Final Digital Comic Collage: Madison Roby

First, discuss creative motivations and the information or aesthetic experience you hope your reader/viewer will take away from your work, second, discuss your experience using Photoshop.

Digital Comic Collage, Madison Roby, 2019.

In terms of creating comics, it wasn’t until I was shown a definition of it that I realized that comics could be more than just paneled, hand drawn works of art; the idea of using collage to create a comic was daunting at first, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no plans and no idea where to start. Looking around my room all I really had was my messy desk, full of things I did for leisure, school, and work. Looking at my desk, I felt like I could use it to tell a story about my life and give a more personal look at myself to others; my desk was a window into my life at this point, so I chose to use it that way. I decided to scan and photograph various things that I could find on my desk, papers, coffee mugs, pens, etcetera. I used this to convey a message, however, it didn’t quite feel like it fit into McCloud’s definition of a comic, as the text didn’t seem to connect to the images, so, I decided to incorporate a “traditional” comic as well. I used the traditional comic to interact with the reader, somewhat explaining my collage as well as “breaking the 4th wall” by

Close up of the “traditional comic.”

drawing the collage itself in the comic. Alongside McCloud, I relied on Lovett to make my collage aesthetically feel balanced and easy to read/understand. His definition of balance helped me to keep the piece easy to look at, his definition of texture helped me to decide what to scan, and his definition of direction allowed me to create an invisible sight line to guide the reader through the work. Most of the text I decided to use was hand written: some notes, a note-card about poetry, and the words in the comic. I also used some scanned typed lettering, however, it is less relevant to the comic than the hand written words, as they are meant to show hard work, as, in my opinion, it is more difficult to write out things with pen and paper than it is to use a digital medium (as its more efficient and less time consuming).

In terms of Photoshop, this was my first time using the program, and many of the things within the program were new to me. I have used various digital drawing apps, so Photoshop felt very complex and not as user friendly as I had hoped, causing me to use techniques I was already comfortable with rather than trying to manipulate Photoshop tools. Overall, I mainly used masking to ensure my scanned objects didn’t have a border, clipping layers to recolor some things, and the history brush to fix any mistakes. However, using Photoshop’s drop shadow tool never gave me the results I was looking for, so I ended up doing those manually, as that was both easier and less time consuming, and I still have difficulty using the clone stamp tool. In general, I prefer creating art in a digital space, though I do not particularly enjoy using Adobe products to do so.

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