The Exiled Angel

This is a full length novel I completed writing back in 2011 and it’s a pure fantasy oriented novel. It took me two full years to complete writing and once I finished it, I was so thrilled to get it published!

I started searching and contacting a lot of publishing houses but didn’t succeed. Up until few years ago I constantly contacted different publishers and publishing houses but ended up having my story printed and bound waiting for any opportunity to publish it.

Along the way, I decided to reach out for an editor and came across FirstEditing.com where I got my whole story edited and proofread. It was so easy to work with them and the whole process wasn’t complicated or anything. Few week later, I reprinted the story after working on the edited parts then received a special ISBN number from The Kuwait National Library.

I wasn’t excited about self-publishing my novel. But noticing a lot of authors nowadays are self-publishing their own books, I have a chance to do that as well. However, I only have my book on Kindle format and for specific countries according to Amazon’s terms. I tried accessing it from Kuwait but it didn’t work for me.

fantasy

The time when I wrote my novel, I was completely indulged into the fantasy genre. I remember buying fantasy and sci-fi novels as well as watching fantasy movies. And the more I read stories like LOTR the inspired I am to write one myself. So with those ideas collectively in mind, ‘The Exiled Angel’ was born.

When I first started writing it, the whole storyline was different. Yet, I began writing to know exactly what I should be omitting and adding. At that time, I figured that it was best to be wrote from the very beginning. I wrote three times and the third is the last version that I got published.

The story is fictional fantasy novel and this is the synopsis:

The Kingdom of Tynra eagerly awaits the news of Queen Esna’s labor, but little do any of them realise that the birth of the newborn prince will change the history of Tynra forever for the newborn Aalgil has a mark under his right eye revealing he is cursed. The terror and despair of this revelation threatens to tear King Meno, his queen and the kingdom apart. When Meno’s brother Rital arrives and sees his nephew has the same unique bloodline, meaning the cursed child of the generation has arrived, the men argue about Aalgil’s birth and destiny. Rital finally leaves, hatching a plot with the goal to ultimately overthrow Meno from his throne.

Aalgil’s older brother and heir to the kingdom is the five-year-old Jinai, who is forever seeking ways to learn about the world outside the castle and escape the clutches of his watchful servants. He is concerned about his baby brother and his seemingly inconsolable mother but continues to seek his own adventures. A visit to the village brings him into contact with Jegu, who works as a welder and challenges him not to give into the guards who have come looking for him. Jinai is somehow aware Jegu is not just anyone and feels a connection with him. The king also encounters Jegu when he goes into the village and it troubles him. Jegu himself lives a simple life with his foster parents and is not interested in gossip about the castle, but grows suspicious about the looks his parents exchange when the royal family is mentioned. He is also visited by a mysterious woman who tells him the castle will one day be his and he starts to but two and two together.

The castle prepares for the celebration of Aalgil’s birth but the baby is already proving difficult. His cries make the queen and servants dizzy and are loud enough to break windows. King Meno consults a book his father gave him containing family history in order to learn what to do about the curse, but some of it is so dark he can’t bear to look at it. His father also left him bracelets that were designed to protect the bearer with a golden light. Meno first used them against Rital when his older brother would not accept the throne had been left to him, but his attempts to use them on Aalgil fail when he is enveloped in black ribbons. The only one that seems to reach Aalgil is Handu, the daughter of the King of Fena who visits Meno just before the party. The accident prone Handu is able to quiet Aalgil’s cries by just touching his cheek. The visit also brings her into contact with Jinai for the first time and is the start of an unlikely friendship.

At the celebration of Aalgil’s birth the lazy servant Jenu continues to eavesdrop on the conversations between the royal families, slipping information to Rital who has attended without an invitation. Jinai catches him putting something into her hands and later confronts his uncle in Aalgil’s chamber. He doesn’t realise Rital has slipped the infant a potion but later finds a bottle with a mysterious substance inside. Jinai decides to try and identify what is in the bottle but his investigative journey only puts him on the radar of Rital’s companions who bind him with snakes and take the bottle. When Jinai returns home he overhears Jegu talking to the king and demanding to see his “mother”, Queen Esna. Jinai is shocked at this revelation but his father refuses to tell him anything. Jinai returns to his chamber where he is again attacked by snakes. This time one of the snakes is left with him and he is warned that it will bite him if he reveals anything he knows.

Four years pass and Queen Esna has become very fragile. Jegu has disappeared and her mother is dead. Esna has tried to follow her mother’s advice to love Aalgil so the darkness won’t grow in his heart, but Aalgil rarely speaks to anyone and is cold and distant. One day he sees his father’s crown and decides he wants it for himself and the thought makes him smile for the first time in his life. On his fifth birthday he tries to get the crown by putting pressure on his father’s hand and sending black ribbons to choke Meno. When physicians take him away to seal the curse they are stopped by cloaked men who kill them and take Aalgil away.

Three years pass and all hopes of finding Aalgil have disappeared. Meno is stricter than ever and travels a lot, often taking Jinai with him leaving Esna alone. During these travels Jinai meets Handu again. She is still clumsy and when her parents berate her at the dinner table, Jinai sticks up for her, later encouraging her to be the best of all of them. When Handu expresses regret at him leaving Jinai’s heart flutters. However, it’s not to be a fairytale ending for Aalgil returns to the castle much changed, and attacks and kills Jinai, then kills Esna when she attempts to reason with him. The kingdom plunges into mourning and the royal court seeks to exile Aalgil but he escapes. When he is brought before Rital, his uncle berates him for going it alone and persuades him to stick to their plan. Aalgil agrees but has already decided he doesn’t want Rital to be king.

Ten years pass and Aalgil is hated throughout Tynra. The Tynrans often stand outside the castle gates with flowers and candles, chanting mourning songs and hymns. As Aalgil draws nearer, Meno makes preparations for their final show down, reading the family book for the last time before destroying it. The other kings are also making preparations, sending their families to safer places. King Apin’s wife and daughters leave, knowing they won’t see him again. Handu is amongst them and while still gloomy over Jinai’s death, she is no longer a useless cry baby and thanks to the sword training Jinai gave her, and her gold bracelet, she is able to defeat a wolf like creature that attacks their caravan.
Aalgil puts his final plans into motion, killing the kings of Fena and Hilee, his uncle and trainers, before finally arriving at Tynra to meet his father. It is clear Meno is no match for him but the gold barrier from the bracelet works one last time and halts Aalgil momentarily. But when Aalgil attacks again he is able to stab Meno who drops dead to the ground and Aalgil takes over the kingdom.

Unfortunately, this is just the first part. I yet to write the second which I believe will be even more exciting. I am determined to start writing soon but after getting back to my fantasy/sci-fi genre mode. It’d been a long time since I read a fantasy novel. I founded my own company back in 2012 and since then I spent most of my time working. And the past two years I got into non-fiction books and enjoyed reading them. No worries, I won’t abandon this story no matter what. Even if it took me several years to finish writing it, better late than never.

Here is the link where you can buy the story:  The Exiled Angel

 

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Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus

I’m writing a different post this time. Not because I don’t have new designs or sketches to share with you, on the contrary, I have a lot more to post and share. However, it’s been a while since I wanted to share something different, more valuable than just post my paintings and the paints I used to paint them.

I used to read since I first learned how to read. English is not my native language, but the more books I read, the more I loved the this language. But up until few years ago, most of what I read were novels and short stories. My favorite genre has always been fantasy and thriller so you can find different fantasy novels on my shelf.

Few years ago, since establishing my own business, I decided to read more nonfiction books. At first, I found them a little bit hard to read since they were realistic more than the novels I read (obviously) but little by little I began to favor nonfiction books.

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Whenever I visit a bookstore, I check out the nonfiction books section then move on to the novels to see what’s new. More importantly, I’m writing this blog post to write about a particular book that I read and found it really useful. It’s called ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ by John Gray. Perhaps I’m the last person to read it but still reading it late is better than never. I saw it million times before and attempted few attempts at reading it but since it was nonfiction I didn’t know how valuable it was until I finally decided to read it last year. And the other reason was that I thought that as long as I was single it wasn’t necessary to read it until I get engaged at least, lol. But I was completely wrong. We’re living in a society so knowing how to deal with men has nothing to do with being single or married.

It was one of the lightest and fun books that I read in a while. I don’t remember exactly how many days it took me but I was determined to finish reading it as fast as possible. And as soon as I finished reading it, I started realizing why men behaved the way the did. I practiced it silently few times to find that the tips and explanations that John Gray mentioned were on point. I started noticing and understood men behavior more than I ever did. And from this book, I decided to read similar books especially the ones related to relationships and the like.

I don’t have much experience in dealing with men in general but I did deal with them since university days. But still, I don’t have to deal with strange men to understand the book or apply the tips he mentioned. We all are part of a family, so we have fathers and brothers. That’s where you start practicing before dealing with other men. That’s what I believe.

Throughout the years, shyness always got the best of me. That’s the one trait that I couldn’t and can’t get over completely and it’s fine, but if it subsides a bit, I believe I have more opportunities to express myself naturally. It’s true that I’m not as shy as I used to, but what stops me from dealing with men in general is not knowing how to exactly start a conversation with them. You know when you’re stuck not knowing whether what you’ll say is all right or not, that’s what I feel whenever I’m having a conversation. Also, I consulate get stuck in the middle of the conversation not knowing what else to say or ask. Sometimes, you say things spontaneously but the person in front of you misunderstand or misinterpret what you’re trying to say. So for years I became extra careful as to what to say and whom to speak to. There were a lot of times when I remained silent hiding most of my thoughts and what I wanted to say so that no one misinterpret me. However, what I realized was it wasn’t wrong to express yourself, and it wasn’t wrong to say what you have in mind, rather, the wrong thing is to remain silent for this will create a bigger misunderstanding.

Being careful is a must but also being a little bit spontaneous and natural is a plus. John Gray opened up my mind to learn more about relationships in general as well as the art of conversation. Those things that I needed to read about years ago but I always thought that it wasn’t that important to dive into such books. I always thought that we all know how to socialize with others without the help of such books but I was completely wrong. We go through different experiences and encounter people every single day. You won’t get the answers you need unless you dive into the essence of your problem (whatever problem you have). If you have problems in relationships for instance, try reading these helpful books or reach out to a specialized person rather than complaint about it to others all the time. When you deal with your problems this way, you will get over them faster I believe because you focused your energy on solving your problem than complaining to friends and others and at the end of the day you find yourself drained out of energy. Cry and mourn, it’s not wrong but get up on your feet and see where’s the fault and start solving your problem.

If you haven’t read the book I do recommend it for you guys. It’ll show you some of the aspects you’re missing in your relationship. You’ll understand more why your man is acting the way he does enough that you almost won’t get frustrated all the time.

 

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Seoul 2017

As they always say, there is a first time for everything. That’s exactly what came to my mind when I went to Seoul on October 2017. It was during my birthday too! What a coincidence, lol.

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My family and I stayed there for three days and we resided at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square ( JW 메리어트 동대문 스퀘어 서울 ). Since we were there for a short visit, I had to get out my list of places I wanted to visit and went out from morning till the evening.

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I was excited the most to see King Sejong’s ( 세종 ) monument and the Gyeongbokgung Palace ( 경복궁 ). I’ve been watching Historical Korean Dramas for years and for me to visit these historical places was really fun and amazing. I recorded as much as I could on Snapchat my whole visit but they’re gone already. I’m thinking of uploading a video on Youtube if possible. I really hope the quality will be good.

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JW Mariotte Dongdaemun Square

The next places I love to visit in any country I travel to are the cafes. I do know Seoul has good cafes where you can enjoy your time sipping coffee and I was right about it. However, I noticed that coffee in Korea is not as strong as other places like Japan and even here in Kuwait. The first sip you feel the strong taste of coffee but then it’s almost gone. I read an article regarding places to visit in Korea and the author mentioned the same comment about coffee in Korea. So I’m not the only one who noticed it. If you love drinking light/medium coffee you’ll probably like their coffee. However, if you’re a heavy coffee drinker perhaps you won’t prefer it. But what’s interesting is the coffee flavors. I remembered tasting Sweet Potato Latte which was really delicious. The taste of sweet potato was really strong which I loved. Since my visit was during fall it’s no wonder they offer such a flavor.

The other place that I really enjoyed was the Bukchon Hanok Village ( 북촌한옥마을 ). I loved walking around the place and shopping. It’s a place that I recommend anyone visiting Seoul to check it out.

In a later post, I’ll mention the cafes I went to with some information and details on where you can find them.

 

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Favorite Cafes in Japan 2017

This is my third trip to Japan and it’s as though I saw it for the first time! The only difference this time is the season. The first two times I visited Japan during Spring but this time I visited it during Fall with my family. And I was so excited that my sister finally joined us in our trip this time!

Although our whole visit was month but I still feel it wasn’t enough, lol. Especially when you’re already familiar with the language, culture, and places you don’t feel yourself out of place or a complete stranger. Japanese people are extremely friendly and they get extremely excited when I talk to them in Japanese. I really had a great time using Japanese language there more than I did before. I still need to work on it but I’m really happy that my understanding is growing.

Since I’m a coffeeholic, I set my mind to visit whatever cafe I saw interesting. I still have few places that I yet to visit but I’m leaving them for next time ;). I will share with you the wonderful cafes I visited and loved:

  1. Granny Smith

This has to be my favorite cafe. Usually, I avoid visiting the same cafe unless it was good enough that I’m willing to visit it repeatedly. Almost overtime my family and I visited this cafe there is a full line of people waiting to be seated. What they serve is coffee (obviously) and apple pies. Since it was fall season, the menu was different. The new flavors had to reflect the season. I remember trying their chestnut flavored coffee … it was extremely delicious!

Location: Aoyama 〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山5-8-9

2. Almond 

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My second favorite cafe. I loved the cafe’s atmosphere and they had beautiful selections of desserts and coffee. When I visited Japan last year, I tried their almond rose latte and since then I fell in love with this cafe! Again, since the season is different there were new items added.

Location: Ginza 東京都中央区銀座6-9-13

3. Honey Toast Cafe

Honey themed cafe. I loved the concept of this cafe and enjoyed their honey latte. They also served honey toast but I didn’t try it. It was huge and suitable for two or more people.

Location: Akihabara 1 Chome-1-10 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan

4. Arabica

I knew the origin for this cafe was Japan but I had no idea that I might come across it! While my family and I were walking towards the Bamboo forest, we came across Arabica. The concept and theme were similar to the one here in Kuwait but sadly they didn’t serve Spanish Latte which was strange. Still, I loved their coffee. The other thing I had to mention is that the place is too small so grabbing the coffee to go is a better choice!

Location: Kyoto, Arashiyama 3-47, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku
Kyoto 616-8385 Japan

5. GongCha

Sometimes when you get lost searching for a place has its own benefits. We came across this bubble tea cafe/store in Shinjuku. It was in one of the inner streets but was full of customers. I really loved their selections and their hot bubble tea was delicious.

Location: Shinjuku 6 Chome-6-2 Jingumae

6. Azumabashi Parloir 

Again, a cafe surrounded by some restaurants and stores that anyone can miss. I didn’t that it was a cafe until I peaked through the windows and read the name. Curiously, I entered and was right about it. It was a quite and cosy cafe that feels like home. I extremely loved the ambiance and would certainly visit it again in the future if possible.

Location: 3-6-15 Azumabashi Sumida Tokyo

 

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Copic Markers and Acrylics in Fashion Illustrations

I used to paint my illustrations with comic markers (especially when I first knew about them) before using acrylics and watercolors. Whenever I explore a new painting technique or new paint/marker, I notice how the final result for my illustrations change as a result.

Since I used to daily draw and paint, I don’t always notice the changes in my illustrating style. However, when I finish painting I always get amazed by how I improved. Also, I noticed how different the feeling of each illustration is when using copies vs using acrylics and watercolors. If you paint a lot, you noticed which is painted with copics and which was painted with acrylics. I’ll post my recent illustrations which you can look at and compare the results:

 

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Pink dress designed by Malyarovaolga

 

 

fashion illustration
Zendaya at Met Gala 2017

 

 

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Marchesa resort 2018.

 

 

 

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Marchesa resort 2018

 

Those were my recent illustrations where you can view them on my Instagram account: @Anwaar.saleh. Also, whenever I draw a new fashion illustration, I usually cover up the whole painting process on Snapchat: Artistakw.

Below are few illustrations using acrylics.

 

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Gemini Inspired Fashion Illustration

 

purpledress
Cancer Inspired Fashion Illustration using acrylics

 

Did you notice the difference?

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Fashion Illustration with Copic Markers

It’s been a while since I used copic markers for my fashion drawings. I was so fascinated by the metallic and pearl pigments which made me divert to acrylics and watercolors. But yesterday, as I looked at my fashion drawing of Demi Lovato at the VMAs wearing Zuhair Murad’s black lace bodysuit, I thought why not paint it with copies this time? And that was basically it. I loved my painting in this particular drawing which made me think of recording a new video for my Youtube channel. I was abroad in the past two weeks which explains the lack of videos and tutorials. But since I’m back, I’ll try to post as many as I can. I also decided to give a short one-day workshop to teach people how to draw fashion illustrations (I really hope it goes as planned this time, though).

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So, I used a lot of markers to add more details on this illustration. I published this post to show you my way of painting and mention the exact markers I used. By the way I usually record the painting process on Snapchat: Artistakw. You can follow and watch the stories before they disappear.

Basically I start with a pencil drawing. The more details I draw the better when painting and coloring. Because it’ll show you exactly where to add darker and lighter shades.

Colorless Blender 0
Pearl White E41
Salmon Pink RV42
Warm Gray No.00 W00
Cool Gray No.9 C9
Barley Beige E11
Baby Skin Pink E21
Light Orange YR02
Dark Brown E47
Black Bullet Nibb PITT artist pen 1,5 from Faber-Castell
Grey Cold Grey VI PITT artist pen B from Faber-Castell
Cold Grey III PITT artist pen B from Faber-Castell
Patio Fineliner 0,4mm light brown
Staedtler brown fineliner
White Gelly Roll marker

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I used almost 4 markers for the skin while the rest are for the bodysuit and hair. The finaliners are normally used to outline the illustration and for drawing small details. IN my previous illustrations I used less markers but sometimes I use acrylics to add more details and give my illustrations that metallic and pearly effect ( which is my favorite btw 😀 ).

You don’t have to use the exact same markers I used for there are different colors and shades you can use for your illustrations. You just need to know which tones work well when painting. And if you have any question about the process or the markers please leave a comment or email me with your inquiry.

 

 

Face Painting with Patterns

So … I’m out of country and that’s the main reason for the lack of updates. I really was planning on writing a different post but it’ll take longer to finish. That’s why I decided to update my blog wit this post instead.

For the past few months I experimented painting on different mediums. That includes paper cups, mugs, and my face! Because of the past few trips I wasn’t able to record a lot of videos, but I’m planning on shooting a new one with me painting my face.

Since it’s all for fun and to both experiment and develop my art skills I used cosmetics to paint patterns on my face. Some of the products I used aren’t pigmented enough for the kind of patterns I drew and the artistic effects I wanted to apply on my face.

Here are my latest attempts with the products I used:

I entered MAC’s competition with this image <3.

The one below is digitally designed using Adobe Photoshop:
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Positivefull

I can’t believe it!

I had a lot going on this year that I seem to forget about my blog!!

Although I’m active on social media but I don’t know why I’ve been posting less in my blog during the past few months. I’m constantly trying to balance between life, and work but I can’t seem to find that balance yet. Every once in a while I’m introduced to new experiences, meeting new people, and advancing in my own business especially through developing my artistic and designing skills. Lately, I’ve been experiencing constant changes a lot. And you know how much time it takes for you to adapt to the new changes only to be introduced to yet new changes. But the good thing is that I got back to reading books like I used to but this time I’m reading new genre which is Self-Improvments books.

I feel that at this point in life, I truly need to read such books. They help regain our balance from time to time. Sometimes, we’re just busy with life and such that we forget about tiny things that affect our lives. Getting caught up while running my own business makes me really want to reflect back to my life and evaluate the life I’m living right now. Did I achieve my goals? Do I need to change my goals? Am I happy with the life I’m living?

When we’re a little bit down we become pessimistic. That’s why at such time we only reflect on the bad experiences we encountered, negligence, or even the things or people we lost. But believe me, if you put those thoughts aside and think positively on how to change your life to a happy and healthy life, these pessimistic thoughts and memories soon vanish.

If you watch me on Snapchat or Instagram I always post the books I’m reading and sometimes I review them. But here I’ll post the book(s) I’m reading as well as a couple of other books that I want to read:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (currently reading)
  • Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins (currently reading)
  • True Happiness by Dr. Mark Atkinson (read)
  • The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Konda (currently reading)
  • Spark Joy by Marie Konda (to-read)
  • How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have by John Gray (to-read)
  • Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (currently reading)

I will try to review each book in upcoming blog posts and perhaps even capture few pages from the books. And just like how I am alway inspired by people around me, I want to inspire you too and help you find your happiness.

Since I wrote a lot in this blog post, I will post my newest designs and illustrations in a later post. Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram and Snapchat to know more about my daily activities.

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Painting Hatayi Motifs 2

 

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Last week I finished recording the last video from painting my Hatai motifs. I used different materials to show you the difference in each one of the painted flowers. You can’t tell the difference until all the paint dried for sometimes when painting with pigments, the paint seems pale a little but when it dries you see it shimmering wonderfully!

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Also, there are types of pigments which I’ll talk about in one of my Youtube videos soon.

For the third motif I used the following materials:
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+ Giotto brush n.4
+ Solo Goya gold acrylic
+ Gold pearl pigment ( 鳩居堂:KYUKYODO ) // You can substitute this with any other gold pigment from another brand.
+ Brilliant gold pearl pigment ( Jacquard Pearl EX Products )
+ Winsor and Newton mini watercolors palette
+ Liquid Arabic Gum
+ Auto eraser

And this is the painting process video:

As for the last video here are the materials used:
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– Liquid Arabic Gum
– Solo Goya gold paint
– Japanese gold pearl pigment
– Plakkaatverf light gold 802
– Winsor and Newton mini watercolor palette

And this is the video:

Stay tuned for more videos!

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