Tales of the Kingdom Illustrator: Zhivko Zhelev

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: Zhivko ZhelevAs we near the end of our Kickstarter campaign, we are thrilled to introduce you to Zhivko Zhelev, the illustrator for the new editions of Tales of the Kingdom! You’ve been seeing his breathtaking illustrations all over our blogs and Kickstarter page and now we want you to get to know him as we have.

It isn’t a surprise that Bulgarian artist, Zhivko Zhelev, was chosen as a winner in the Tales of the Kingdom art competition – or that he was chosen to be the new illustrator for the trilogy. Artistically talented from a young age, Zhivko entered his first International Competition at age seven and came in fourth place. During his teenage years, he studied at a fine art High School and went on to attend the university where he studied informatics and continued to develop his abilities as an illustrator. Today, living in beautiful Plovdiv, Bulgaria, he continues to work diligently to enhance and improve his skills.

“I have a broad spectrum of creative areas I like to pursue,” he explained when asked his favorite medium to work in. But, while he loves to draw in virtually every medium, he usually finds himself coming back to oil and acrylic on canvas or digital painting.

Zhivko has a passion to draw anything connected with Fantasy. However, the thing that inspires him the most is nature. “When you think about it,” Zhivko explained, “you can find virtually everything in nature. That’s why I LOVE to go out in the wild when I need inspiration.”

To determine who influences his work the most is no easy task. Zhivko admires a wide range of artists, from Salvador Dali to Norman Rockwell. At this point in time, Zhivko aspires to do either a movie or an AAA game title, as he feels either of these would influence many people. Because the Tales of the Kingdom trilogy is so well loved and has been so influential, he feels that becoming the illustrator for the new editions is a big step toward fulfilling that dream.

Zhivko now has more than eleven years of professional experience in the art world and has been a designer and illustrator for many projects including books, music album covers, movie posters and more. He has been part of many exhibitions in places like Vien, Austria where he displays his traditional artwork – and his photography! Photography is Zhivko’s hobby. He describes himself as a “passionate photographer” who likes “more mountains than the sea”.

While art is a major part of Zhivko’s life, his family is his pride and joy. Zhivko says attending university gave him “many great contacts, including my wife, the most good and beautiful contact ever”. Together, he and his beloved wife have a four-year-old son, whom he describes as “the most cool, funny, and curious”!

Like so many others, Zhivko wants to encourage those who are just beginning to pursue a career in art. He has great advice that comes from his own years of experience. He challenges young artists to “Never stop trying – even if success doesn’t come quickly” and to “work hard and advance yourself by improving your skills”. He reminds them that, “in most cases, work beats talent. It’s 90% work and 10% talent. If there is a recipe for that, that’s it”.

You can view Zhivko Zhelev’s online portfolio and see one of his incredible illustrations for Tales of the Kingdom by going here.

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRAND KIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Zhivko’s captivating, original art!

If you would like to back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here.

Featured Artist: Wid Saputro

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: Wid SaputroWidhi Saputro lives in Jakarta, in his native country of Indonesia. Although he excels at artistic concept and design, it is even more remarkable that he has never had any formal training. Widhi recalls that his passion for drawing developed in early childhood. He simply loved drawing. He gained skills by watching how other artists worked and by using the internet as a learning tool. As he prepared for a career in architecture, he found that he could not dismiss his passion for creative art, so he began to apply disciplines learned in his architectural training to further develop his artistic talent.

Though his early work was produced along traditional lines, he realized that he could leverage the power of the digital age by rendering his artwork on his computer. Widhi is quick to note that mastering artistic skills is a life-long process. He continues to study caricatures and classical, Renaissance and Indonesian art to gain a greater understanding of style, perspective, color, and composition. In addition to his personal work, Widhi makes a living as a creative design artist in an animation studio.

Because his first love for art developed by reading children’s books, Widhi was delighted to become a part of the Tales of the Kingdom project through 99 Designs. He expressed his appreciation, saying that he was thankful for “how open minded [we were] about his exploring various themes and approaches,” and how we helped him to improve his skill sets.

Widhi, we appreciate you also. We are proud to include your work in the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar and Poster and we are thankful that we have been able to get to know you.

You can view Widhi Saputro’s online portfolio and see his incredible illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar and Poster, by going here.

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!

If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here.

Kickstarter Artist: David Lojaya

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: David LojayaOne of the age-old questions we face when it comes to an individual’s development is based on the theory of “nature or nurture.” In the case of David Lojaya, one of the artists who is helping with the new Tales of the Kingdom artwork, it most definitely is a case of “nature.”

“I have known,” Lojaya shared in a recent interview, “that I wanted to be an artist since I was five years old when I did my first drawing.”

Lojaya, who lives in Lampung, Indonesia, self-trained up through his teen years, and then went to the university and majored in animation.

“Interestingly enough,” Lojaya added, “neither of my parents are artistically minded, but my siblings and I all took art related majors for our education.

Lojaya, who is hoping to find employment outside of Indonesia, currently works as a freelance illustrator. He has learned that 99Designs, where he located the Amanda and the Dragon Illustration Project, serves as a good source of work.

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: David LojayaLojaya shared that the most exciting part of the project was getting to “build” the characters from what he read, while the most challenging part was determining what kind of art would be suitable to the client. He said he was most appreciative that he was able to receive such good advice in regard to what was expected of him. He also shared that the project took him a mere five hours, from sketch to finished project.

You can view David Lojaya’s online portfolio and see his charming and dramatic illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar, by going here.

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!

If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here.

It Is A Joy for Authors to Receive Letters from Children

by: Karen Mains

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter CampaignIt is a joy to receive letters like this one, written on lined school tablet paper where the envelope is addressed with a pencil:

Dear David and Karen Mains,

My name is Calvin. I am seven years old. I love your Tales of the Kingdom series. I read it at lunch every day. My favorite book is Tales of the Resistance. I like it because it has a lot of action. Sincerely, Calvin.

Did you get the fact that Calvin is seven?

It is a joy to receive letters like this one, hand- written by close friends’ son when he was in his early teens:

Dear Uncle David and Aunt Karen,

I’ve read your second book! (Tales of the Resistance, which isn’t really your second book!) It’s gotta be one of the best books I’ve ever read! I really want to encourage you guys to write a third! The concepts and principles as well as the excitement and adventure make it fantastic, but I could of expected that when two geniuses like you get together! Right now I’m on a plane over Utah writing this letter after just finishing reading your book. I’m dying to know what happens with Amanda and Hero!—so please hurry and write another one! Well, I gotta go! I just want you to know what you’re doing in my point of view is really going to benefit the Kingdom! Keep up the good work!

TO THE KING! TO THE RESTORATION!

Love, Shadd.

Did you get the fact that Shadd (who now has his own adult novel circulating with an agent) was in his teens when he wrote this?

I weep when I receive letters like this, typed on professional stationery:

Your books Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance have meant a great deal to me and the people I help. I am a psychologist working with Satanic abuse victims most of whom were raised in multi-generational cults. One of the ways I have found to reach into their shattered lives is to read to them out of your books. Now, reading stories may not seem like your vision of psychotherapy but since I encounter many cases of multi-personality disorder, it is necessary to do quite a bit of re-parenting and teaching. Your moving stories provide a deeply stirring way to reach this need. Enclosed is a drawing that Mary E.—one survivor—drew about story time at my office. She identified with many of the characters but none more than the girl in the pig pen. Doubletalk seemed all too familiar, but it was good to know that the King knew about such things.

Chris lived a life of terror and isolation. She eventually developed a fantasy world of her own. Her idea of God and mine were very different. God touched her soul when the King entered the world of the carnival in your story—even if I had trouble making sound effects like fireworks—BLA-CHEW-AH!

Did you notice the age of this writer and the clients he was helping? They are all adults. That’s why we say that the Kingdom Tales Trilogy is written for children of all ages. They are written to reach the child in age and the child within.

Perhaps you can also see why we are working so hard (and bothering you all with notices) to get these books back into print. Not only do all ages—children, teens (college kids) and adults love them, but many somehow when used by skilled hands, in many lives, the power of the Enemy (the Enchanter) is defeated.

TO THE KING! TO THE RESTORATION!

Become a Backer by going here.

Kickstarter Artist: Irina Voloshina

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: Irina VoloshinaIf you are a mastermind when it comes to World Geography, then you might know exactly where Irina Voloshina hails from!  She currently resides in Chisina, the capital of Moldova – a small country in the geographical center of Europe between Ukraine and Romania.  Through the miracle of the Internet, however, she was able to participate in the program of seeking new art for The Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy.

“I have been drawing my whole life,” she shared when asked when her interest in art began.  “In fact, I always found it easier to ‘draw’ than to ‘tell.’”

With such a close relationship with art, it is not surprising that she graduated from an Art High School, and then went on to the Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute in Lviv (Western Ukraine), where she became a Graphic Designer and Illustrator.  Her full-time occupation finds her designing packaging for meat and dairy products, concentrating on the advertising aspect of the packaging.

“I particularly like to work with ink line drawings,” she explained, “because that medium does not allow for corrections.  Rather, one must be especially precise and focused.”

Irina came across the Tales of the Kingdom competition at 99 Designs after a former student forwarded her the link.  She has participated in other such competitions, always enjoying the creation of characters.

“I found myself especially affected by this project” she shared, “as I had real empathy when the girl had to destroy that which she had helped to grow up.  Much of my free time and money are dedicated to taking care of homeless dogs, many of whom I have dealt with from birth, so I had special feelings towards this project.”

Irina describes herself as reticent, satisfied with a place to work; books to read; and a sense of peace with those she loves – her family and the animals that need her!

You can view Irina Voloshina’s online portfolio and see her amazing illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar, by going here.

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!

If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here.

Kickstarter Artist: Roni Nurak

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Artist: Roni NurakWe found that when we put together our contest in 99Designs that we were working with artists from all over the world.  One such artist, Roni Yulianus Nurak, is a big fan of the Website, not only because he has an opportunity to win assignments, but also because he enjoys immersing himself in the huge community of designers it provides, allowing him to test and improve his skills.

“Too,” Nurak, who was born in Indonesia but now lives in Bandung, West Java,  added, “I have the opportunity to learn lessons from not only the artists in Asia, but from artists all over the world.”

Like so many of the artists who competed in the 99Designs contest regarding the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy, Nurak has been pursuing his skills and talent in art since he was in elementary school.  While he enjoys working with pencil and paper, he also enjoys computer design.  In fact, he is most interested in discovering what new things can be accomplished with graphic design, illustration and animation.

“The Tales of the Kingdom project,” he shared, “allowed me to develop a project in my own unique style.”

One of his favorite parts of the assignment was the fact that Tales of the Kingdom is not only an excellent read, but so effectively brings the Christian message in a non-overbearing way.  He knew that his efforts would help to provide inspiration for all those who read it.

His challenge, as he worked, was to create a quality illustration that would correspond to the core story.  He accomplished this by first presenting the character, and then developing the “atmosphere” the illustration presents!

You can view Roni Nurak’s online portfolio and see his incredible illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar, by going here: http://pin2art.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html.

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!

If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kingdomtalestrilogy/the-kingdom-tales-3-illustrated-storybooks-that-ki

Kickstarter Artist: Zoltan Tobias

Kingdom Tales Kickstarter Zoltan TobiasThe artist in us all can be sidetracked, but it can never be eliminated.  That’s a fact that Zoltan Tobias, of Szeged, Hungary will readily attest to.  Though currently a university student who is about to become a medical doctor, Tobias still pursues his love for art.

“When I was ten years old,’ Tobias explained, “I saw an extremely inspirational movie about a young child who was drawing comics.  And,” he added with a big smile in his voice, “I discovered that I could do the same thing.”

Like so many artists around the world, Tobias is self-taught.  He prefers digital art, but when dealing with more traditional mediums, he is attracted to markers and ink.  While searching online for digital paint jobs, he came across 99 Designs.  He followed through with signing up because he realized it presented him with a number of promising projects, opportunities to improve himself, and good financial offers.

“I think I was probably attracted to the Tales of the Kingdom project because I have been fascinated by dragons since I was a child, making this an obvious choice for me.”

This particular project did prove to be a challenge for Tobias, especially creating Amanda.  While most of his projects are completed in four to five hours, this one took closer to eight, due to the fact that he made several changes to the piece as he received feedback about the art he was producing.

You can view Zoltan Tobias’ online portfolio and see his incredible illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar, by going here:

When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!

If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here: