Grackle image by artist and writer Kayte Young.
Many of us loved drawing as kids but gave it up once we had to draw “correctly” or try to make our creations look realistic. Adults have a way of chasing all the fun out of things, sometimes. Now, we are the adults, and we can find our way back to drawing as part of our writing practice.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to explore graphic poetry. Perhaps you are a fan of graphic novels and want to try your hand at sequential art or comic making. Or you want to liven up your journaling with diary comics. This class is your chance to dive into drawing and image-making in your writing and creative work.
We will use drawings to express what words alone may not reach, and we’ll be curious about what our drawings can tell us rather than judging if they are good or bad. No drawing, cartooning or visual art skills of any kind are required for this class–all levels are welcome.
We will try in-class, prompt-driven exercises using pencils, pens, makers, crayons, watercolor, ink and collage (whatever you have on hand, no need to purchase materials). We will cover basic (beginning level) comic making principles and develop tricks for outsmarting our inner critics long enough to get some marks on the page. We’ll examine the work of several comic artists and graphic novelists for guidance and inspiration.
There will be regular homework assignments, but no outside reading will be required. I will offer a list of books and resources for those who wish to dive deeper into the world of sequential art.
Suggested supplies: a notebook or sketchbook at least 5″x 8″ (lined composition notebook, or a blank sketchbook–doesn’t need to be high quality paper), black pen of your choice (my favorite is uni-ball vision, fine), pencil, eraser, a pack of blank 3×5 or 4X6 index cards. Those are the basics.
If you would like to experiment with other supplies or you have some favorite materials you like to work with, feel free to bring markers, crayons, watercolors, colored pencils, black ink and brushes–anything that you think you might enjoy.
Kayte Young is the author of the graphic memoir chapbook eleven (Ledge Mule Press). Her comic on grooming has been published in The Nib and The Houston Chronicle and her writing has appeared in The Academy of American Poets/Poem-a-Day, The Tenderness Project, Cite and Working 03. She is the host and producer of the radio show and podcast Earth Eats (WFIU, public radio) and host of the Earth Eats YouTube series. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from Rice University, and currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her partner and son. Kayte is a member of the Sequential Artists Workshop and is writing a graphic memoir about growing up with sexual abuse in her home.