Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013


It’s been an interesting year. I just took stock of all the artwork I did – the good, the okay, the bad – and the number comes to 744.  This doesn’t include the unfinished work set aside for rethinking. I’ve also managed to finish the first drafts of two fantasy and one YA novel – 30,000 words each right now, but the final works will be between 50,000-75,000 words – and I’ve four picture books nearing completion.

2013, if all goes according to plan, will turn out to be more productive.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sparrows


I have some new friends. Here’s one of them.  When I wake up and go to the kitchen at dawn, they are already waiting in the window and set up a loud, complaining twitter, letting me know I’m a minute later than I was yesterday and they’ve been waiting for their breakfast too long. I get a cup of grain and they hop away until it is strewn on the window sill and then they fly back, twittering in appeased contentment. There are occasional flare ups and then there is some shoving and pushing and pecking at each other to get at the grain first. I remember what Charles Darwin said in ‘The Descent of Man’ -

“We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.”

I see the human passion for over-eating here, and I wonder where on earth they put it all away. Because the dawn feeding isn’t enough, they are there throughout the day. I have a strong suspicion that they have a lookout posted in the azalea just outside, and every time someone comes into the kitchen, an alert is given and the whole troupe arrives, chirping with entitled expectation.

They grow bolder and more curious every day. They come in and discover where the grain tin is kept. Self-service will be in vogue soon. They fly about and check the real estate. I wonder if they are going to move in and raise a family and make me an auntie.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creating an Effective Illustration Portfolio

IllusPortfolio3If you want to succeed as an illustrator, you will need to have an effective illustration portfolio. Clients will assess your skill level and decide if they want to work with you based on what you have to show in your illustration portfolio, and, for this reason, it is important to give a good deal of thought to what you include in it.

A portfolio is always a work in progress. You will always need to keep adding, removing, and improving to stay relevant in a changing market. A thing to remember though is that you cannot be all things to all people, and neither can your portfolio. You will need to streamline your portfolio according to the market or markets you want to work in.

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Quote of the Day– Absolute Statements

AbsoluteStatements1                                                                                               - From ‘The Sunshine Time’, my upcoming novel.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Illustration Friday–Whiskers


He teared up singing ‘Memory’ from ‘Cats’. It was one of his most favorite songs in the whole, entire world. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, he said, were total geniuses, and T.S. Eliot wasn’t too bad either.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Diwali


We got this lovely box of sweets for Diwali that I’d like to share.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our Take on Spec Work


It seemed like an email that would brighten up my day. An editor from a children's book publishing company had seen my work on my website, had liked it, and was now asking if I would be interested in doing a picture book for them. Further correspondence established reasonable payment terms, and the manuscript that arrived next looked promising. I asked them to send me a contract to go over and the editor said, “We'll talk about a contract after we've seen the samples.” It turned out that they were soliciting several illustrators for the same project. Each was expected to present two pencil and two color samples, and they were then going to make the hiring decision. I asked what they were going to pay for the samples, and the question seemed to surprise the editor. “The samples are for assessment,” she said, “Of course, we're not going to pay anything for them.”

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Sketchbook–Singers in Bhaktapur, Nepal


It was freezing cold and they made such beautiful music. It was a privilege to listen.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New Graphic Novel–My Ancestor Was A Vampire


Today being a very special day on the personal front, I’ve launched a new graphic novel called ‘My Ancestor Was A Vampire’ on the Maysun In C website. I'm going to try and update it on my website every Sunday.

The story is about an artist who gets a windfall - a castle filled with art treasures - from a distant, deceased relative. Unfortunately there's a catch to it - a catch that, I swear, has nothing to do with Robert Pattinson in any Twilight hour.

Sunday Trip–The Art Critique

TheSmartist - Art Critiquea

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Illustration Friday–Book


She wrote her book in a secluded grove. If the satellite camera hadn’t captured her, you would never have known she was there writing. The reason she wanted to finish the book was to find out what happened in the end, not because she wanted to go on a book tour. She didn’t want to be famous, although, of course, she wouldn’t say no to the pots of money that came with a best-seller. That would allow her to stay on longer in her grove and start on the next one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Illustration–The Island


This is the first sketchpen illustration of an experimental series. I’m doing these illustrations the same way I do the black and white drawings. Start with one element and then put in the others in compositional relation to the first. Plan nothing beforehand.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Illustration Friday–Identical


"Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. And be it gash or gold
it will not come again in this identical guise."

- Gwendolyn Brooks

Monday, September 3, 2012

Photo of the Week–Clouds


I had a nice, relaxing weekend.  My new rule is to stay away from the computer for the two days, except to upload the Sunday comic; I’ll probably set that up in advance the next time. The idea is to cut down on all the information overload and think about things, plan for the next week, and do the following:

  • Read
  • Work in the garden
  • Painting – Plein Air or Indoor
  • Papier mache sculpture
  • Music practice

It’s interesting how recharged I felt today, and what a lot I got done.

Friday, August 31, 2012

WIFI–Chinese Gardens


I’m deeply interested in horticulture and garden designing, and it’s always fun to come across videos like this one. It takes a look at some really beautiful Chinese artwork – and the influence of Chinese gardens on them.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sketchbook–Pencil Mug


It’s a mix of water-color, charcoal, and lead pencils. I have more, lots and lots more, in a box in the cupboard. Tomorrow I’m going to give them an airing. The phone is an antique that somebody gifted my father – obviously when the model was the height of fashion – and he said, here, you want it? So I have it and it’s my only handset – I’m a cheapskate and I don’t like cellphones. I sometimes think I’m the only person who isn’t glancing down at their hand in public.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photo of the Week–White Chafa


It’s a slower-growing tree than the other varieties, with rounded leaves instead of pointy ones. A neighbor gave me a branch four years ago, I shifted it twice, and it’s now near the back pond and about five and a half feet tall. The flowers are long-lasting, pure white, and have a lovely scent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Drawing–Black Leaves


I love doing black and white drawings, and, at present, I’m doing a drawing a day. The drawings are not planned beforehand. I just start and I like to discover where the line is going and what is going to emerge finally. Then I fill in the details. I was going to use waterproof ink, but the one I have has turned funny – stays sticky for some reason – and so I used black gouache here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What We Did On Sunday



Here are two pencil rough spreads from ‘What We Did On Sunday’. It is a story about two sisters who are left to fend for themselves one Sunday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Illustration Friday–Bounce


The house was empty when he returned that evening. She was gone, and he knew she wasn’t coming back this time. Suddenly he found it difficult to breath and his shaky knees gave way. He slid down in the corner and tried to think. He wondered if he would ever be able to bounce back from this blow.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Photo of the Week–Yellow Canna


I love, love, love Canna lilies. There’s something almost musical about their shape.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Illustration Friday - Carry



I met them in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. It was so cold and she said that her baby had to be kept wrapped up throughout  the year. He didn’t like being cocooned and kept flinging his booties and clothes off at every opportunity. He was a handful, she said, though not as bad yet as his older four-year old brother. He was two handfuls.

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