Long Term Personal Project

  • Moderator

    So I'm starting the year out by establishing a long-term personal project, one that I know won't come together any time soon, but which I kinda need in order to not feel like I'm spinning my wheels as a perpetual student... At a certain point, I came to the realization that I will always be learning and stepping up my game--I can't let that prevent me from at least getting started on one special thing that I'd like to eventually explore. A little investment now and then... You know...

    I often lay awake at night thinking about the kind of illustrated novel I'd like to read. The kind of story that I wish I'd had. And I have this odd collection of visual "moments" in my disjointed through line that I just can't shake. So finally my inner self yelled to me, "Self! Ya gotta get 'em outta the noggin' an' inta worrld!! Becawse slayp!! Playse! Ah can't keep yakkin' inta all the wee hours o' the mornin' cuz it ain't ealthy!" When I slip into the old cockny accent I slaughtered for a production of Oliver! in junior high, I know I'm in trouble.

    So I'm doing the pictures. For a story I haven't written. And I have no idea if these things will actually result in anything, but oh, it's glorious to just start to get them out!!

    I know it's about a young theatrical costume stitcher who slowly discovers certain people at his theatre have secreted away several magical tools that can each do special things. When used in combination, however, they create a rift in reality and people can enter into and out of the world of a play.

    So I'm thinking the big climax of the play requires our brave young tailor to use his magic needle and thread to create costumes that will help him and his friends step into the world of a famous play (probably something Shakespearean) to follow a nefarious villain who is re-writing it from the inside. A villain who, if left unchecked, could slowly unravel all of western civilization's classics...

    So I started a series of thumbnails for one of the moments--our young tailor, perhaps in armor, preparing to sew with his magic thread and needle that glow. I like the idea of them being the light source of the images.

    But when it comes to strong composition choices, I find getting advice to be a good move... And I'm wondering if you all could advise me on this. I need to know which of these compositions is stronger to your eye. I would really appreciate it! Thank-you so much!!


  • @Coreyartus i think it depends on the mood you’re trying to establish. The last one is close and intimate and could help with a reveal of the characters face.

    Im in the same boat as you with a project. I started working on the outline finally and making very good progress. Im trying to make a fairy tale musical.. but in a comic format. That’s going to be a real challenge but I can picture some of it.

  • If this helps, 3 and 5 would be my least favorites. I think 3 is a little bit too close up and doesn't tell as much of a story on its own. And I'm not sure what 5 is really a picture of.

  • Hi Corey,

    What a wonderful story concept for our times.

    Visually, I think #1 has it all!
    The gesture of the figure sets the stage for me to want to see what happens next, i.e., like 'poised' ready to go. It shows the power in the needle and thread, and is beautifully spaced.

    #2 also could work well. Same reasons.

    #7 with a bit of modification could work. Bring the right hand down somewhat, to keep attention on the 'pending' action in the left hand, and pulling the head back or/and darkening it to keep attention focused on the power of that needle and thread and the HAND. : )

    In my humble opinion, #3, 4, 5, and 6 don't carry the concept of the moment in the story you are illustrating. They seem muddled because the focus is divided into multiple areas.

  • I personally like 8. I think it would work really well in a story setting to complement both the text and the other illustrations. It looks magical and intimate and really shows off the glow of the thread well.

    Your story sounds really interesting! I think it's a good move to start on your project rather than waiting. Good luck and keep us updated.

  • Moderator

    LOL! All of you picked different ones, so I think I need to backtrack and make sure I can articulate what I want out of this particular moment... It's all over the board right now and I need to distill things down a bit in my head. I truly appreciate you all taking a look at these for me! Thank-you!!

  • @Coreyartus Oops! I meant 8 not 7! Just realized my error when I read Tessa's comments. This was fun. Looking forward to seeing more on this!

  • SVS OG

    It sounds like a great project and a captivating story. For me, it's hard to choose the best composition without knowing what pictures preceded it because it would definitely depend on how much of the story this picture has to tell, as well as how much text would accompany it. If you are illustrating a regular novel, then I would assume there is a lot of text and the picture wouldn't need to re-tell what's already in the text. If you are doing it a graphic novel, however, you'd need the picture to do more work. Which approach are you thinking of doing?

  • @Coreyartus I salute your diving in to a project that's keeping you up at night in dialect.
    And @Aleksey - I salute your project as well.

    I'm with you-I'm launching into a comic project. I got a spot in the CGMA Making Graphic Novels class that starts later in January; created and taught by Jason Brubaker. There are times when I feel like I've jumped in WAY over my head, and then other times when like you-I need to set the learning-as-the-goal to the side a bit and just Do The Thing.

    I like your thumbnails-my favorite is 8--but I chose it as the "one" scene that will set your story. Like others have said, depending on what you're trying to accomplish in this panel, that will help point out what we think will help you convey it.

    Are you using any writing techniques or tools?

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