Brainstorming – Fantasy Novel Setting

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As I’m going to the UK for a holiday in August and I’ll also be doing a writing course with David Farland, I’m preparing my story and brainstorming in advance.

One of the things I’ve had to work out is the setting.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried to create a complete fantasy world and I want dragons to be a big part of the story so the setting has to have dragon territory in it.

Without giving away too much of my thinking on who my characters are and the conflicts that I am considering, I thought I’d show you my first attempt at a world building / setting map.

It has several dragon territories and a couple of human settlements. It also has wolf territory. That appeals to my imagination big time. I’m quite excited about where my wolf idea might go.

I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop. It’s been a day of figuring out mega and some minor setting options and filling in ideas for potential characters that could grow out of the setting and their conflicts.

Happy creating – whatever you do!

How to See & Draw using Negative Space

Well … I said I’d do it and I’ve done it.

How to See and Draw using Negative Space on Skillshare

How to See and Draw using Negative Space on Skillshare

After a month of learning and multiple attempts at shooting video, I have finally created a short Skillshare art class called, How to See & Draw using Negative Space.

It was quite a challenge to work out how to break down the steps of how I see and draw negative space around an object, but I did it in the end and I wanted to share this with you.

If you’re interested in checking it out, please click this link.

Thanks for stopping by!

S

 

A little bit of skull action

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Three skulls created with indian ink in my visual diary. Artist: Selina Shapland

Three skulls created with indian ink in my visual diary.
Artist: Selina Shapland
Created 15/3/2018


Tonight I came home and decided it was time to do some art. So I got online to my new favourite creative site and did a great class on Skillshare.com about how to draw skulls. It’s taught by this amazing artist/graphic designer, Jon Brommet. He broke the class down so it was easy to pick up the nuances of drawing a skull to rough proportions and he encouraged me (or his students) to break out and build on the basics and to develop their creativity through quick, rough sketching.

I admit, I haven’t had time to do every exercise but I will get around to it.

But for now, here’s a sneak peek at a little bit of skull action I did for my class project.

I’m really happy with my drawings.

They are all drawn with graphite pencil and black ink pen. The ink pen is water soluble so I’m thinking of adding some Indian ink to the design and making it pop off the page. We’ll see how I go.

Anyway, I had a great time and that’s what I think art is about. Fun. And embracing the journey of expressing something personal without chasing picture perfect perfection.

My Creative Projects

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A while ago I decided that I’d let my art slide by the wayside just a little too much and so I found this fabulous site called skillshare.com. I joined and took a few short courses on art and had a great time.

On one of the classes, I put up a project of a drawing I did of Miss Poppy (once she finally went to sleep on the end of my bed so I could draw her).  I loved the drawing.

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There it is above.  I didn’t think too much of it. I just moved on to the next creative project in my life – learning how to write a love novella (or as the course is titled, a Lovella).

Then I got invited to do a teach challenge in March on illustration and I thought … what would I teach?

And then I thought … why not!

Then I thought … Oh My God/dess, what have I signed up for?

But I won’t grow if I don’t give these things a go, right?

So my creativity is amping up again in both my art and my writing. I’ve been learning how to do videos for the online course that will be published through skillshare.com and I’ll share my link with you when I finally do get it finished and ready for viewing.

The worst thing is that I’ve got a cold now which has knocked me about and I haven’t been about to video without sniffling. It’s a lot of hard work learning how to cut these things out while keeping the video going.

My online course is tentatively titled, How to See and Draw Using Negative Space. I’ve got a class outline written up, done a video for the introduction and the ending. And I am working on demonstrating drawing negative space to show out a positive object can pop out on the page. I’ve always found this a great way to approach drawing objects that my brain gets stuck on as symbols.

You know, like when we were kids and we would draw a box with a triangle on the top and that would be our symbol for a house? Sometimes my left brain tries to take over and make symbols on the page and I get paralysed. So, that’s when I start looking at negative space.

In my other spare time, I’ve been plotting a short romance between a part faery/part human and a human detective. It’s coming together but I’m not a big romance writer and the romance plot has to take front and centre on the stage with this story. Usually, I write a fantasy/paranormal action plot and have romance as my secondary plot. My stories are very character driven and all about the lead woman stepping into and owning her power.

I’ve noticed that I’m developing a story style and particular type of author’s voice. Having said that, my stories are different in their plots. It’s just an interesting parallel that’s been happening.

In a previous post, I’d mentioned that I was writing a story on Wattpad. It’s called, The Living Death of Toddy James. People were reading the parts I’d published and were asking when I’d finished. I felt terrible cause I couldn’t write it as quickly as my readers wanted it. But now, I’ve finished it and it’s up on the site for beta reading and feedback.  I kept my word to my followers – yay me!

I’m going to leave the manuscript on Wattpad for a while and see what happens, and after I come back from my holiday in the UK in August/September (2018) I’ll submit it for editing and feedback.

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I’m super happy with The Living Death of Toddy James because I feel that I have written a fairly tight plot and there aren’t any tangents (that I can identify). My teacher and editor advised me not to spin off on tangents and I did my best to apply that rule in this story.

Oh and I am so very excited because I will be going to the UK to study (once again) with David Farland in Oxford. I’ll be taking his Fantasy Fiction seven day intensive course and I hope that when I’ve been through this course that my imagination is fertile ground to complete the story in my mind which has dragons and angels and demons and magic in it.

Living in Australia makes it tough to get a sense of how to write a castle and make it realistic since we don’t have any architecture that is steeped in that type of history like the UK.

After my writing course, my partner will be flying across to meet me in London and then we’re going to zip over to Paris for a day and then on to a bus tour of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  I can’t wait to visit the Scottish Highlands. I admit it. I’m influenced by Jamie Fraser from Outlander (the show and the book).

I’m learning so many new things, from writing to art to video production to working a mic to video editing. This is turning into a very creative year!

 

My New T-shirt from ShaplandArt Shop

I just received my new ladies fitted t-shirt from my RedBubble online shop. It’s got my ‘love bunny’ on it and I am so happy with the design and the way the print has come out on the t-shirt.

The ladies fitted t-shirt fits nicely too.

My bunny is a play on the valentine’s theme. He’s cute and giving flowers and hearts. I think this drawing is about sending myself a little bit of self-love. Self-care is a big theme for me at the moment and I’m so excited to share my art with you.

I couldn’t be happier.

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Reading Healing Tarot Cards

Today is the third day of the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival and I’ve been giving mini readings with my new set of healing tarot cards. You can see them in the image above. They are extremely symbolic and filled with archetypes that get to the heart of the things that hold people back in life.

It has been fantastic because so many people have received accurate messages and gone away with a richer understanding of what is happening for them in life than they had before. I rarely understand the context of what comes through but really, the messages are not for me, they are for the person who wanted the reading in the first place.

The tarot is a tool to guide and provide further information when people are seeking but I also encourage people to listen to their own intuition and connect with their own guidance to see the lessons in life that are coming their way.

I guess that’s why I like this set of healing cards so much. They help get to the core of the unseen issues people may have been denying in themselves.

I am certainly stepping out of my comfort zone. One by doing public readings and two by charging for them. I’m also stepping out of my comfort zone by writing about it here on my blog. But I am who I am and I am living as much of an authentic life as I can. It’s no good advising others to do such things if I do not do this myself.

I’ve had a long standing love for Spirituality, psychic stuff, the paranormal and Spirit. I don’t often talk about it and it can be challenging for me to put myself out there but I am listening to my own guidance and I am trusting in Spirit to help me along the way.

Not only am I doing small tarot card readings for people, but I am also writing paranormal fiction stories that channel my love of all things paranormal into the lives of characters and let them explore the conflicts of the human condition.

Understanding archetypes, symbology and the universal conflicts/lessons on the human experience help both with tarot reading, art, creative writing and (for me) living a fulfilled and authentic life.

So a big thank you to every single person who took a chance on me at the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival and got a tarot reading. You rock and special thanks to the two ladies to encouraged me to stop practicing and step into my power, surrender to Spirit and charge for my time while giving my readings.

I cannot truly express the depths of my appreciation to you and to Spirit for what I have received.

Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival 2018

My best friend, Edward Spellman, wrote a spiritual memoir about his life (and spiritual) experiences called Uriel’s Gift. It’s a book about his spiritual experiences in life after a near death experience. That’s only the beginning and the book has many levels to it. I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone and can be challenging to some people but to others it is also a beautiful expression of a relationship with the Divine.

Regardless of the book’s content, it’s tough getting indie published books out into the world and into the hands of the people would most like reading them. It’s also a learning curve for every author. And we are learning, growing and adjusting course as we go.

So as part of being a bestie to Edward, I’m here at the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival as his wing-person. We’re in day two of the three day festival and there are so many different things for people to see and participate in. It’s a very positive atmosphere.

There are so many people flowing past the desk. It’s amazing to see. Some people are interested and enthusiastic to read Uriel’s Gift and some not too keen. Who knows, maybe they are looking for something else at the festival, maybe they aren’t keen on reading, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is connecting with people and sharing and making them aware of a new reading option on the market.

I hope that each person finds what they are looking for, whether that’s a meditation, an intuitive reading or some good food for the body and soul.

Here’s a couple of photos of our time so far.

Above: Here I am with Edward on the first day of the Mind Body Spirit Festival at Brisbane.

Above: Here’s an image of Edward at the stall with copies of his book.

Above: Here’s a photo of Edward having a chat with a visitor.

We’re having a good time. It’s so busy. I’ve had to stop writing this blog several times to chat to people about Edward’s book.

I’ve also jumped out of my comfort zone and done a few free tarot readings for people. The deal’s been … they have to give me honest feedback on what rang true for them so I can gauge my ability to read symbology. It’s been quite an interesting experience.

At one point, I had a crowd of people around, all of them listening in (which was great) but also … a little distracting for me. I lost the tread of what I’d been saying but that in itself was a good lesson. I rarely ever give a tarot reading to anyone outside of my close personal friends. So this has been a day of growth and stepping out of my comfort zone on so many levels.

Whether you believe in something greater than the self doesn’t matter. I think what really matters is that people are curious about things seen and unseen in life and having the ability to be open while also questioning what rings true for them is most important.

Art-ing again

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I’ve had a big break from drawing, painting and pretty much anything that equates to visual art. But recently, I’ve needed to feel my pen and pencil glide across the page and see immediate results of my creativity in action.

Writing novels is great fun but it is a long (and sometimes lonely) process. I can’t show it to you, you would have to read every word and immerse yourself in the story to see it, feel it, sense it, experience it. But with art, you can view an image and have an immediate reaction.

My artwork is very much a personal expression tool. I’m not the best of the best at it, but it’s who I am at any given moment in time.

So here’s me through images at this point in my life.

I’m obviously animal obsessed. Maybe that’s because animals accept me for who I am and don’t require much from me? Maybe it’s because (for me) animals are safe for me on an emotional level. I don’t know exactly, but I feel drawn to them in my artistic expression.

Last weekend, all I did was draw and play with watercolour paints and some new alcohol based ink markers. I watched a few art classes on Skillshare.com and picked up some tips but mostly, I felt inspired to create visually again.

There’s nothing worse than looking at a blank page and wondering… “What am I going to draw, paint, sketch?”

Some of the above images have been put through Gimp and cut out and put on t-shirts at RedBubble under ShaplandArt. I’m not the best with digital image manipulation and always have to go to Google to figure out the next step. It takes ages but I eventually end up with something on a t-shirt that I’m pretty happy with.

I guess I can only improve.

 

Romance Love Rabbit T-Shirt by ShaplandArt

Romance Love Rabbit T-Shirt by ShaplandArt https://www.redbubble.com/people/ShaplandArt?asc=u

Dream Interpretation, Art & Writing

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I’m starting this blog post off with some shameless self-promotion. Today I got inspired and made a youtube video on how you can use dream interpretation to help you with your art and writing.  Or … at the very least, I had a go at it.

Here’s the video.

I had loads of fun making it. I’m not sure I uploaded the first version with high enough definition but this is all about learning and growing into new skills.

I took a short course, How to Make a Great Talking Head Video (even when camera shy) by Lucy Lambrlex on Skillshare.com and this is my first attempt after the class.

I hope you enjoy it and pick up a tip or two that will help you with your creative expression.

Red Bubble and me

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I am super excited to share that I have just opened up a Red Bubble shop. My artwork will be appearing on t-shirts, skirts, cushions, cups, journals, iPad covers, phone cases and all sorts of other useful items.

It has been a dream of mine to see my artwork out in the world and (hopefully) in the hands of people who appreciate it.

I am stoked to share this news with you!

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Having an outlet to share my artwork in such a new way is very inspiring to me.

At present, I’ve only uploaded two pieces of my art but the awesome thing is … taking this action will encourage me to get back to my creative artwork. I’ve had a break for close to two years. It has been too long.

I love creative writing and I work on my stories every day but to see my artwork on t-shirts … well, I hope you can tell how exciting this is just by what I’ve written.

I’ve opened my Red Bubble shop under ShaplandArt because a long time ago when this blog was going through a previous incarnation, it was called ‘Selina’s World’ and I had ShaplandArt as my art brand name.

Anyway, here’s to creativity and sharing how it manifests in each of our lives.

Thanks so much for reading and for checking out my shop … if you’re interested, of course. And there are heaps of excellent artists on Red Bubble. Something for pretty much everyone.

Happy creativity – no matter the form is manifests in the world.