Caricature – Bobby Jindal: Beautifully Brown and Seriously Smart – Announces Presidential Run.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for the US President on June 24th, 2016 and I am glad he did because I got the opportunity to paint an Indian face. It’s funny how skin color actually matters in art. Here’s a portrait of Bobby Jindal that made people wonder if he was actually a white. The artist either wanted to make a point (that the color of our skin doesn’t matter) or he just didn’t want to go out and buy new tubes of burnt sienna and yellow ochre, and so painted with whatever colors he had in his inventory.

Anyway, the great thing about painting portraits and caricatures digitally is that you never run out of colors…and a brown-skinned man remains brown-skinned 🙂

Caricature Cartoon Portrait (not the official one that sparked a controversy) of Bobby Jindal - Two-term Louisiana Governor who is now a Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential Elections

Wha…? “Am I not white?”

Now a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy biography of this “Indian-American” who detests this particular hyphenation. But I’ll let the cynics know that it doesn’t matter if he wants to disown his Indian roots, Indians will always know him as his own…as long as he looks Indian and bears an Indian name, he’s an Indian for Indians. Still clucking? Check the Indian Newspapers.)

Piyush Jindal (ok, he likes to be called Bobby) was born to a Punjabi-Indian immigrant couple in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was a very smart kid, who grew up into a very smart young man, and got admission to Harvard Medical School as well as to Yale Law School. He also won the Rhodes scholarship and so pursued his higher education in Oxford.

He got married to Supriya, whose parents too had migrated to the same city around the same time as his parents. The couple happened to go to the same school too. Now they have three children, none of them have Indian names/surnames (smart move, going by the remarks that some Americans (of Indian and other origins) have been making on Twitter,) and Bobby Jindal is onto his second term as the Governor of Louisiana.

And yet,

Should Bobby Jindal have really run for the President at this point in time?

While his first term as the Governor was considered a super-success (he was re-elected by a huge margin) his second term is considered a super-failure. Why? Well….he tinkered with the budget for education…and a few other things too.

He is a conservative (sounds odd that being a child of immigrants he is a conservative, but then so is Marco Rubio) and he leans to the far right. He isn’t keen on being reminded of his Indian heritage because he rightly believes that his parents went to America to be Americans and that if they wanted to remain Indian, they’d have stayed back in India; and he’s not a Hindu (as his name would mislead you into believing,) he converted to Christianity when he was a teenager.

Though this might not be the best time for him to run for the presidential election and though I don’t agree with his views on Abortion and Gay-marriages, I still wish him the best 🙂

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Caricature-Cartoon Jeb Bush: US Presidential Election 2016

While Hillary Clinton has still not confirmed her intention of running for the President in 2016, Jeb Bush has made it amply clear that he would.

Here’s a caricature that I did of Jeb Bush.

Caricature Cartoon in black and white drawing - US Presidential Elections - Jeb Bush - Republican Candidate

President Bush the Third!

 

About Jeb Bush:

Jeb Bush or “John Ellis Bush” Bush is George W. Bush‘s younger brother who has been Florida’s Governor for two-terms could be running for the 2016 Presidential elections. He was born in 1953, he grew up in Texas, then attended the University of Texas. Professionally, he was first a banker, then a real-estate marketer, then an entrepreneur. In 1983, he moved to Miami because he was made 40% partner in a firm – in his own words, “”I want to be very wealthy, and I’ll be glad to tell you when I’ve accomplished that goal.”

Bush was Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He brought about educational reforms, implemented certain fiscal policy changes (bringing down the governmental spending along with the taxes,) and signed into Florida law, the Stand-your-Ground law.

Read more about him at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Bush (source.)

Jeb Bush and 2016 US Presidential Elections:

(The Caricaturist’s View)

With Mitt Romney having stepped away from the race, his chances of his being chosen the Republican candidate may appear to have brightened and yet, there are a couple of reasons why it may not be really be a cakewalk for him.

The first reason could be his family. His surname is perceived to be more of a burden than a boon. I read the remarks left on his Facebook page, and I was mildly surprised to note that there were many who said they wouldn’t  vote for another Bush in the White House. He will have to differentiate (and perhaps distance) himself from the personality and philosophy of his brother George W. Bush. 

Another reason that could undermine the possibility of his becoming the republican presidential candidate could be his image of a moderate republican,  resulting mainly from  his soft stance on illegal immigrants. He might be correcting course on this issue, but it may not be enough.

Illegal immigration is a burning issue in the US and with the Obama administration’s continual attempts at appeasing them and converting them into a democratic vote bank, the republican camp may not want to field a candidate who has moderate, even democratic views on the issue.

Caricature Art – Bill Clinton’s Charming Smile envelops Little Rock, Arkansas :)

Everyone knows Bill Clinton. We know him for a multitude of reasons. Here are those engraved upon the tip of the iceberg.

  • Being the President of The United States
  • Having a super-cute smile and his boyish charm
  • Being involved in an oval-office misadventure with a certain Monica Lewinsky
  • Being the husband of  Ms. Hillary Clinton

I think he is one of the most recognized American Presidents, with possibly just one exception (who else but  President Barack Obama,) and trust me when I tell you that until a month ago, I had never caricatured him! Not even a sketch. I did paint his wife Ms. Hillary Clinton as someone who’d be contending the presidential elections of 2016 (yes, in a lucid moment of epiphany, I saw her in the race to the White House.)

Let me come to the point – and tell it to you straight. When I came to know that the Nov/Dec issue‘s cover and inner-spread would require Bill Clinton’s Caricatures, I was shocked to realize that this would be the first time I’d be caricaturing Mr. Clinton.

Bill Clinton Cover Art for Talk Business and Politics Arkansas - Clinton Presidential center, River Market, Heifer International, Pedestrian Bridge Illustration.

We discussed the idea and came up with a gardening metaphor that would capture how the Clinton Memorial Library has led to a lot of development in the surrounding area. You can see that in the spread, the left page shows Clinton planting the library in 2004, and then you see Clinton again, 10 years later feeling happy and proud as he surveys the development. Read the article here.

A Note for Caricaturists/Illustrators:

In 10 years, a person ages. Clinton had also faced certain health issues (in 2004/2005 he underwent surgeries,) which had made him lose a lot of his facial-fat. This is why the pre-2004 Clinton had to look clearly younger than the 2014 Clinton.

But even before I began ironing out the details, I hit a road-block. I like my caricatures to look cute and nice, and despite Clinton’s half-smile, he’s a not an easy guy to caricature. I actually felt glad that I wasn’t caricaturing when he was the President and I honestly don’t envy the caricaturists who were.

Caricaturing Bill Clinton’s face is a challenge, and in this case, ensuring that the age-difference is visible between the two, was an even more difficult task. I worked with the skin-tone, wrinkles (especially those around the eyes), chubbiness, and hair-volume to get the desired effect. 

I’ve also been working on a few other projects (paintings as well as pen and ink drawings) and I’ll post about them soon 🙂 Meanwhile, if you are interesting in learning how to create caricatures, check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Amazon.

 

Caricatures Gallery Update: Political, Business, Sports, Hollywood, Television, and Fiction.

This Gallery Update was pending for some time, and while I still haven’t been able to put together the icons for my graphite and pen-ink artworks, I got the icons of the painted artworks together to update the gallery.

I am reproducing the updated part of the gallery here – just in case, you are a kindred (read: lazy) soul.

Icon - Magazine - Interior Spread for Talk Business and Politics Magazine - Mike Ross - Asa Hutchinson Joust - Governor Elections 2014 Arkansas Icon - Caricature Cartoon of Jeff Bezos - CEO of Amazon. Icon - Caricature: Jimmy Fallon - Host of The Tonight Show
Mike Ross – Asa Hutchinson
TBP Arkansas
Jeff Bezos
CEO – Amazon
Jimmy Fallon
Host – The Tonight Show
Icon - Selena Gomez Caricature for a Poster Collection. Digitally Painted. Icon of Malcolm Gladwell Author - Caricature. Icon of Tennis Legend Serena Williams' Caricature with a Cup and Racket.
Selena Gomez
Singer/Actor
Malcolm Gladwell
Author: The Tipping Point
Serena Williams
Tennis Star
Icon - Novel Cover Art Work for Pat and Babs - a Body Switch Novella by Author B.G. Hope. Icon - Magazine Cover for Talk Business and Politics - Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton in a Boxing match - Elections 2014. Icon - Caricature of Gandalf the Grey - Painted digitally.
Pat & Babs
Characters in a Novel
Mark Pryor vs. Tom Cotton
TBP – Arkansas
Gandalf the Grey
Lord of the Rings

I’d love to mention how the post that I did on Nude Celebrity Pictures has been getting all the attention. I think a new caricature genre with nudes as its central theme could become quite popular, only if someone had the talent and the will to pursue it. The fact that I am sharing this priceless idea so openly with you, must tell you that I’ve decided that my caricatures stay clothed and dignified.

Before I make this post, I’ve got to ask you something? Do you want to make caricatures? (Note that I am not asking you whether you’d like to draw caricatures.) Click the following sticker to find out more about my caricaturing app “Toonsie Roll”, which is going to be in the App Store soon 🙂

That’s all for now 🙂

Random Black & White Caricatures :)

I was lost in the swirling mist of random assignments – a novel cover, some writing, and a few caricatures.

While randomness rules, here are a few random caricatures that I collected from the past 🙂

Caricature – President Obama Crowns himself King on Cover of The American Spectator.

Folks,

This month, I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting assignment – President Obama Crowning himself King 🙂  My regular visitors know that I’ve done at least three Obama Caricatures in black and white (you can find them in the Gallery here,) but honestly, none drip humor the way this does.

Let me start by presenting the artwork.

Caricature, Digital Painting - The American Spectator Cover - The good king Barack - Cover Art for the April 2014 issue.

Cover Art – The American Spectator – April 2014 Issue

If you are a conservative and you don’t subscribe to The American Spectator, you can explore it here.

Now the story behind the creation 🙂

Drawing and Painting President Obama’s Caricature

The Assignment Brief

The Assignment Brief was very clear – Barack Obama crowning himself King, wearing a robe, and could be shown admiring himself in mirror – perhaps a half-figure drawing, and on a solid color background.

When you illustrate for magazines, you walk the tight-rope between design and art. The constraints are important because they set the boundaries for your artwork. So you always begin with the constraints – unlike in Fine Art, where you begin with a concept and allow your artwork to evolve and define its own boundaries.

So the first thing to do was, visualize Obama on the cover – with a solid color background. The solid background made it essential that I visualized the entire color palette within the main figure.

Balancing the Colors

Check out the play of primary colors. The wine-red velvet of the robe and the crown; the golden-yellow of the mirror, the crown, and the tooth – were two warm colors (Red/Magenta, and Yellow)- To neutralize the heat of these two colors, I needed the third primary (Cyan/blue,) and so I decided on a blue tie and offered to paint the Eagle rug from the oval office, under his feet.

That’s how the colors played out, the black/gray/white – the neutrals notwithstanding 🙂

The Head/Body Ratio

Also note the head/body ratio. In this particular caricature, the expression of glee on the president’s face was the most important element of humor. The body was unimportant – purely a hygiene factor, necessary to define the composition. This is why I went  for a very high head/body ratio – but I kept the hands big – they had to be, to hold such a huge crown.

Face-Details/Closeup

Here’s a close-up of the Caricature of President Obama.

President Obama crowns himself King - Closeup - The American Spectator Magazine - April 2014.

President Obama crowns himself King – Closeup – The American Spectator Magazine – April 2014.

A Few things to note:

As you can see, I added a few ideas to the original brief. It helps to discuss your ideas with the client. Sometimes, your ideas may be tossed out of the window, because they were too “morbid,” or they needed to be “watered down.” Here are a few things that I added – the diamond stud, the gold tooth, the eagle rug, the flag, and if you can find him – a tiny but smooth operator.

The diamond stud in Obama’s ear and the gold-tooth, both are affectations of the rich and they help strengthen the “King” in him. I worked with Obama’s younger and more enthusiastic look – not the older, grayer one…reverse aging is impossible, but in its impossibility it exaggerates the impact of the caricature. I had to do some research on his hands. The color, the veins, and also his wedding band (couldn’t have missed that.) I thought that a crown with a flag would look good too.

If you’d like to learn how to draw caricatures in a methodical way – check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” on Amazon.  

"Evolution of a Caricaturist - How to Draw Caricatures" available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.

Among all kinds of illustrations, caricatures evoke the highest response from the audience. A caricature achieves this by weaving the spell of humorous likeness around its subject.

This book establishes a logical method to harness the creative madness that results in caricatures. The author calls it the “Feature Frame Method” and illustrates how this method can be used to selectively exaggerate every facial feature.

Evolution of a Caricaturist helps you master the art of caricature drawing by presenting around 75 artworks and technical drawings, and then analyzing the features of more than 30 celebrity faces.

Black-and-White Caricatures – All dressed up for the pageant.

Folks,

This caricaturist has found a new toy called “Gallery”. Here is a collection of some of my favorite black and white caricatures done over the past few years.

This is all for now 🙂 I hope you like them.

Have a Great Day!

– Shafali

Obamacare Law Upheld – America’s March towards Darkness Begins – Caricature & Cartoon of President Barack Obama.

Click here to view President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term 🙂 (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012 was an important day in the History of the USA. On this day, America took a giant step towards assassinating free will.

This, of course, is the opinion of a caricaturist. Caricaturists are infamous for exaggerating stuff, but in this case, I think I am reporting it exactly the way I see it. It’s Mr. Obama’s way of gaining political mileage by ensuring that about 30 Million votes come his way.

Caricature of Barack Obama - 2012 US Presidential Elections - Health-care Bill Upheld

Penalty or Tax? Whatever!

About the Health Care Law and its Long-Term Ramifications:

The US Health Care Law a.k.a. the Obamacare Law has been upheld by the American Supreme court with a majority of 5:4! 5:4? Yes. The bill that passed the house with a 219:214 majority and which was voted down not just by all Republicans but also by 34 democrats. If it’s a panacea of all medical evils, then why almost half of these intellectuals voted against it? Who is to say, which half is the smarter lot?

I’ll leave that discussion to those who know more about law than I do. I’ll just sit here and wonder, why does Mr. Barack Obama think that this is going to really help America and the American people? While I am still to read a convincing argument how it’s one of the smartest things ever done, here’s why I think it’s one of the dumbest.

If I work hard to earn what I do, I’d like to decide what “charity” I’d like to give my money to. You can’t hold a gun to my temple and expect me to put my money into charity, and then feel good about it too. Fine, fine. You say it’s not charity. You say, I “might” end up using some of it too. Right. But I might not. I think that I should be able to decide whether or not I want to even use a hospital at all.

I see “red” when I read or hear about the Health Care bill. It smacks of communism. I see the beacon of freedom fading. I see America marching towards a future that will make people question the value of hard work and merit.

In fact, I do see some people dancing about and making merry now that the healthcare bill’s got the Supreme Court’s nod. These are the medical practitioners, the Insurance companies, and of course, those who wanted health insurance but couldn’t pay for it. Those who couldn’t pay for it, would’ve earlier tried to work to pay for it, but I hear about subsidies being given to them now (so, the young who don’t need insurance – except in the rare instance of their being in an accident, and the rich who don’t want insurance, or even the upper-middle-class who’d earlier rather fly to a cheaper medical treatment destination instead of paying the premiums, will all now pay for the 30 Million or so uninsured among which you’d have the children of the illegal immigrants too. Great idea!)

Earlier Obama’s team vehemently denied the “fact” that they accepted in the court, which was that the penalty would be a sort of tax. So in principle, US has accepted that it’s fine to impose additional tax on those who work hard to earn an honest living, because they didn’t want to buy “insurance” that they believed they didn’t need, to help provide insurance for those who wanted to buy insurance but didn’t or couldn’t work to earn it. It makes me believe that Ayn Rand had predicted this a long time ago, when she had written Atlas Shrugged. Mr. Obama has opened a Pandora’s box that will continue to spew newer schemes to make it shameful to work hard. The healthcare bill may well be a soft beginning with a delicate touch. Anyone who stands up against it would be called heartless and inhuman, and suffering will be sold in the garb of equality and affordability.

There might be a time, not in a very distant future, when Americans will look at one-another with suspicion. Distrust will grow, as will Xenophobia. The seeds have been sowed already. And while it’s been presented as an innocuous, do-good policy, yet in the years to come it’s going to spawn many more of its kind. In time, with repeated exposure to the evil of Need over Merit, Americans will lose their edge, which comes from their individualism. They’d become a collective whole – the good never aiming at greatness, and the bad never needing to leave their badness. Unless, of course, the other half that voted against it, stands up against it. Unfortunately, populist measures aren’t easy to rollback, so whatever Mr. Romney may be saying now, he might find it really difficult to actually uproot it completely.

It’s funny that I should feel so strongly about it. In my country, health insurance is a personal choice, and for more than 90 percent of its population, it doesn’t exist. I think it would be safe to assume that a large majority of the population doesn’t even know what health insurance is. Whether you get medical attention or not is determined by whether or not you or the ones who love you have earned it or not. For instance, if something really terrible happens to me, I’ll die swift and quick, because I really didn’t earn my right to health care by being able to buy a policy. What’s so wrong with it? It’s completely moral. Anytime when death comes visiting, I’ll die happy, knowing that I lived a life that I wanted to live. I understand how it’s hard on people who care about you, but it’s just one of those things that we accept and it doesn’t make a ton of difference to the population in general.

I think I am concerned because for me the US has been a lighthouse in the darkness of a world that I don’t understand. I’ve always understood the value-system of America. I’ve admired the freedom that the country gives to every individual so that he may write his own destiny. This is the freedom that leads to other freedoms – the freedom of speech, of doing business, of making money, of keeping money, and to help others make money. It’s this freedom that has made America the greatest nation in this world. What America does, others emulate, yet this once, I find myself hoping that others don’t follow suit.

But as I said earlier, this is the opinion of a caricaturist – and caricaturists exaggerate. Go home, sleep well, and forget all about it.

Caricature/Cartoon – President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan – Give us Less but Write it Down!

Presenting the caricature of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan - the US-Afghan Agreement Draft - Give us less but Write it down.

Copyrighted Image. Don’t use without permission. For licensing the caricature, you are welcome to send me an email.

Here’s his biography – short and concise 🙂

Karzai’s Biography – Childhood and Youth

Hamid Karzai who is the current President of Afghanistan, was born on December 24, 1957. Recently, his unwillingness to let the NATO forces leave (despite their having trained the Afghani security forces well,) has been making news. Why, you might ask. Well, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Taliban worry him no end. But let us first talk about Karzai’s childhood and youth. He was born in Kandahar (yes, the Gandhara of the past, but the capital of Afghanistan today.) He comes from an influential political family (as I interpret from his father’s profession, who was the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament when Karzai was a toddler.)

Young Hamid completed his graduation in Kandahar, but believe it or not, he completed his post-graduation from India. However, before you misguide yourself into believing that he found his sweetheart in India, I should tell you that he must’ve been a studious sort of guy. He met Zeenat who he later married, in Pakistan, not in India.

Karzai’s Rise to Power

When US backed the Mujaheddin during the soviet war in Afghanistan, Karzai worked as a contact for CIA. Presumably this was how his political journey began – with the mujaheddin who took power after Najibullah (who was publicly hanged by the Taliban).

Initially, Karzai felt good about the Taliban and thought of them as the saviors of the nation, but he refused to represent them. This possibly angered the Taliban, who killed Karzai’s father. This changed Karzai’s view of the Taliban. He began an anti-Taliban movement and joined the Northern front. The Northern Front along with US Special forces overthrew the Taliban. It was in 2002 that for the first time Karzai came into power. Unfortunately, his sphere of power was limited to Kabul (the media promptly dubbed him the “Mayor of Kabul”).

Ever since Karzai came into power he’s been trying to hold talks with the Taliban (the same Taliban who killed his father and angered him, earlier in the story.)

Controversies that surround Hamid Karzai

Karzai was first elected the President in 2004. Next, when elections were held in 2009, they were mired in controversies and it was insinuated that his opponent’s withdrawal from the election may not have been entirely voluntary.

While Karzai has been trying for a cordial relationship with countries such as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Japan; he’s also been criticized for being too soft on the Taliban.

Karzai’s been into the poppy production controversy (he refused to kill the poppy in the fields.) He’s also been accused of shielding his brother who was “allegedly” involved in drug trade.

Karzai’s Family

His brothers and sisters are settled in the land of opportunity (read: The US.) They are all into the hospitality business. Karzai has only one son (and one wife, who is a Doctor.) He’s got no property to call his own and his bank-balance is really abysmally low. But that’s one of the things that makes him a darling of the masses – because despite all allegations of electoral fraud, he won them fair and square.

The Story behind the Caricature

In 2014, the NATO forces will have completely pulled out of Afghanistan (US being the last to leave). Afghanistan and US are currently in the process of drafting an agreement, which will ensure that in some ways US will continue to help Afghanistan tide over the issues that it would face after the withdrawal of the troops. However, Karzai is perhaps not comfortable with mere promises. He has recently said,

“They are providing us with money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down.”

Dear readers, what’s your opinion?

  1. After having spent 12 years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, should the NATO forces leave when the Afghan security forces don’t appear to be in control? (Read about one of the security breaches here.)
  2. Also, is Karzai being a tad over-optimistic when he says that he needs a promise of a couple of Billion Dollars a year, and he’d be able to control the situation?

Caricature/Cartoon of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the Defiant President of Iran

Presenting the Caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Defiant President of Iran. In this image, he is seen challenging the world with Iran’s nuclear program (that he has supported all through these years as the one directed towards peaceful nuclear energy, but has recently begun to use for issuing threats of retaliation – especially to Israel,) with Russia and China as his friends.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran - concept - nuclear power and weapons, russia china as allies, blockage of straits of hormuz

Caricature – President of Iran – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – copyrighted image – For permission to use/licensing, please contact.

Ahmadinejad’s Brief Profile

He was born in the family of a blacksmith, in the year 1956. He was a good student who became a civil engineer, worked as a Professor, and then became the Mayor of Tehran. However, this wasn’t the end of Ahmadinejad’s achievements.

Iran has a political system that’s quite different from the systems followed across the world. Iran has two leaders. The first and the more powerful leader is the Divine Leader (also called the supreme leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who isn’t elected, and who remains the supreme leader all his life. The Supreme leader controls the Military, the Media, and the Judiciary. On the other hand, the Democratic leader is elected by people and doesn’t have as many rights and powers as the Divine leader.  From 1997 to 2005, the democratic President of Iran was Mohamed Khatami, who had differences with Khameni, and Khameni wanted him replaced. This is how Ahmadinejad became the president.

Ahmadinejad’s winning Formula

Ahmadinejad always tries to be like the people that he represents, and perhaps this is why he got elected in the first place. He shuns luxury, and he even dresses up like a common man (note the missing tie).

Iran, Ahmadinejad, and the World – the Thought behind this caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran has recently been making news by asserting its right to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. US has imposed sanctions and has stopped importing oil from Iran, later EU followed suit. However, there are some countries that continue to support Iran. The most important of them are China and Russia (that also explains the shield in this caricature.) Ahmadinejad also made news by saying that if the sanctions were effected then the Strait of Hormuz that have the highest traffic of oil from the oil exporting countries, shall be blocked.

A POA for the New Year…and some Birthday Wishes – A Personal Post…

…and so you may want to skip it. I heartily recommend that you check out the Caricature Gallery and if you are the reader-type you may also want to checkout my Verbal Caricatures (the eBooks.)

The first week of January is a wonderful time. It’s filled with fresh hopes and new energy, and for me it’s doubly so, as my Birthday too falls in the first week of January. I thought it’s time for me to reflect upon the journey of this blog and also to share my blogging plans for the year 2012.

The Journey so far…

I had started this blog on a foggy December morning. It’s only goal was to bring me some happiness, as I wasn’t really doing well – neither financially nor physically. The act of drawing had always brought me happiness and peace but I had almost never done art commercially…and caricatures – I had never done caricatures before I started this blog. In December, this blog turned two. It now has about 80 caricatures of different personalities supported by this caricaturist’s take on their lives, and it attracts a good number of visitors too.

I made some wonderful friends through this blog. I’d like them to know that I’ll always cherish their friendship. I am also working with two clients now – earning through art had always been my dream and I am now inching closer to my goal.

This past year, I also wrote a book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” which I published on Google Knol (a Platform that’d be put to sleep April this year), and which got about 55,000 views, earned me a Top Knol Author badge, and was appreciated by its readers.

Another addition to this blog was the Interactive Art Tutorial Section, which didn’t really get sufficient attention from me, as my job kept me busier than usual – yet, the these interactive tutorials were downloaded 2000 times in the last six months and I am hopeful that people liked them.

The Plan for 2012

  • The plan is actually that this blog will retain its organic format. I will try not be tardy in posting to this blog and I will try to make at least two posts a week.
  • In 2012, this blog will see more of color-caricatures and I may also do some political caricatures and cartoons.
  • I am planning to do some How-to Posts that have been planned on the basis of some feedback that I received on the “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” book – for instance, how to do shading in caricatures, how to establish volumes in drawings…etc. I hope that my readers will find these posts helpful.
  • I also hope to find a publisher for an expanded, more detailed, and more richly illustrated version of the book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist.” I was approached for it last year, but things didn’t work out. However, if you are a publisher who’s interested in publishing the book, please let me know.
  • And finally, I want to become a more active blogger. I’d like to visit more blogs, find bloggers who I’d like to read, and make some new friends in the New Year.

I guess that’s all 🙂

Once again, I’d like to wish everyone a VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

 

 

Cartoon/Caricature – Barack Obama lugs the debt burden across a shaky rope!

Click here to view the caricature of President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term 🙂 (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)

I often wonder how tough it must be to carry the burden of the mistakes made by a whole lot of other people…and then I also wonder how much tougher it must be to zip up and not blame anyone for it, because “officially” you are the one responsible for the mess and also for the cleanup!

A few months ago when the US Congress debated whether the debt ceiling should be raised, and when Standard & Poor’s slashed the credit-rating of the US from AAA to AA+, this is exactly what went through my mind…and so, when my client sent me a requirement for a caricature/cartoon around the concept, the following caricature of a harassed Barack Obama happened 🙂

Political Cartoons - Caricature of Barack Obama, the US Debt Burden, and S&P reducing the credit rating to AA+

Created for The Suit Magazine – Issue 43 (Copyrighted Image – Please don’t use without Permission.)

Published: The Suit Magazine – Issue 43 – August 2011

I have a lot more to share…

Will be back soon:)

Caricature/Cartoon – British Prime Minister David Cameron

Presenting…

David Cameron,  the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom!

(No. Not James Cameron…and yes, there are many differences between the two Camerons!)

The Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch of the British Prime Minister - David Cameron - The Leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister of the United States!

David Cameron - The Prime Minister of United Kingdom!

David Cameron’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

(Sometimes I wonder what I rest this claim upon – but never mind for it doesn’t matter!)

According to dear Wikipedia, my primary resource for matters of all kinds juicy and dry (read Entertainment and Politics, respectively), David Cameron was born in 1966 (yes, he doesn’t fit the stereotypical politician’s mold with a stoop and wrinkles,) after 4 years of his parents getting married. For the British, ancestry and titles are often more important than the man himself, and Cameron doesn’t fall short of either. You can read more about David Cameron’s ancestry here, but for now it would suffice to say that he’s got a touch of the royal blood in his veins as he has descended from King William IV, who at time time of his death had no legitimate children.

I couldn’t find a lot of colorful details about Cameron’s education or career, so let me fly past all those years that he spent polishing himself, joining the Conservative Party, and land in the year 2000 when he was selected as a prospective candidate for Witney. As a Member of the Parliament, Cameron meticulously attempted to associate himself with anything that was controversial – for example Ecstasy, the drug with some colorful effects, and Gurbux Singh,  a Mona Sikh (A Sikh with his beard sheared off!). His journey to prime-minister-ship began in 2005. The end of his journey presented the UK with their youngest prime minister in 200 years, whose inexperience and youth became the subject of satire and cynicism.

Dave, David, and Tony:

David Cameron has often been likened to Tony Blair in his early years of leadership. And though Cameron doesn’t like to be called Dave – he often is, especially by his critics…”Call Me Dave” drafted on the lines of “Call me Tony”.

David Cameron – Views, Interests, and other Tid-bits:

  • Prime Minister Cameron refers to himself as a modern compassionate conservative.
  • He wants teaching to be “elevated through more stringent criteria for selecting the teachers.”
  • When criticised for using drugs for recreational purposes he said that everyone was allowed to “err and stray.”
  • He loves to cycle to work – unfortunately, he keeps losing his bicycle to unscrupulous star-struck bike-robbers.

David Cameron’s Personal Life:

Cameron is married to Samantha Sheffield, who belongs to an equally wealthy family. He has two daughters and one son.  He lost his first son to Ohtahara syndrome.

David Cameron Quotes:

  • You’re an analogue politician in a digital age <<To Gordon Brown>>
  • we are all human and we err and stray.
  • I want to be the voice of change and hope. I want to confront the big challenges this country faces.
  • We’re in a very different era now. The style then was right for then, and a new style is needed for now.

Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature, Exhibition at Nasher Museum, Durham, NC – We want More Caricatures in our Newspapers!

Caricatures show us what isn’t obvious, by using visual and/or verbal exaggeration. Thus, they wake us up from our peaceful slumber by poking us with a funny wand.

Check out Edward Sorel’s caricature of the “Clods.”

Nasher Museum Caricaturist: Edward Sorel Caricature: Clods Bush US politicians

Edward Sorel, "In Clods We Trust," 2007. Pen, ink and watercolor, 20 x 16 inches. Appeared in Rolling Stone, June 29, 2006.

Did you read the Newspaper this morning? If you didn’t, I recommend that you find it now, and go through it page by page. Don’t read anything. Just look. Do you see those pictures? Now classify them as photographs and illustrations. What’s the ratio of the two in your newspaper? I did the same exercise and discovered that the ratio was 42 to 3 or 14 to 1! Among the three illustrations, there was one “tree”, one “cartoon”, and only one “caricature.”

Now time-track back about a century and a half! Close your eyes and try to see the newspaper? What do you see? You see a lot of illustrations, cartoons, and caricatures. You see meanings being loaded into the faces and the bodies of the politicians – suddenly, you find yourself viewing an interpretation of an event – and not its snapshot! A caricature is not just the picture formed on your retina, it is the picture understood by the mind – and the newspapers in those days were full of caricatures and cartoons…hilarious, sarcastic, witty, biting, caustic, romantic…the newspapers then were more alive!

So meet President Bush and President Clinton in this caricature by Gary Varvel, and wonder how a photograph could’ve caught this caustic humor.

Nasher Museum Caricaturist: Gary Varvel Caricature: The Suits of George Bush and Bill Clinton

Gary Varvel, "Which Suit Most Offends Democrats?" 2003. India ink on drawing bristol, 11 by 7.5 inches. Appeared in The Indianapolis Star.

But this is my opinion…and I am a caricaturist! You form yours. If you are in or around Durham, NC, and you are inclined towards the visual arts, you’d be interested in the exhibition “Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature”, which is currently on at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. It began on February 04, and will continue to May 16, 2010.

Even if you aren’t in the vicinity, do visit: http://www.nasher.duke.edu/exhibitions_caricature.php to initiate a new line of thought, and wonder whether we need to review the function of caricatures in the newspapers of today.

After all, all of us have our own reasons for everything, as this caricature of President Bush and an Iraq War Veteran by Rob Rogers, illustrates.

Nasher Museum Caricaturist: Rob Rogers Caricature: Bush and Iraq War Vetran

Rob Rogers, "Iraq Forced Me to Give Up Golf, Too," 2008. Ink on Grafix 32-L Unishade Board, 12 3/4 x 9 inches. Courtesy of Rob Rogers and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

With this I rest my case for MORE CARICATURES in the newspapers!

Important Note: The three images used in this post have been used with explicit permission from the Nasher Museum. If you’d like to use them, please contact the Nasher Museum for permissions. Thanks.

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