Practical / technical difficulties
One of the difficulties of this exercise has been that because has been working with different images, I ended up with so many versions of images on my computer desk top and on paper. I could hardly keep track. I ended up with a big pile of paper with lots of drawings and bits of text and equally my computer desk top was covered with images. So much so that I had a hard time remembering which version was the last one. I was dreading writing up the process as it was such a jumbled one.
The version I showed to my friend consisted of 4 separate drawings with the wording written separately and stuck on with masking tape.
The second layer of complication was refining the images in photoshop which again took me ages. I thought the easiest route was to combine the words and pictures as different layers. The theory being that I could then fiddle with each bit to get it right. In practice this led to a lot of different technical difficulties, when to erase, when to leave the background as white, whether to erase it, at which point in building the layers to use the invert comment to create a dark image. One of the things I learnt was that my writing needed to be in a heavier, darker line. I was able to adjust this in photoshop but it would have been easier to just use a thicker pen in the first place! In the past I have scanned images into Illustrator and made them thicker that way but this results in a slight distortion of the line, making writing more illegible.
I spent such a long time on this exercise, which makes me laugh a bit, now I see the end result because I don’t rate it as my greatest piece of work but it represents an enormous amount of blood sweat and tears!
I finally decided on just 3 frames. This was because there was a lot of text, so each frame had to be quite large. I changed the first image to one of the “Fonz”. I took out the other people in the middle frame (it is the confusion of illustrating a true story and actually just removing superfluous detail). In the last frame I turned the girl round to show her sad face.
The issues I had to deal with during this exercise:
- the narrative arc and which information to include, which was superfluous.
- the balance between words and images and avoiding repetition between the two and working out what was best told in pictures, what in words.
- how difficult it is to judge when one is too close to the story, and how neutral advice is invaluable.
- still learning about using photoshop and refining my skills.
- my visual language. I ended up switching between styles halfway through the exercise, but I just had to leave it as it was as I was in danger of never finishing it. With regards to my visual language, this is an area that I really want to work on. I started with quite realistic drawings but ended up with a more cartoon style, then finally ended up with 2 realistic images and 1 more cartoony. I realise that for this exercise, I spent so long thinking about the words and narrative that the imagery became secondary.I’m thinking that the issue for me is about drawing from a model or reference image versus drawing from imagination or memory. I feel that I need to develop my visual language in the latter.