Posts Tagged ‘drawing’

Lately I’ve been busy with a new life at Bliss 104.3, where I write, edit and read the news; and host two evening shows, The Lounge and The Bliss Night Out.

I really love radio.

Radio was and will always be a love at first sight affair for this homo sapien thanks to Robin Williams’ Good Morning Vietnam. Working for Bliss really broadened my scope as a disc jockey. It is also pushing me to brush up on my rusty humor.

So … Creating gifs is a way to relieve the stress of this ephemeral life.

Below is an example of what I am doing. This is my Siren of Solitude.

She is simply asking,”wein el ba7ar / where is the sea?”


You can check my gif work at

Nothing fancy … just an aspiring illustrator playing around with Photoshop.

Until my next blog post …

Stay sound and sane :-})

Mike V. Derderian, a.k.a., Sardine

Teaser 3


So I finally got around to launching my Society6 store a few days ago. Hurray!

Recently I launched my 12th t-shirt with Mlabbas, the Tah Smiley tee, that you can see on the lower right of the above snapshot from Society6, so I realized it was time to go online; and hopefully beyond Amman, Jordan.

No, I am not swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck ;-})

With each new line I draw I learn more about myself as an illustrator. The illustrations that I’ve uploaded are the pieces that I think are good in terms of themes and execution.

Teaser 4

Society6 allows anyone to purchase my posters/prints/tshirts with the push of a botton – okay, now I am bordering on shameless self-promotion, which is in a way the objective of this blog.

I will soon get back to fighting crime; I promise ;-})

Until then … to visit my Society6 store just click on this blue … I mean red … magical link:

Good day all …

Sardine a.k.a Mike V. Derderian a.k.a A Brick in The Head 




Post Battle Graffbot by Mike V. Derderian - SardinePost Battle Graffbot by Sardine

Hey all!

Hope you are well: Sane, safe and sound in this crazy world.

A while ago I reworked an old sketch into a poster that was deemed a little too foreign for Amman’s local art scene. Here it is.

It is inspired by my foray into graffiti thanks to my friend and mentor Wize One Wesam Shadid, as a couple of months ago I was sent to the UK part of a seven day art exchange program with Wesam.

You can read chapter one of our adventure on this blog that I’ve created for the British Council, Amman, who have sent us there.

Since I have returned I’ve been drawing more, and doing some street art with Wesam around Amman.

Now back to the above poster! Bottom line: You don’t always get the job but that does not mean I am going to stop trying!  I really enjoyed producing this poster :-})

I love how it only sets the mood without any direct statements.

One’s thoughts are focused into what happened to her and what she is planning to do next.

Lately I’ve been illustrating a lot.

My career as a journalist is on a self-imposed hiatus along with some other factors, however, the writer within continues to write, whether on my Thoughts from Within a Sardine Can Facebook page or here on my blog.

The above poster will soon be available for purchase on my Society 6 store:

As for my other illustrations you can find those on my page

Good day all and thank you for taking the time to read my words and see my work :-})

Mike V. Derderian,

4, 9, 2014


Satan wept and wept.
Death’s scythe through his beloved earth mercilessly swept.

His black crystalline tears tore through the scorched earth upon which he knelt.
All the monsters, hydras, ghouls, djinn and demons, in his realm his anguish felt.

“I have no part in this! Do you hear me? I have no part in this! You have created monsters of your own!” his vociferous voice echoed.

No answer was returned.

Silence prevailed as Death gleefully cut through men, women, and children … young and old.

Satan wept and wept.

Were they tears of joy or sadness?
None dared ask!

When Satan Wept Humanity
by Manuel V. Derida, 1989

Good day all. I wish to thank those of you who still read my words; the words that are not echoing within the corners of this blog as much. It has been a strange year, and in the past few weeks it has become stranger.

The world is burning and one cannot but try to find some sanity through work.

When I have more words to add here you will be the first to know.

For more of Manuel V. Derida’s writings please visit Thoughts from within a Sardine Can Facebook page

Art: Satan by Mike V. Derderian, pencil and ink on paper, 2014.


Randomness over purpose. Mind over body. Hate not love. Lost. Found. Lost again. Not to be found. Have you seen my cosmic umbrella? losses. Don’t give a fuck! Give a fuck! Respect replaced with lack of thereof. Thank you for dropping – off  -my mask. In + Sanity=Out of mind. Out of Place. A fish out of water inside a tea kettle. Lines broken down into sentences that are trapped withing the lines of floating word bubbles that are about to burst and broken narration boxes hanging over the heads of unsuspecting personages, men and monsters, incarcerated within the frames of a deranged writer/artist, who is sick of his vomit.

The above is from my stream of consciousness pieces. I’ve been posting a lot of these pieces on Facebook. Almost forgot about this one.

I did the illustration while waiting for my colleague Moyad Jaikat to finish reading the news bulletin during my shift at Radio Jordan 96.3 Fm, where I have been working as a radio presenter/DJ/news anchor since 2003.

A visual blog post is coming your way soon. It involves Godzilla and a tough-as-nails geisha called Geisha L.O.V.E like the ones that you will find at this link:

Have a pleasant day all :-})

Batman by Sardine for Ikimuk FB
Na na na na na na na na na na na na … Batman!

To those of you who don’t read Arabic here is a translation of the above illustration.

Word Bubble:

Where are you?


My city calls …

Waynak?/Where Are You? is my submission to the Ikimuk, a wonderful t-shirt company based in Beirut, Lebanon, competition. This month’s theme was Arabian – or Arabized – superheroes.

In order for this to get printed it has to reach a certain number of orders … hmm … around 25. What am I saying?

I am saying that is available for order and if it is to be printed you have to order it before May 22nd. You can order it by pressing on this magical blue sentence

Why Batman?

At first I wanted to do a Geisha riding a toy Godzilla, don’t get any dirty thoughts now, but than I remembered I was supposed to draw a superhero theme.

The design that you are now looking at is the one I ended up drawing. If it weren’t for The Long Halloween comic book that was written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale I would have never dared to draw Batman in my own style.

I originally wanted to have the Bat sign to say “Waynak Ya *Khara?” or “Waynak Ya *KharaMan?” but I wasn’t sure I was allowed to.

Anyway …

I think I said enough!

Don’t forget to check out Ikimuk’s wicked designs that were made by some really awesome Arab illustrators and comic artists. Thank you Ikimuk for accepting it :-})

Lately, and part of my work as art director at Mlabbas, I have been focusing a lot on designing t-shirts and illustration. I’ve been submitting to Threadless and Design by Humans, where I now have a submission up for voting.

Yep, I am talking about Nachos of the Living Dead that I blogged about earlier. The voting process for this one is about the likes, comments and shares on Twitter and Facebook.

So why am I going through all this trouble? Well, for starters my agent got held up in a Mexican prison. He was trying to smuggle some historic luchador, wrestling masks, back to Jordan when he got detained. I think he got five years in a maximum security prison.

It is time to burn the afternoon candle from both ends!

P.S: Will post the Geisha riding on Godzilla soon.

And yeah, don’t forget to “order” my t-shirt as Facebook LIKES won’t get it printed ;-})



Nachos of the Living Dead

From the depths of the guacamole dip they rise and they have one thing on their worm filled dead minds:

Your brainzzzzz!

No! This blog post is not sponsored by Doritos ;-})

Consider this an absurdist blog post in an ever increasing absurd world.

Thank you for following and reading my blog  :-})

Mike V. Derderian,
A Homo sapien, a writer, a comic artist and a fierce windmill slayer trying to get a hold of a banana in a world governed by apes ..
Also known as Sardine

Illustration by Sardine

By Mike V. Derderian

A passionate embrace is flooded by streams of light. Gold yellow waves interspersed with darker shades the color of violet, red, orange and white engulf a man and a woman in a state of love.

Stand still, keep quite and watch the enamored couple; the only two who managed to find each other unlike the other men and women who roam the dream-like illuminated pieces of Hammoud Chantout, that are now hanging at Dar Al-Anda Art Gallery in Lweibdeh.


State of Life, that measures 145 x 120 cm, is but one of the many impressive canvases that Chantout’s hands created. It  conjures up Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Chantout’s two lovers are caught in a vortex of colors that embody the enlightenment that their love brought fourth.

Unlike the two in State of Life, a title that Chantout used with other pieces, the others appear to be aloof and detached. Viewers will find them standing next to objects that Chantout’s brush brilliantly produced.


Why is that male artist standing a few meters away from a red chair, while another, a female artist, is leaning on a rail amidst a haze of earthly tones?

Some of Chantout’s colorful personages, and I say colorful because uneven patches of color formulate their construct, are standing next to bright colored pieces of furniture while others are standing under trees that give away echoes of Africa.

Viewers crossing the entrance hall will find a set of six exquisite miniature tableaux to their right. Chantout cleverly created a landscape broken down to six pieces. Each pieces tells part of a story that could have happened anywhere around the world. The architectural edifices that Chantout relies on to create his sceneries give out the feel of Syrian rural mud houses.


Born in 1956 Chantout graduated from the Suhail Al-Ahdab Art Center in Hama, Syria in 1975. In 1976 he was admitted to the Faculty of Fine Art with a 1st rank. He has been holding solo and collective exhibitions in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Canada, and Turkey since 1972.

At Dar Al-Anda one will also come across a book entitled Chantout and that allows viewers to take a glance at his impressive volume of  work.


Copies of this book that holds haunting images that found their way out of Chantout’s beautiful mind are most probably on sale.


The female figure dominates a lot of Chantout’s pieces.

The Bride with the White Mask (70 x 100 cm), Paradise (70 x 100 cm), Hope (80 x 100 cm), Angel (60 x 70 cm) and A Princess from One Thousand Nights (60 x 70 cm) are a celebration of the femme and her role in the building of humanity and the birth of mythology’; a legacy that some are trying to bury.


Thanks to such poignant pieces by Chantout the celebration continues, and another memory is added to humanity’s collective memory, to remind us of the  femme that haunted the minds of artists throughout the ages.

With Adam’s Apple (60 x 70 cm), and that Dar Al Anda used for the cover of their beautifully designed brochure, a must have, Chantout offers us an interpretation of the ultimate illumination: Knowledge.

Illumination springs from darkness and as one goes through the details of Chantout’s pieces a balance is found. Where there is darkness there are also corners that are illuminated; corners where artists like Chantout, and the likes of him over the centuries, have found themselves standing to illuminate the path for the rest of us.


Don’t search for clear answers in a painting, enjoy the emotions it yields within you. The above piece Oriental Princess (122 x 100 cm) is but one of many of Chantout’s pieces that will generate discourse in the minds of viewers.


Anyone entering Dar Al Anda, before Chantout’s Illuminations exhibition wraps on April 25, will come across a torrent of colors and lines that carry within their folds a lot of passion and interpretations that will stir ones’ imagination.

For more information about Dar Al-Anda go to


A footnote:

1 … 2 …  3 … 4 …

The text pointer flashed a couple of times before he started typing.

Two years passed since he last wrote a professional art review, a review that used to be published in The Star on a weekly basis; a review that used to be edited. He was edited by three individuals. The one he loved most passed away a few months ago. Rest in peace Abu Hassan.

In 2003 I joined The Star weekly as an intern. My dear father went with me. I managed to get a shot at writing an art review of a botanical exhibition at The Instituto Cervantes in Amman. It was a successful piece even though the exhibition and the description of the pieces were in Spanish. They were impressed and I started getting paid on a freelance basis. After a few weeks I managed to convince the editor that I would be able to write cinema reviews. I was given a column and was asked to come up with a name. Cinerama was born. After a year I got the job and I was a staff writer. Why a year? That’s another story for another blog post.

The above few lines demonstrate how I felt as I wrote this review after three years of not writing any. It only took me a moment to decide. I was outside Dar Al-Anda running an errand.

“It has been so long. Don’t you miss immersing yourself  in art? Go in!” I thought to myself. It was quite an emotional experience that reminded me of the eight years I’ve spent visiting art galleries in my Amman part of my work as a journalist; an experience I loved.

Hopefully I will get back to doing this more often ;-})


By Mike V. Derderian

Last night, May 7th, 2012, I attended the opening of Yazan Khalifeh’s Humorous Portraits solo exhibition at Zara Gallery. Below is an interview I conducted with Yazan for the November/December Vol. 5 2012 issue of REVIEW Amman.  

A man wearing horn rimmed black shades can be seen smiling a Cheshire smile. The eyes are a little smaller. The nose is quite enlarged. The cheeks bloated yet human and shelter lips that are of a prize fighter: Swollen like a blimp.

In spite of the disproportioned yet proportioned measurements of the face one can easily tell it is Foad Al Mohandes.

This humorous portrait of the late Egyptian actor, thespian and comedian is one of dozens illustrated and digitally painted by Jordanian Cartoonist Yazan Khalifeh.

“The secret is not just in expanding the proportions of the face. It is about capturing the spirit of the drawn subject and for viewers to be able to immediately tell who its owner is,” explains Khalifeh with whom I met (in person) a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Facebook the life of freelance writers and journalists like yours truly is made easier. You can now contact anyone. However, in Yazan’s case there was only an e-mail and it didn’t go through so I had to contact a friend asking for his number.

So I called Yazan and a few days later we met at books@café where an hour and half was spent on talking about cartoons, comics, illustration, the lack of art education in Jordan (Middle East) and his beginnings as a cartoonist that took us back to the 1990s.

The Art Director at Jeeran Khalifeh showed up wearing black training trousers and a black t-shirt that reflected an affinity to graphic design—he graduated from the Applied Science University with a BA in graphic design in 2001.

On how he picks the faces that he wants to turn into humorous caricatures Khalifeh said it is all about feeling the presence of the person he is about to illustrate.

“I always choose individuals who have a strong presence and charisma. Some are good people and some are villains,” Said Khalifeh whose gallery of portraits also includes the faces of dictators, presidents, politicians, actors and musicians.

Khalifeh, whose specialty is humorist caricature portraits, is quite passionate about his work and subjects.

“I’ve been drawing all my life. I started out with drawing superheroes until the start of the 1st Gulf War, when I switched to drawing caricatures and political drawings. I started publishing in Addustour’s cartoons supplement,” Khalifeh says, adding, “I discovered painting (and its different styles) at university when I studied graphic design. I simply fell in love with painting.”

Here are some of Khalifeh’s achievements since 1998: He won the 2nd place award in a local universities cartoon contest. In 2000 he won a Traffic Day poster award and Philadelphia University cartoon award in 2000. He held his first solo exhibition in Blue Fig Amman in 2006. In 2008 his work was featured in Ballistic Publishing’s book Expose’ 6: the finest digital art in the known universe- 2008.

“After holding my exhibition at Blue Fig the cartooning bug bit me again and I found myself gravitating back to caricatures. I started drawing caricatures for 3ala that was launched by my friend Cartoonist Omar Al Abdalat, where I have an extensive archive. I later on returned to drawing humorist portraits with emphasis on faces. With Facebook and social media growing big I gained a lot of exposure and gained a lot of following; both locally and internationally.”

Looking at his lines, colors, texturing and details one would think the moment his pencil/digital pen hits the surface of the paper/digital pad Khalifeh almost immediately comes up with a humorist portrait. Well that is not that case as Khalifeh explains!

“Some faces are easier to draw than others. There are faces however that I struggle with. One example of such a face is that of Bashar Al Assad, Syria’s president. He has distinct features that give the impression he is easy to draw but he is not. The style that I am working with at the moment is almost realistic, however, when I see the work of others I am tempted to switch styles,” Khalifeh states.

In the past few years Khalifeh, and very distinctly, drew the following people: Duraid Laham (Syrian actor), Haifa Wahbeh (Lebanese singer), Abd Al Halim Hafez (Egyptian singer), Um Kulthom (Egyptian singer), Moamar Al Qaddafi (Libyan president—now dead), Zein Al Abdeen (deposed Tunisian presiden), Pablo Picasso (Spanish painter), Fairuz (Lebanese singer), Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian president), Ali Abdalah Saleh (Yemini president), Mohammad Sobhi (Egyptian actor), Hosni Mobarak (Egyptian president), Adel Imam (Egyptian actor) and Elissa (Lebanese singer).

“I first come up with a sketch that reflects the likeness of the person I am drawing. It is a balance. I am talking about exaggeration and not distortion. Humorist caricaturing is all about capturing the realness of a feature and exaggerating it,” Khalifeh, who spends three hours on drawing every day, elaborates on the process with which he works.

If the illustration is funny but there is no likeness to the drawn person than the humorist portrait/caricature Khalifeh believes failed. “People should be able to say, ‘yep that’s him/her alright!’ I don’t just draw anyone. I have to be emotionally affected by the individual I am drawing, however, it is doesn’t matter if I hate or like the person I am drawing,” he reveals.

Khalifeh acknowledges that his father—a humorist portrait of whom is found in one of his many Facebook albums—was very supportive. “He used to take my work to Addustour to show them to Caricaturist Jalal Al Rifai, who used to tell them ‘your son is imitating my work.’ However, when Al Rifai saw my other work he was impressed and had me on board the Addustour cartoons supplement,” Khalifeh says.

The young artist sights Iraqi Caricaturist Moyad Ne’meh, who passed away in 2005, and American Caricaturist Jason Seiler, as two of the important caricaturist who influenced his work.

“Ne’meh used to draw caricatures and faces. He was amazing. Jason is the teacher with whom I took a humorist caricatures course online. Of course there are other artists who influenced my work but it is hard to name them all,” Khalifeh says, adding that Mad Magazine also had a deep impact on the way he draws.

Being on Facebook and in contact with a lot of artists from all over the world pushed him to work harder and produce more.

“You have a lot of artists out there who are fast and up to date. It takes a lot of practice and discipline to produce on a daily basis and that’s why I like being on Facebook. It helps me connect with a lot of artists and at the same time find more motivation,” he adds.

Moments before we concluded our get together at Books Khalifeh, who is a skilled traditional and digital artist, told me that a solo exhibition at Zara, that will comprise all his humorist portraits, is in the works.

“I am working on a very special humorist portrait. I won’t reveal who it is. It is a surprise and you will find out at the day of the opening. At the moment I am trying to maintain the humorist portraits style to make sure that the exhibition reflects a unified style. I will God willing switch to a different style in the future,” Khalifeh said with a smile that you can only see on the face of a kid holding a pencil he is mischievously passing over a piece of paper.

Interested in learning more about Yazan Khalifeh and his art than visit his following links: &

So …

Where have I been?

I usually hate this type of inane blogging! The blog post drafts that I have been working on are not to my satisfaction yet. You will know when they are.

Haven’t slept much in the past few days. Haven’t slept a lot during the past two months. I have a lot on my mind. I quit my full time job bringing into full circle my status as a Nomad Gun for Hire. This wasn’t the case when I started out in 2003. I worked for The Star Weekly for eight years until I realized I was sort of underpaid but not under appreciated in any way.

I was a hardboiled gumshoe who loved his job! Always after the kill – I am talking about journalistic scoops – but my dream of becoming a comic artist and an illustrator caught up with me. Add that to a not so impressive salary, rent, an amazing family to maintain and you’d realize I had to move on.

This is as far as I will go in mentioning my previous full time job at IKBIS that I quit a few weeks ago. I am not jobless though. A thank you goes out to the force above!

I still masquerade as The Mikeman, the in-your-face-no-bull radio presenter, on 96.3 FM. In fact I’ve come up with two more radio personalities who sort of co-host my Morning Madness shows on Monday, Thursday and Saturdays between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Playing good music since 2003! That’s how I refer to my 8 year career as a radio presenter and professional news reader.

This is the online link in case you don’t live in Amman, Jordan

I am also writing the Cutting Celluloid page for On Campus magazine & Go Home (Q & As with local filmmakers) & Go Out (what is happening in Amman in terms of art + a mini classic film review) pages for Go Magazine. Working with the great people behind these publications allows me to stay in touch with the journalist within.

Now the best piece of news is: My Other Half three weeks ago gave birth to our second child, Andre-V, who is now the brother of my first Lovely Mouse two and a half year old Amie.

So far things are good …

Anyway, enough about me and let me share with you some of the things that I have been working on as an aspiring illustrator, a cartoonist and a designer under the nom de plume: SARDINE.

P.S: You can find my other illustration portfolios here behance!

I created the following posters using Adobe Photoshop CS3! Why? Practice in a way helps you become better at what you are trying to do. Started working on them last night. It must have been all the fish sandwiches that I ate last night! I think Mickey’s poster sucks!

I seriously need to stop writing here. Hope you like this dose of SARDINE Minimal Toon Pop Culture and my original illustrations!



The above are posters for my Minimal Toon collection that I want to produce part of a limited edition series. Once I decide on a point of sale, if they are worthy of sale, you will be the first to know. Will post part II of this blog post, in which I will share other posters and pieces I’ve been working on, in a few hours!

Until then have a pleasant warm day :-})

SARDINE a.k.a Mike V. Derderian

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