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:

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Google has a neat search engine which allows us to search the internet to see on which websites our images are used. Here's a few interesting sites using drawings I made:

Micheal O. Tunnel's children's book Moon Without Magic. This fascinating book uses part of an illustration I made called A Little Near East Town.

This picture sold alot during the Muslim month of fasting known as Ramadan. Here's some information about Mr. O. Tunnel's book:

The lamp is gone! Aminah can't believe her eyes when she opens her hidden closet to find the jinni's vessel missing. As much as she hates to suspect her dear friend Idris, he is the only one who knows how to access the magic lamp, and now he has run off. But somehow Jinni is left behind, trapped outside the lamp and devoid of his powers. He is traumatized by this event and finds himself changing from acting like Omar, the kindly uncle Aminah trained him to be, and Gindar, the greedy gambler he was back in his human days. When Aminah and Jinni set off after Idris, Aminah wonders which one of Jinni's personalities will accompany her on the journey--and how they will ever manage without magic. As it turns out, they must rely on wits, bravery, luck, and a bit of sorcery from an unexpected source in order to survive thieving bandits, pirates, and their biggest challenge of all: Princess Badr, who seeks not only the lamp, but also revenge.

This French language website GreenEtVert used my Staring At Death illustration in a story about fossil fuel pollution in our precious oceans. They were also very gracious to give me a credit under the image. In today's "if it's on the internet it's gotta be free" mindset, I was surprised (and grateful).

Next, was a big surprise. My best-selling royalty-free illustration, Boulders, was used by a roofing company as its logo. The Ohio-based White Rocks Roof Services seemed to really like it!

The most distressing part of my discoveries, however, is that many of the religious themes which promote positive images of Muslims are used on so-called Muslim websites that did not purchase the image. Some of them still have the watermarks imbedded by the agency from which the blogger stole it—thank God! I will not share those here because I don't like to promote this kind of conduct.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Historical Accuracy in Religion

Resurrection Day
Muslim Holy Man
Historical accuracy is not something we humans are prone to pursue. Yet, in art, it can be easier to to accomplish than in words.

Still, we need a source—of which there are many. In particular, I wanted people to question the common belief that famous people of Near East religions were Northern European in appearance.

Obviously, my drawings portray them as quite the opposite.

War Torn

Anti-War Woman
Mutually Assured Destruction
Big Fist
With the capture and killing of the infamous Osama Bin Laden, I sent a message of encouragement to President Barack Obama to end the occupation of Afghanistan. I have very little confidence he nor our Congress will comply. Nevertheless, I made my statement.

Yet as an artist-in-training, I am not satisfied with sending an email message. I wanted to make some pictures. Here's some of my ongoing pieces illustrating war and power.