Putting It All Together: Haydyn Wallender

Hi, friends! Can you believe that this is the last blog post of the semester?! I know I can’t. It’s craziness.

For my last blog post, I took what Scott McCloud said to heart, (literally), when he said (wrote, really), that “no other human being can ever know what it’s like to be you from the inside” (pg. 194), and created a comic to express that. (Yes, I know that was the prompt, but sheesh, I wanted it to be mysterious). I wanted to take the idea of individuality very seriously and literally, because of some personal reasons.

For years I was known as the “perfectionist”, the “smart girl” or whatever label people wanted to slap over my identity. I had a hard time fitting in and truly knowing who I was, because people were often defining me and what they thought I was. I’m sure many people can relate to that. Many people can also relate to the fact that you can present something on the outside, and it is NOTHING like what is actually occurring on the inside.

I wanted this comic to express that feeling. So I chose to focus on the main things that I have been battling this semester. That was the inspiration behind the idea/purpose: I wanted my internal parts that no one sees to be just as prominent as the parts of self that people do see. The content was based off of this, as I mentioned earlier: the things that I have been battling this semester; the things you can’t see.

Outer vs. Inner Appearances. Created by Haydyn Wallender, Spring 2020.

The form was a comic, but a different structure than before for me. I chose to really play with different frame sizes, the line stroke of the boxes, and the colors of the comic. Each specific internal piece of me is linked to a pattern that I felt would express that part of me. The boxes are, in a way, meant to be reflections, or mirrors, to show the two different aspects of a person at once. You can read the middle panels in a specific or very vague way; I wanted the experience to be up for interpretation and not be so “black and white” like my other comics have been.

The idiom and genre of work was based off of a memoir I have been writing for another class this semester. In that piece of writing, I focus a lot on the abstract parts of self I show here, but in a more flowing, loopy sort of way, where there isn’t a definite conclusion. Internal conflicts and trauma can’t really come to a definite conclusion in my mind, but I reached a conclusion with art that was different than with my writing, so I thought that contrast would be interesting to display.

This leads to the structure of my comic, which I would argue is interdependent as well as additive. The words of my comic amplify the little girl’s thoughts, which are my thoughts, reflected in her world. If the phrases weren’t there, the comic would not only be difficult to understand, but readers would only see a surface level, when there is more there to decipher. As for the interdependent part of the comic, what she is experiencing as a cartoon is similar to what I go through internally and externally, and the words that I chose to write go hand in hand with the images to convey a deeper meaning and idea that the images couldn’t do alone.

The craft of the comic was simple enough: I doodled my idea while Kristin was discussing the new project during the recorded lecture, and then decided how I wanted to set up the panels, how I wanted the color schemes to go, what size and kind of font, and how I wanted the comic to be portrayed to readers. The surface, or the finishing touches, were spacing of letters in the “depression” panel, as well as the perfecting of aligning shapes and colors and making sure that things were easy to read. I also went back and did the “create outlines” suggestion that Kristin mentioned to ensure my font would be read “accurately”.

Overall, I think this comic had more depth, color and thought put into the creation of this piece than any of my other comics. I loved getting to work with Illustrator (though it was a pain in my butt), and struggle through to make such an accurate comic. This is why I believe that my comic was more ambitious. Though the images and shapes were simple, more detail was put into each frame, and I hope that is evident.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope that you all have a safe, wonderfully well-deserved summer, and do some fun things. I hope to see y’all around in Avery next fall. (:

This entry was posted in 201 Blog, Putting It All Together, Sample Posts by Students. Bookmark the permalink.

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