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The Scratching Log - Honoring Ratha Fan Art Contest Entries

By rath8325 - Posted on 17 October 2011

Hi, clan cats, and welcome back to The Scratching Log, the Ratha series blog.  This creature has been asleep in it's den for too long, so Imaginator Press and I  decided to wake it up again. The first set of Scratching Log posts willl showcase the various artists who submitted entries to the recent Imaginator Press-sponsored  Facebook Ratha Fan Art Contest. 

This event ran from June 1-30, 2011, using FB and Wildfire. Sheila Ruth came up with the contest as a way for Ratha fans to have fun, display their amazing talents, and generate excitement about the series.  I loved the idea . Entries appeared on the FB Contest page, and we encouraged people to comment.  We selected winners by popular vote, posted the results, and awarded prizes of autographed books plus other items. 

The contest received so many outstanding entries that we created additional second and third prizes.  Even so, we felt a need to recognize all (if possible) the artists, so we decided to use the Scratching Log to spotlight the various artists. Using a short list of optional interview questions,  we got some great responses. We are posting them in the order received, to avoid any appearence of favoritism.

Sitting (for recognition) on the clan's sunning rock is Joelle Marlin, who responded first to the queries.  She also shares in detail how she created her lovely entry.



Hi there!
Thanks for doing this! :)

An album of screenshots of my work in progress for my entry can be found here:

Your name: Joelle Marlin

Your age: 22

Title of your entry: Ratha at Dawn

What media did you use for this artwork? Digital

Tell us a little about your process for creating this work.

I created this work similarly to how I would make a traditional piece. After mulling over ideas for a few days, I sketched Ratha on a white surface, then I colored her and added details, shading, and a background. I used a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which facilitated the entry into my computer of every stroke of the tablet pen held in my hand. The graphics program I used was Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. I prefer this program because I could not afford full-fledged Photoshop, and Elements has the tools I need such as 'brushes' that allow the strokes of my tablet pen to register as different types of brush strokes (similar to watercolor, airbrush, oil, or other kinds of paint).

What inspired the work, and/or what were you trying to convey?

While I always enjoy reading about Ratha's adventures and acts of courage, I also very much appreciate her pensive moments. The way she thinks really makes her a character I can identify with as a human being. While definitely retaining her feline nature, she thinks very much like a person and must work through all sorts of decisions, relationships, and ethical dilemmas. I also like how the treeling companions comfort and soothe the Named with their presence in addition to helping them with many tasks that require hands. It's a neat interspecies partnership. What I wanted to convey was a moment of peace and quiet for Ratha and Ratharee. Perhaps Ratha is going to check on some other members of the Clan. Maybe she is just having a nice walk to enjoy the morning. She is lost in thought and Ratharee is having a grand time hunting for tasty ticks.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about the entry?

Art is usually fun for me, but I feel even better about it if I feel like I'm learning. This entry helped me improve as an artist. I have been painting with traditional media for half my life but I have only been making digital art for a year. Skill-wise, I don't think I have quite caught up digitally to where I am with traditional art, but I learned a lot making this piece. I can already see things I should have done differently, but it was a really fun process and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

When did you first read the Named books, and how did you discover them?

I was in seventh grade, I think, and Ratha's Creature was in my local branch library. My mom might have even picked it out for me thinking I would enjoy it, and I definitely did. I enjoyed it with greater enthusiasm than most other books, and I was a voracious reader! I promptly had the library borrow all the other Named books that existed at that time so that I could read them.

What's your favorite book in the Named series?

It's almost too hard to choose because they are all so good! I really enjoyed Ratha's Courage, though, and was quite satisfied with how it ended.  I think, for now, that one is my favorite.

Do you prefer: coffee or hot chocolate?

Ereader or print?

Firekeeper or Herder?


Thakur or Bonechewer?

Thakur. Oh, I love them both, but Thakur is my kind of male.

Ratha or Thistle-Chaser?

Do you have a link where people can view more of your artwork?


Thank you, Joelle!  We suggest that people visit her

and view it in slide-show mode so you can see how this piece comes together.  I really enjoyed that part.  I also like the depiction of Ratha in one of her pensive, quiet moments.  /CB

Random image

Clan Ground Firebird cover

Join other Named Series fans on the Ratha Series Forum.  Hunt up information in the Fire Den, read the new Twitter creation, "Ratha's Island", or strut before the clan to introduce yourself in the Fire Dance.

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