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.


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.


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.



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!



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.


The Strangeness of Writing

I’m going through a strange…ness lately.

At the start of December 2017, I was exhausted. So tired that I couldn’t think straight and I didn’t want to write my stories for a while. So I put down my iPad and my Scrivener and my latest story, The Living Death of Toddy James, and started reading.

I read the rest of The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes and loved it.

Screenshot 2018-01-03 12.39.53

Then I started reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. It’s so beautifully written and the narration is so delicious that I find myself fascinated with the way Alice Hoffman has used the omniscient narrator to capture the Owens women’s lives on the page. The story isn’t at all like the movie with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. There are similarities and resonances between them but the two versions are stand alone stories, related and similar in genetics but not close enough to be family. They’re more like distant cousins.

So when I finally said farewell to 2017 and welcomed in 2018 (by sleeping through it – yes, I’m that much of an old nanna already) I decided it was time to get back into my creative writing. I finally started to feel that tingle in my mind and in my fingers, telling me it’s time to write again. But I didn’t want to push it, so I made myself have one more day of rest. It was new year’s day after all.

Then on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 I got on the train to go to work again. I pulled out my iPad and rewrote a part of the climax of Toddy James. It felt good to get going again and I wrote most of the way into the city.

But then this morning, I fell back into that abyss of strangeness where I couldn’t write. I sat on the train, flipped open my iPad and keyboard and … nothing. I couldn’t get a single word moving. Alarm bells rang inside my mind and all the anxieties rushed in to fill the void.

Sometimes that scares me. I’m scared because my mind races around and wonders if I’ll ever get through the labour of giving birth to this book? Will I ever deliver this book? Not that anyone is actually waiting on it, so I shouldn’t be all tied up in knots about getting it done, except to say that I committed to finishing the manuscript and I want to do what I said I would do.

My mind races a little more: Will I ever get my writing up to publication standard? Will I ever finish a story that people will enjoy reading? Why am I persisting?

So many anxious thought racing through my mind, they paralyze my fingers on the keyboard.

In the end I listened to an audiobook and chilled out. At times like these, that’s all I can do. My psychologist has taught me that these moments move through us like clouds through the sky. Clouds move with the atmosphere and are not stagnant and neither are emotions. Fears pass. Happiness passes. Difficulties pass. Everything passes because nothing is permanent.

This moment of strangeness will pass and I will move through it and I will keep writing because as my partner says, “Selina, you can’t not write. It’s in your blood.”

It’s just when the moments of nothing-ness happens fear rises up and stalks me like a beast in the darkest of nights. It breaths heavy on me, pants on the back of my neck and raises the fine hairs. All of my senses tell me that my shadow is stalking me.

I know my shadow self is watching and waiting. Lurking.

Sometimes I am afraid to face that shadow but deep down, I know that my shadow is my greatest teacher. She is the unseen and many treasures await in the depth of darkness. She challenges me to go after what I want and to stand up to my fears and move through them, move past them.

I will make it through the moments of darkness and I will step into the light where everything will work out and the words will flow again. Sometimes it’s about taking a leap of faith and taking a mini-break and accepting where I am in life.

In a strange way, I love my shadow self because she is so rich with opportunities to learn about who I am and where I am going in life.

I hope 2018 is a good year for you. I’ve got big plans this year. Plans for my writing and I am sticking with it because I love stories and I’ll keep coming back to the page. I’ll keep showing up and we’ll see where things take me. No pressure, just persistence.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy creating.


I really should be writing my novel



I have the day off work and I’m sitting in my cattery, in my wonderful big green lush comfy writing chair and … I’m surfing the internet and cyber… do I call it, stalking? Or is it that I’m really just a fan? Curious, inspired and interested about my newest fav author?

Anyway, I’m choosing to call it: cyber-checking-out. I’m sitting here cyber-checking-out Marian Keyes’ website because I bought her book, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and I’m loving the ‘courageous, vulnerable and wasp-tongued‘ female protagonist Helen Walsh. It’s a great read – at least it is for me. I say that because it starts off where two of the main character’s sister and her friend are talking about having a breakdown together, as though it’s a wonderful opportunity for a holiday.

I found it quite amusing and I identified with the main character straight away because I think I too have a ‘shovel list’ and an inner black comedy when it comes to certain things in life. Like when certain people sit not just next to me on the train but on me. My brain goes to all sorts of places and I often have amusing thoughts, the likes of which are not suitable for polite company.

So according to the back cover of The Mystery of Mercy Close, ‘the Shovel List is: a list of all the people and things Helen hates so much she wants to hit them in the face with a shovel.

Wow – I often have this monologue inside my head, talking to me and commenting and noting the things and people I wouldn’t mind smacking in the back of the head from time to time. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I do. I have it. I think we all have something like that going on inside us… unless, of course, you’re a syrupy sweet sickly person who never ever thinks a ‘bad’ thing about anything.

If you’re that kind of person – lucky you!

Unfortunately, it’s not me. I try to be good in life. I try to say and do the right thing. I try to be caring and compassionate to others. I try to keep some of the things I hate close to my heart and bury them, but sometimes, under all that pressure, I still know that I just want to slap some people in the head and walk away from them. I want to tell them I don’t care about their problems, I don’t want their help, I don’t need to be mothered – because even though my mum has dementia, I still have a mum and I don’t need mothering!

I don’t tell them that or rarely will I allow such things to spill from my lips.

Oh no, I keep it wrapped tight as a mummy on Halloween… until the object of my frustration has pushed me to breaking point and then I can’t articulate properly and all the stuff I’m feeling comes out jumbled, or in the form of “f@ck off” which happened all too recently. Only then does my own ‘waspish tongue’ start to buzz and sting. I try to control it but I’m not always successful

Then, after the event I feel guilty that I said what I said. And yet, sometimes I feel justified in my response. I am, after all, only human and I can only take so much in life when things are stressful. That doesn’t excuse my own behaviour but it does put things into perspective, if you know what I mean?

Anyway, I should be writing my novel. I sat down here to specifically write 1800 new words or so of my novel. I started, then I felt hungry, so I ate. Then I got interested in Marian Keyes again (because she is funny, interesting and adorable and watching her vlog makes me feel happy) and then I thought, I just need to write this blog, so here I am punching out my word count on the blog rather than my novel. It’s not that I don’t want to write my novel. I do, and I am. It’s just that sometimes things resonate so much with me, I just have to share… I want to share it with you.

So now that I’ve written this blog and shared my terrible secret… that I’m human, I make mistakes and sometimes I just don’t want to care about all the drama of other people and their lives. Now that I’ve shared that I’m totally inspired by Marian Keyes and her quirky sense of humour, I feel I can focus my attention on my novel in progress, The Living Death of Toddy James.

My novel is moving along at a cracking pace right now. I’ve been writing new words every day for fifteen days now, and I’m in the middle of writing chapter 20 and things have got pretty hard for Toddy. She’s trapped and I’m not sure how she’s going to get out of her current predicament but as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, I reckon she’ll show me the way and we’ll be off. Her moving through the action and emotions and me following her every move and scribing her thoughts, feelings and reactions on my Scrivener page.

Writing a story is hard work but it is also very exciting and a lot of fun.

I must go now. I have new words to write and Miss Poppy, my rag doll cat, aka ‘The Novelist’s Little Helper,’ is calling me to get her and bring her into her cattery (her queendom).

What can I say … I am at Miss Poppy’s command.

Thanks for reading my blog and for following me. I hope you have a great day, wherever you are in the world and that you take one more step toward realising your own passion in life.