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Steps to Creating Artwork

I created this Vlog from the video I recorded on January 20th, when I checked out a local art reception at an art gallery. A lot of the artwork on display reminded me of my graphic novel process because each started out with an idea, before drawing this idea with a pencil. Then, maybe coloring the pencil scene in some way to give the drawing more life and three dimensional depth. It is also interesting to check out these drawings from different artists’ work because each artist has his/her own style.

As an artist, my first love was drawing because I used to draw a lot when I was a kid. Many adults that I encountered gave me some tips along the way, which helped me grow as an artist. Then, after graduating from college with a BA in Social Science, I used my graduation money to buy a 50 mm camera, and I chose Minolta 5000. During the 90s, I got into surreal mannequin photography, and I noticed that other people liked my work more than I did. So, I continued photographing mannequins in a creative way when I went window-shopping. I eventually used my iPhone6 because it was small and easier to carry around, although it is more fun to use a big camera. But I prefer to use my Minolta for big events, like parties and weddings. Before my mother died, she gave me her Canon with large lens. I hope it works. I haven’t used it yet because I don’t have an interesting opportunity to take photos. After getting my Executive MBA from WU, I decided to get a certificate in graphic design from Platt. And, this certificate triggered my interest in writing a novel and drawing the covers. Self-publishing my first novel on my own seemed to empower me to be more independent and do things on my own. I was ready to pursue a new project—which is a graphic novel because I have always wanted to draw a comic book or graphic novel but I didn’t really have a particular story to draw. I decided to make my graphic novel a prequel to my first novel, in which I would use some of the characters that the main character was most close to in the first novel, which includes her family, her corrupt and colorful relatives, her best friend, and this idea lead to make the graphic novel story a mystery that involves new characters, whistleblower gumshoe, former child actor with MK-Ultra issues, and other crazy characters.

It took me forever to draw and work out the rough draft because I had a lot of artist block issues. One exercise that I came up with was to take my sketch pad somewhere in public and draw whatever scene I saw. I drove to the mall on one day while I rode my Huffy to the local town center on another day to do some sketches. I took my sketchbook to a writing meetup and I did some coffee shop rough sketches. I went to a variety of different places to draw some sketches. When I had drawn 200 rough pages, I was ready to draw the second draft, which has turned out to be trial and error process because I have never drawn a graphic novel before and I often made a mess. Doing the second draft process, I ended up redrawing a lot of pages because I had ink pen issues, bleeding issues, or the page just looked like crap. I went on YouTube for drawing trips, and it helped a lot. So, YouTube actually turned out to be my fourth college, YouTube DIY University, where I earned my own DIY degree learning different useful tips from watching lots of videos. I currently have 11 more pages to draw and color, before I start working on the script as well as drawing the covers for the graphic novel. After I finish drawing all 200 pages, I will check out each page to see if I need to redraw any page. So, even though I am getting close to the end, there is still a lot of work to do.

What do you think?

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Written by Fifi Leigh

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