Day 27. Visual Storytelling: 4-PANEL COMIC JOURNALING
Remembering with our hands
Hellloooo my GUTters!
Can you believe it’s Day 27?? Can you feel your DNA shifting? Have your fingers become pencils?? I probably should’ve warned you: that happens. 😘
A quick review of yesterday’s chosen family infographics prompt: BIG FEELS for this one. I get it. Drawing does that sometimes. If you took the leap and tried this new way of “thinking with your hands”, I commend you. I hope you came away feeling loved and supported. And remember, if you are a member of the GUT, you are loved and supported. Check the chat, y’all. That’s a fact.
Visual Storytelling Review
Today is our last day of Visual Storytelling, can you believe it? A little recap so you can get a sense of how much you’ve accomplished in just 10 minutes a day. This week, you learned six approaches to visual storytelling:
Silly self-portraits = You learned an easy, un-intimidating way to draw people and give them specific characteristics and context. Yay for callouts!
Lettering = You learned the basics of lettering and created an illustrated drop cap making it possible for you to hand-letter any art ever.
LISTS! = You discovered a personal story in things we often take for granted, and composed them in a way that told a story.
Single Word Stories = You put two unrelated things together (in this case, a word and an image) and create a magical third thing (in this case, a story!) In other words, you learned to make a meaningful story out of anything!
Single Panel Stories = You learned to distill your visuals and text to one drawing and one sentence and tell a simple, provocative, touching story
Infographics = You learned how to use visuals to share information (data!) in a way that communicated a FEELING, not just a fact.
FRIENDS. This is tremendous! Can you believe how much you’ve drawn?? (If you’ve been on the fence about jumping in, it’s never too late to join in)
For our last day, we’re going to do a fun, simple exercise that’s a great way to keep a visual journal, if you’re interested in doing that. If you are doing this in the AM like I did today, you will want to look back at yesterday. If you are doing it in the evening, you can use it to review the day.
We are going to make simple 4 panel journal comics. DO NOT WORRY, they do not have to be “good drawings.” In fact, there’s no way they can be in ten minutes! This drawing is about using our hands to remember, and getting visual memories down on paper. It’s about keeping a journal of our days, and how drawing can help us do that.
There are a few tricks that make these easy to do, and make them make visual sense through all four panels. We’ll be pulling from what we learned earlier in the week, and from our earlier fun little lessons. I’ll share those tips below.
But today isn’t a big lesson day. It’s a drawing day. Let’s dive in.
Day 27. Visual Storytelling: 4-PANEL COMIC JOURNALING
Before I start drawing or writing, I like to know what I’m working with. In the case of a sequential comic, that means frames. WAIT. HOLD UP, WENDY. What is sequential comic, you ask? Great question. A sequential comic is a drawn story made up of two or more panels, and when you read the panels in order they tell a story. Makes sense?
So first things first, let’s draw our four frames. I’m going to do TWO examples, and you can choose which works for you (or make up some other one!)
DO NOT DRAW THE NUMBERS IN YOURS. I am just including them in my examples so you can see the order in which they will be read, sequentially.
Here’s option one.
Here’s option two.
You could also format your page landscape (turn it long side going side to side) and lay out your four panels that way. YOU DO YOU. All that matters is that you have four boxes and they can be read in an order that YOU decide on.
Next step, what goes in the boxes? If we are drawing our days, we first have to remember what happened. Do a little review. These days I have a hard time remembering what I did two hours ago let alone yesterday morning. So let’s get our brains firing.
Make a Memory List
We’re going to make a memory list. (I stole this from queen Lynda Barry, who uses it in her classes.) Number a piece of paper 1-10. Starting with waking up, go through your day and write down ten things you remember happening. Things you did, or people you talked to, or things you made or what you cooked or music you listened to or…. The list goes on and on. Until you hit 10. :)
Now, choose FOUR items from your list. Maybe they are the four that stand out the most. Or that represent how you’re feeling, or the main thing occupying your brain/heart/time/space. Or maybe there’s a theme. Food? Locations? People? Conversations? What you read or watched of listened to? So many themes. Or maybe it’s just random. Whatever you want to focus on, choose four. And then…
Draw your day
If you just got anxious thinking “I don’t know how to draw these things!” I GET IT! It feels HARD to draw scenes from life. People feel hard to draw. Settings feel confusing! BUT WAIT. Hold on. Remember: you know how to do this! You have done it all already! Earlier this week you learned to draw that Ivan Brunetti style person. You can just do that again! And this is not about getting it “right” - this is about moving your hands to remember. So if you want to feel free, you can draw with your eyes closed, or do a blind contour. And you can always copy and draw something upside down if you want to get something “right.” Or just use your words!! You have so many tools in your toolbox now. Most of all you have the tool of letting-go-of-expectations-and-focusing-on-the-process. You’ve got this.
Alright here, is my 4-panel comic journal using that first layout.
And here is the second one. I did slightly different stuff, but same day.
These are loose and silly - and took ten minutes. And I’m so happy I have them. In case you didn’t notice, I’m staying with my mom right now, and it’s really special to be here. If I didn’t take the time to write and DRAW these moments, I am 100% sure that the little detail of the “good bread” from yesterday would be lost for good. But when I draw something, I remember it. And now I’ll never forget.
Alright YOUR TURN. Let’s do this.