First Person – Graphic Novel – Development #1

Now that had all the images that I needed and I had the stories that would be contained within the narrative my next stage was to think about development think about how I will put the story together. I wanted to try and show a connection through each of the photos. I first thought that but putting them next to each other would be easy enough for the viewer to navigate through the story. However, after just putting some of the photos next to each other in sequence I found that the viewer might struggle to determine which individual (especially in group images) was the correct character. I knew that I was going to require some sort of way to highlight which individual was how in the photographs.

I started to brain storm all the possible ways in which I might be able to do this. I thought about using colour maybe adding a simple mark to the images. This got me thinking about what marques I might add to the images. As I wanted to show how the same family values have stayed with the people throughout the generations, I decided that these would be a good starting point:

  • family is the most important
  • caring
  • love
  • looking after one another
  • acceptance

These were just a few of the family values that I thought of, looking at them again the same image kept popping up in my mind, a heart. A heart symbol is often used to show love and relationships which is something that my family are about, we always look after one another and care for each other.  The heart symbol I thought could work simply placing this on the images to draw the views attention to that individual in the photograph.

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Experimenting with using a mark 

Even though you could clearly see who the main character in each photograph was the narrative still felt very disconnected and didn’t seem to flow into the narrative correctly. I liked the image of having the symbol still but thought that maybe I could connect the story together with some sort of line. A line is often used to help humans navigate around and area, for example when looking at wayfinding in my previous project lines painted on to the floor often help people to know where they are heading next. Using my  previous learning about way finding allowed me to consider how ‘the line’ could be used within the context of a graphic novel. Instead of just using a straight line from photo to photo I thought that it would be interesting to see if line could flow around elements of the images.

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Experimenting with using a line to make connections 

I start to experiment with this idea by using a pen and paper to try and show how this could work and I found that it worked well and connected the photographs together nicely. With this graphic/illustrative element to the work I think it will give the narrative a even more personal level to it, which works with the context of the narrative. I thought that this line connecting the photo together would work stronger in the overall outcome.

As a I was going to make the outcome digitally I thought about experimenting in illustrator with the line and the heart to ensure that the outcome worked digitally as well as I had hoped. Using my Wacom tablet meant that I was able to draw out the lines and hearts to almost appear hand drawn. The reason that I have decided to develop these illustrated lines digitally is because I feel that I could potentially play around with having type on these lines in the future. I experimented using different brush strokes that were in the program as I felt that used the solid brush wouldn’t work with the narrative or imagery.

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Illustrator Experiment

Colour was also another really important part for me to consider within the development of this system for the novel. Instantly thought about using reds/pinks within the work as these are associated with love trust and care which again are key values for my family. At the moment I think that the red is working the best within the imagery because it seems to be the most striking when looking at it. I think that as this project develops more I will be able to consider how the colour might change as the narrative continues.

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