Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Book: The Swedish Girl of Motala

In this second children's book, I describe how a Swedish child of African immigrants becomes a leader in her city. This story illustrates a serious social problem in Sweden, while presenting solutions within a story of hope and inspiration. Ages 4-8.

The Swedish Girl of Motala is available for purchase at Lulu.com.


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New Book: Knös, the Giant

If a giant born from an egg can save a king's daughter from a 10-headed troll, you can do anything. However, you need a few swords and a couple of good friends to get you through it.

This little book is my adaptation of a famous Swedish fairy tale of the same name. There are only a few differences between my version and the classical story. The most obvious difference is the hero has dark brown skin and curly black hair. Also, one of his friends is Asian. Other than that, it's really no different from the original.

Sweden is a beautiful land with beautiful people. However, it is suffering from problems related to skin color and religion. I hope this book helps Swedes learn to live with and tolerate each other.

Knös the Giant is available for purchase from Lulu.com.

You may preview a few pages from the book below.


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Emotions Run Wild

There are so many things that can bring out the worst in us. It's like a disease lying dormant: Given the right circumstances or environment, it can flare out into something that we will truly regret later.

Here's a collection of images I created that illustrate the various degrees of anger and what it can lead to if it's not corrected.










Caricature Exploration




The standard dictionary definition of the word caricature doesn't quite get it right: Caricature is a picture, description or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

Well, I would say a caricature screams at the viewer. It invokes passion—either negative or positive (sometimes both, depending on the world-view of the viewer).

For art class, my son and I have been exploring the world of caricature creation. It has really opened up new concepts and forced me to let go of quite a few inhibitions. This is truly been a great experiment.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keeping Busy

Along with the regular microstock illustrations, I am currently working on a few book projects. Needless to say, I am busy. Not too busy to share a blog post, however.

Exchanging Gifts
Man Reaching Down
For the past few months I have been using a program called Manga Studio EX 4 to create a lot of "ink" drawings on the computer. Since my photo retouching and teaching work hasn't really slowed down and I'm trying to squeeze as much time into the least space available, going slightly digital with the black lines has made it easier to juggle everything. As of late, creating artwork from pencil and india ink has been a luxury for me. When I do it, it's definitely therapeutic.

The Manga Studio EX program is very "real" to me. That is, the
interface is more like real drawing. Trying to draw on a computer is difficult for me. This program has made it easier. I basically only use it for black line work. I still do all my color work in Adobe Illustrator. I am sure I'll learn more as I go. Yes, I still draw with real ink and paint. Nonetheless, the digital way has been a pleasant experience.

The above images were created using Manga Studio quite efficiently. They are currently for sale to use in your publication or blog from The Black Rhino portfolio at Dreamstime.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fun with Words

In a set of images inspired from famous idioms of American culture, I really got a good opportunity to challenge my creativity.

We all have heard about the "Starstruck" person. This was the easiest one to create.
Starstruck People







Stairway To HeavenAs a child, some of my most vivid memories of heaven or paradise—in the context of a place believers in God go after they die—was a giant apartment building in the sky. Although my drawing has more "regal" Eastern type of mansion, I really wanted to portray a peaceful place isolated from the cares of the world.














Pants On FireAnother childhood image was the saying "liar, liar, pants on fire!" This was clearly "easy" to create. However, with some 2-dimensional flames behind and in front of the 3-dimensional pants gave it something unique.





 Have you ever been told "Get your head out of the clouds!"
Head In The Clouds 

Head In The Clouds 

King Of The Hill  What about "King of the Hill?" So many ideas came to mind for this one and they all seemed to flow into this pompous king, alone on a hill!

Certainly, any discussion about power, leadership and controversial issues is like opening a "Can of Worms."

Can Of Worms

It's too easy to be skeptical when it seems like everyone you talk too doesn't seem to understand you. It's like "Talking to a Brick Wall"

Talking To A Brick Wall

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ninja Attack

While I was working on the computer, I felt thumping on the back of the chair. I turned around. Just a few feet behind me was a little person in a ninja uniform. On the floor were rubber shuriken. Yep, I was just ambushed by my son, the ninja. This one is dedicated to him:


Fierce Ninja Throws Shuriken
© Photographer: Theblackrhino | Agency: Dreamstime.com