Friday, February 20, 2015

Tip toeing into Graphic Stories

How DO I tell my stories? How do I make them accessible to friends, family, and the rest of the world?

Open Heart
 My latest series of work, "Heart Centered Crone Stories"--or whatever I ended up calling it--is magnificent! The colors are luscious, the concepts I think resonate with people, and I used many of the techniques I have learned over the past few years as well as learning some new ones. 

But concepts are not stories. A painting can tell a scene, an event, but not a sequence of events. Not a story. 

Searching for a way to tell stories visually, I found Steven Reddy's class "Sequential Illustration". Bingo!

OK, OK, so I haven't been much of a fan of graphic novels or comics or what ever you want to call them. I'm just not interested in super heroes and aliens, or in the acerbic wit that passes as humor these days, or the adolescent plots, or, or…..

not in English, but you can see the very different artistic layout
Then my sons introduced me to "Girl Genius", and I found "Buddha" by Osamu Tezuka. Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" and "embroideries" showed me that graphic stories can be about different cultures  and can be done in many ways. Steven Reddy introduced me to memoir writing in graphic novel format, and that really got me going! 

 Lately I've discovered "Heaven, LLC" by Wayne Chinsang and Dave Crosland. What amazing expressions he gets on the faces! Interestingly,  my love, Rifaat, and I picked up on different things in the story. He caught the cultural references I missed, and I read the visual plot in places he missed.

So now I'm hooked. I have a list of stories I want to do as graphic stories, perhaps even graphic novels. Reddy introduced me to a way of journaling that brings out the stories in my life and the details that make it interesting. He gave me a structure that works!

Here is a piece of the first frame of my first graphic story, “Jamila's Story”.

In my next bog post, I'll show you some of the process.