Maggie Stiefvater's Blog: Maggie Stiefvater
August 27, 2016
Obscure Paintings Inside Abandoned Buildings
Born in Belfast, 28-year old artist Ted Pim composes obscure and stunning baroque images on the inside of abandoned buildings. Abstract and melancholic in nature, Pim carries a mixture of paints, industrial torches and a camera to capture his work.
The artist aims to lure his viewers into a strange and unknown world, which has been kept neglected by creating a brooding atmosphere. Similar to many street artists, Pim keeps his identity anonymous to create his work in solitude.
Adorable and Quirky Bookmarks That Make Tiny Legs Stick Out of Your Book
Kiev-based designer Olena Mysnyk designs cute and unusual bookmarks on her Etsy shop, MyBOOKmark, which are imaginative and humorous. Drawing inspiration from the most famous literary characters such as Dorothy Gale fromThe Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter and The Hobbit, she pays homage to the love of literature with an ideal conversation starter: a quirky bookmark! Find more of her adorable bookmarks on her Etsy shop here!
One of the reasons that I love comics so much is that there are many valid ways to approach the medium. When I make comics, the parts I’m most concerned with are character and story. Everything I draw on the comic page is in service to character and story. Because of my focus on those two elements over, say, experimenting with my art and page structure, I will sometimes get criticism that my work is safe or boring. This is probably fair criticism! I don’t do a lot of experimenting with paneling or challenging storytelling or explicitly challenging artwork in my comics, because right now that’s what I’m not interested in. Maybe I will be more experimental someday, but not right now, with the kind of stories I want to tell. :)
When I make a comic, my goal is for my readers to be engaged with the story I’m telling, and the characters in that story. That’s also what I look for when I want to read a good comic. I want characters to love, I want a story to be engaged with.
For the most part, I struggle with drawing comics (most artists do, if we’re honest ;)), but there are some parts of comics I think I have a good handle on. I feel like I’m strongest when portraying emotion on the page, and I’m good at drawing those scenes out and making the reader feel what my characters are going through. Some of the techniques I use to convey emotion came from being obsessed with movies when I was a teenager, and some techniques are stolen from my holy trinity of influences: Jeff Smith (Bone), Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Naoki Urasawa (Monster, Pluto, 20th Century Boys).
Of the three artists I’ve mentioned, I consider Urasawa especially to be a master of emotion and pacing. When I first started reading his comics, it was like light struck my brain; finally I saw what I’d been trying to do for years right there on the comic page in front of me! I like the way he lays out his emotional scenes a lot. Here’s an example (read right to left):
Urasawa uses repeating panels and decompression to draw out the emotions of a scene. In this single page there isn’t a lot of movement. It’s literally just two characters staring at each other, but the tension rises going from panel 1 to panel five. Gesicht (the man)’s expression doesn’t change between panels two and five, but we literally feel his anger rising off-panel, concluding in the close up in panel 5.
There’s an excellent You Tube channel called Every Frame a Painting (I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but if you haven’t, please go watch all the videos! There aren’t many, and they’re all really informative). My favourite video is this one, about editing:
This video hit on something that I strive for in my comics: emotion takes time. When I draw a scene that is emotional, when characters are struggling with something, or celebrating something, or being challenged, I want my readers to feel what the character is feeling, and one of the best ways to do that, for me, is to take my time. To give that emotion time to breathe on the page.
I’m going to use some scenes in The Nameless City to illustrate how I use decompression and pacing to underscore the emotion in my comics. To avoid spoilers and because this is getting a little long, I’m going to put it under a cut. Please read on! :)
I drew Blue in some of my outfits from the past weeks!!
They’re too preppy for her but I feel she would appreciate them
the post i have been waiting for