the Casual kinds:)

STOP & READ THIS!

If you don’t know about it already, let me remind you that the September Blog Carnival for Storywriting “Story in the Caricature” is drawing to a close…have you written your story yet?

Here are the stories that’ve come in so far:

I am waiting to read your story:-)

Here’s a quick To-do list for participating in the Carnival:

  1. Write a story and post it on your blog.
  2. Add the Permalink to your post in the comments section of the September Blog Carnival Announcement post here.

And yes…

if you love to read stories, read the entries for the previous 3 carnivals here.

I now return to the act of drowning myself in work, but I shall return soon! Meanwhile, go for a treasure hunt in the exotic lands of your mind and bring back a beautiful story. Discover the storyteller within you:-)

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – September 2010 – Edition 4!

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Header for Edition 4 - September 2010

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to announce the fourth Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival.

Here’s the caricature, which I hope will inspire you to write a story.

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Edition 4 - September 2010

Who's sh(e)? What's sh(e) doing?

So…

What is a Story?

A story is:

“a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events”

What’s your story? What’s the “chain of related events” that jangles in your mind when you see the picture above.

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of September 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog on October 1, 2010, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

The best way to find out is – tell a story! I believe we all are storytellers…we all know how to present something very simple and mundane, in an interesting way – Honestly, that’s all there is to storytelling – so fire a print of the caricature above, stow it away in your bag or briefcase, and write a story to discover a new, creative you.

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers: Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – Third Edition!

The Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for Bloggers, Storytellers, and All of us!

Welcome to the third Tell-the-Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival.

Here’s the caricature to inspire your creativity:

The Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for Bloggers, Storytellers, and All of us!

What's his Story?

The Previous Carnivals:

Read about the previous carnivals here.

The Four Rules:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of August 31, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog on September 1, 2010, along with the blog-address and a short-bio of the writer.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will not appear here.

If you’ve lived in this world, you ARE a Storyteller:

We’ve all got stories to tell – and let nobody convince you otherwise! This caricature reminds you of something – doesn’t it? A fear, a hope…despair for some, happiness for others…it tides up your emotions – right? Pour them out on your screen – and write a story!  A STORY BY YOU!