Untitled: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Kathryn McClellan (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
During this project, I learned a lot about the way that the program and I work. At first, I didn’t feel like I had the artistic skill to accomplish something like this project; I didn’t think I was very good at art. However, by learning more about how shapes and other techniques make up most art, I was able to manipulate those techniques to make my project as good as I wanted it to be with the skill I had. I used paneling to create impact during the dramatic scenes of my comic page, and I used the shape of the panels to provide feeling and movement to the story where needed. It was particularly hard to keep myself from getting frustrated when things didn’t work the first time; I had to remind myself that I was still learning and it may not come right away, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t come at all. I had particular trouble with the angle of one panel; it is positioned from above and angled downward, and I couldn’t place the legs of one of my characters in a way that made sense both with the angle and anatomically. Eventually, I was able to use reference images drawn by friends to help see where everything belonged in the frame. Going back, I would change the environment of certain frames; the scenes inside the rooms don’t have background because I didn’t have the time or knowledge to draw a classroom, the faces are fairly simplistic, and my proportions are wrong in several frames. I started drawing one part of the body before I realized where that would place the other body parts and how that would relate to what was going on around them; for example, in that same panel that gave me angle struggles, I accidentally made the arms too long when I drew the head first without realizing how small a head that size would make the rest of the body. Interestingly, it is that panel that gave me the most trouble that I’m also most proud of. I overcame the challenges facing me instead of giving up and choosing the easier path, something that I have had problems with in my past. I persevered and got help from those more experienced that I was to gain the skill I needed to accomplish the task. And although it wasn’t easy, and took me far longer than any other panel, it was worth it to be able to say that I overcame.