Creating a one page comic

I recently created a one page silent comic as a piece for my practical assessment. The piece is named “Folk Music” and I created it as a means of exploring some of the ideas I had gathered from my research and enquiry module. I approached creating this piece by breaking the process into a number of steps.

The first step in the process was to decide on a theme for the story. The general focus of my practical work was the word “Folk”. I had spent time brainstorming this word and created a mind map in order to spark my imagination. I chose the term “Folk Music” from my mind map as the basis for my story.

Mind Map
Mind map based around the word “Folk”

The second step involved creating a story based around the idea of folk music. The story needed to be clear and easy to express within a limited space. I developed a short story about a small boy who listens to folk music as a means of escapism. With a loose narrative in place I began to break the story into steps. Given that I was creating a one page comic i needed to limit the number of steps. I wrote the story out in numbered points.  I then reduced these steps in order to tell the story as concisely as possible, finally settling on seven points. This helped me to clearly visualise the story.

In the third step I drew a number of thumbnail comic pages in which I could explore various panel layouts for the comic. This helped me to visualise varying ways of laying out the finished comic page.

Panel Layouts
Thumbnails of possible panel layouts

In the fourth step I chose a panel layout for the comic. I assigned a word to each of the panels corresponding to the steps within the story, this helped me to further visualise each panel. I then created a larger version of my layout and began creating rough sketches for each panel.

Once I had a clear idea of the imagery I wanted to use for each panel the fifth step involved sketching out the illustration for the panels.

The final step of my process involved digitising my comic. I began by scanning the panels which I had sketched out. I then recreated my comic layout in Adobe Illustrator. I placed each of my sketches within my illustrator project and I then inked each panel. I had originally intended to create a black and white comic strip. I found, however, as I added a black fill to my illustrations they contrasted nicely against the beige tone of my scanned images. This gave me the idea to colour my comic with a beige fill which I think helped the piece to stand out in the end.

This piece was created purely as an exercise in silent storytelling and process. It was also an opportunity to experiment with style and work toward finding my own particular style.




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