Final Digital Comic Collage: Jon Preng

Designed by Jon Preng, February 2020.

The motivation behind my design is something that is a big part of my life, which is the sport of basketball. Initially, I wanted to create a collage focusing on different aspects of my life, but I figured it would be challenging to create a story with random household items. Instead, I collected all of my basketball equipment and made a story out of it. After many days of thinking of ideas, I decided to create a collage that highlights an event that dates back to 1996, the NBA Finals that included the Chicago Bulls and Seattle Supersonics.

            My work fits McCloud’s “comic” definition because you can tell that there is a sequence among the visuals I’ve added. One half of the art represents Chicago and the other half represents Seattle. Juxtaposition is used to contrast the cities, such as their team colors, monuments and logos. Another class-related reading that influenced my work was Lynda Barry’s “What It Is.” Throughout her book, her pages were eye-catching due to the amount of color on each page. I didn’t want to go too crazy with the colors since I wanted to keep them relevant with the teams, so I included some art that I found online which gave my design a nice look. For example, I found a tie-dye consisting of black and red for the Chicago Bulls (behind Michael Jordan) and a painting of green and yellow that is a layer behind the Space Needle.

            The materials I chose for the collage works well since they are basketball garments and that is what my story is about. I think it works well and each piece contributes to my aesthetic. For instance, instead of scanning random red or green, I used garments such as basketball shorts and jerseys to provide the texture of uniforms. A non-basketball item that I scanned was my brown leather wallet (at the very top), which represents a ‘basketball’ since scanning an actual basketball would be difficult. I added a title to give more context to the artwork since everyone may not be aware that these two teams played against each other in the 1996 NBA Finals.

            This is not my first-time using Photoshop, I have minor experience from high school and courses from last semester. However, a new technique that I learned and used throughout the project were layer masks. Previously, I would use the eraser to remove pixels, but after learning about this new tool, it made the process so much smoother. I did use the ‘magic eraser’ once to remove the sky from the Space Needle image, but then I eventually used the layer mask to fine tune the smaller details, such as the tight spaces between the monument. I enjoy composing in a digital environment because I am not the best drawer. Photoshop is also helpful with tutorials, tools, and other small things such as lines to let you know where the center of the canvas is. Overall, I enjoyed this assignment and I’m excited for future projects.

Abstract painting, Created by Paul Blenkhorn,

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