Making of Haltabees Poetry Book

as usual, the best part for me, is to share the making of the book with you :)
this book is the second book in the series "Haltabees" so i used the same mixed media technique that i used in the first book. however, the color palette is brighter and less contrasty.

a basic version of spread 1 inside the book. later, i changed the hierarchy of the elements to give more importance to the "Kebbe", a traditional lebanese food item. i added more depth to the illustration by adding the blurred background and the light with uniform shadows on all other elements.

spread 1 done.

in spread 2, "Abd l Halim Hafez" was mentioned in the text and i was lucky to have bought before this disc from an old library in Hamra so i took a photo with the sesame background. however, i was not happy with the foam effect.

chasing balloons in the studio was hectic. but at the end, i managed to avoid blurry photos. tx Kevin :)

spread 2 done & dedicated to mOmO and Egypt :)

i wanted to illustrate a telephone so i used this vintage phonebook that i bought for free from Jounieh, where i live :) i changed the original latin numbers into arabic numbers with a twist of love.

taking photos of Haltabees was a main step in the process, but it was harder this time coz Haltabees, the clay character is getting older so the clay is becoming dryer :s
i used different patterns from gift wrapping for the background of the illustrations.
tx to Hanane & Ashley for posing :)

spread 3 before applying textures to Lamees and without Haltabees.

spread 3 done.

some Luxury objects found in a shop called "Tansa" in Jounieh. the owner of this shop was not sure about my interest in Dentelles :)
to the right, the making of the castle done from cardboard and clay.

finishing the castle but from one view only. you can see the mess from other views.

spread 4 done.

the title page

the sherpa proof from the printing press to make sure of the colors.

za parents checking the printed book but it seems they are more happy with the camera than the book.

the biggest assistant ever Mr. Pierre Boutros.
a BIG thank you for Hanane Kai who assisted me in the research and illustrations for this book. i love u Hannouch !

Launching of za second book photos

last saturday, 27 feb. 2010, was the launching event for my second children's illustration book: "حلتبيس حلتبيس، أشعار من سمسم وخيار". This time it s a poetry book for children; a new adventure with the author Rania Zaghir published by al khayyat al saghir.
we were supposed to celebrate in the streets of Hamra, Beirut, facing a pub called Dany's. it was raining, so we moved inside, to a small warm room in Dany's. i was tired, coming back from a looong meeting and an animation workshop @ Zico house. i forgot all my hectic day when i saw Tania Saleh and her lovely kids Karim & Tarek sitting in the pub listening to the amazing Mashrou3 Leila rehearsing on the new songs they composed based on the poems of the book. i love this band, and hearing them singing the text inside the new book was a beautiful experience ! Thanks Mashrou3 Leila !
shway shway, the place became more and more crowded till it was filled with lovely people and one more time, love was in the air, Cucumbers and sesame as well :) Thanks for all the beautiful people who attended the event, who called and sent messages and for my friends in Egypt, Jordan... you are a huge support ! i love u all.

lovely people

lovely band Mashrou3 Leila

Launching of za second book :)

ok, this is the brochure for the launching of my second illustration book : "حلتبيس حلتبيس : اشعار من سمسم وخيار". the text is for Rania Zaghir and published by al khayyat al saghir. this time, it s a festival with the live sexy lebanese band Mashrou3 Leila. all the details are attached, enjoy :) i ll be waiting for you, so 3eib ma tejo ;)


"Sahbeh" is a project by Mona Merhi, funded by Beirut World Book Capital and with the support of the Ministry of Education. This project helps integrating the concept of reading in the lebanese society. the approach is new; the book will find you !
"Sahbeh" is an old lebanese gadget that used to be distributed for children in shops as a random gift. "Sahbeh", now, is a mini-book that will be distributed in public areas such as supermarkets and some schools (everyone throws away certain coins - 50 l.l. and 100 l.l coins - because this amount of money buys nothing and no one would like to keep it. therefore, instead of supermarkets giving coins that nobody will use, the cashier will offer sahbeh mini book).

The mini books contain excerpts of books (novel, poems, short story, essays..) the latter are either written by famous writers including locals and internationals.

"فضيت مشطين" & "تصريح" are two short texts for Soha Awwad, selected by "Sahbeh" project to be published. I illustrated the two texts and here are some previews of the book and the illustrations.
Enjoy :)


اتصل بي المرجع الأعلى منذ قليل.

يبلغ تحيّاته للجميع.

لا معركة اليوم.

عودوا إلى بيوتكم و ارتاحوا.

اكتشفنا أنّهم ناس أيضًا.

لا نستطيع قتلهم. عيب ما بجوز.

سنبلغكم أيّ جديد،

حالما تردنا الأنباء.

ابقوا مستعدين. بنادقكم نظيفة.

و شكرًا لتعاونكم.

"فضيت مشطين"

أترى كل هذه الغيوم في السماء

و الدخان المتصاعد من أنوف الجثث؟

كل هذه الفوضى أنا مسوؤلة عنها.

إليك ما حدث:

بعد الظهر فضيت مشطين

برأس مستأجر في حاجز يريد التدقيق

بالكلمات المكتوبة على قميصي

و حذائي و كلساتي و أقراط أذنيّ...

فضيت مشطين برأس عاطل عن العمل

يبشّر بحلّ للأزمة الراهنة،

ببناء دولة المؤسسات، بالافراج عن كل المعتقلين،

و بالسلام العادل و الشامل في المنطقة...

وينتظر مني أن أرسل له معاشه عبر البريد

كي لا يضطر أن يواجه الواقع في الخارج.

فضيت مشطين برأس كل يقطينة في الحقل نضجت قبل آوانها

عندما أمرها قائد زواريب اليقطين بالانفجار.

كلّهم، أجل كلّهم متساوون

أمام رشاشي الجديد الملمع.

كلّهم، دخان أبيض عندما أكون مستعدّة.

و أنا دائمًا مستعدّة!