This section will be a conversation about narrative techniques and the relation between image and text in picture books and comics. The aim is to shine a light on different ways to tell a (visual) story and to see how text and images can work together (and how to make the most of each!)
We will start by reading and analyzing the picture book, I WANT MY HAT by John Klassen, laying down the basic structure for a story (conflict, solution, catharsis). Then we will talk about the different dynamics of text and image (concordance and counterpoint), using examples from comics and picture books. I also plan to use some example from my own body of work, and share some of my own experiences as an author/illustrator, and techniques i use to write a picture book. Later, we will talk about 2 elements that are traditionally associated with comics, and can come very handy in visual storytelling: Balloons and Squares. We will see examples of how different artists use them. Finally we will talk about Narration Transitions (using Scott McClould's classification), see examples and talk about how they help setting a mood, and timing for a story.
Where do ideas come from? And how to start a story? This is a workshop full of exercises dedicated to tackling the white page in front of us, training narrative techniques and finding inspiration in ordinary life. The workshop starts with shorter and more constrained exercises, to warm up, and evolves into some exercises where there will be more freedom and time to develop a story in comic form. In the end, we will draw together, a collective story, so we can continue other people's ideas and find new adventures for each other's characters.
From pre-historical cavemen's drawings to church windows and music, from literature to French caricatures and newspaper comics, from cinema to manga, what is sequential art, how does it tie in with our community and our expressions?
As someone whose work is very influenced by Portuguese folklore and Portuguese culture, I would like to propose a collection of lectures based on illustration and sequential art through the times. When does it start and when does it end? People and places are full of stories and history, elements that get often discarded as lowbrow or commonplace, as in the pursuit of contemporary art the aim at museums (not always, but it is a common practice in some higher grounds) tend to focus on the vague, the elitist and the void of existence. Experimental thought is needed but so are our roots, even something as basic as "what we like to do"; as it consistently forms a part of us and our approach to art forms. Now more than ever, we live in a global village. Outside there is a whole world of experience and thoughts and words and feelings that shapes us, our art styles and how we mold our art.
So... what do we want to draw?
What is your story to you? What is your stylistic language? What do you care about?
Let's make a minizine. In this experiment we will divide a paper in four or eight, depending on time, and use the four principle themes of storytelling in sequential art: beginning, happening, action, resolution. Theme and style is free and experiences will be individual or in pairs if wanted. This space for the alumni to focus on what they consider their own stylistic language and their own sequential art language. Either by making daily sketch comics, or observing the world around and inside them. What I seek is for students to realize and express parts of their identity, their tastes, references, etc., while working under the knowledge of this.
Human brain processes images several times faster than words. Therefore, when we choose a book, the cover is the very first thing that will catch our attention and will certainly guide our choice. But a good book cover doesn't limit to be outstanding. Rather than being only the envelope encasing the book, it forms, indeed, an integral part of it. Images, colors and composition awake feelings and invite us to continue reading, without revealing the whole plot nor misleading the reader. Drawing on some examples, Laura will explain the process to make a unique and relevant image through an eye-catching graphic design.Workshop: Design the right cover!
A bad cover, with unclear pictures and a wrong design, suggests that also the contents of the book are poor. What makes the difference, then, between a good and a bad cover? Firstly, a good cover is harmonious, clear and powerful; secondly, it has to be relevant. The difference between a good, single picture, and a good cover as a whole, is that the first can be an end in itself, whereas the end of the second is the content of the book. During the workshop, the participants will realize the cover of a famous book, taking in consideration compositional, perceptual and commercial aspects.
The conference will give a general overview of the use of illustrated reportages to document events, from journalism to everyday storytelling. As it is an uncommon tool, I will show concrete examples of travel, event and wedding reportage, including some Love is Real reportages I've realized during last year. I will share my experience as an event illustrator and the method I use to turn a notebook full of sketches and notes that were taken in one day into a real story. Of course – there will be tips on how to survive a wedding as a reporter :)Workshop
We will put into practice the statements made during the conference, focusing on the unique point of view every person has. Every participant will sketch, conceive and create its own short illustrated reportage of the day. The drawings live sketched should be realized with a comfortable and fast technique. They can be colored later, by traditional or digital coloring (in this last case, bring your laptop and tablet!). Together, we will look, read and discuss the reportages.
During the workshop students will choose a famous book and will design the cover. The main goal is to make research of how to make an illustration with deep character, how to infuse life to the ordinary animal drawing. In my workshop, students goes through different stages of creativity process. Starting from intuitional drawing, then finding perfect shape using scissors without pen sketch, after do some paper collage, and at the end of the workshop they write about characters, they created. Four stages of the character development, based on how each part can combine in one vital illustration. Also I usually make short presentation "tips and tricks" on how I found my hidden creativity powers.