Friday, June 10, 2022

Creating Artwork During the Pandemic and the Race to TCAF 2022

Men in Suits

It's been awhile since my last post! I have been working for years on a very large project about Canadian scientist Gerald Bull. I had been on a section of the story that is all men in suits in  the 1950s and 1960s in offices. This is a big challenge to present in a visually interesting way, and I found myself hitting big stumbling blocks here.

To help get me through it and to provide me with some variety, I started another project - a comic adaptation of poet Cornelia Hoogland's stunning book - Woods Wolf Girl. These visuals were organic forest scenes featuring a female protagonist - Little Red Riding Hood. It was a huge artistic release for me.

The Pandemic

Then during the pandemic, I hit a wall. I was unable to do anything creative for at least a year. I know some people were more productive during this time period, but not me. It was just too stressful a time, and I could only put one foot in front of the other.

What ended up to help pull me out of the mire, was a local comics group I'm a part of called "Comic Time". It's a group cartoonists who get together sometimes to talk comics. Over the pandemic we zoomed and drew and it was really great to have this small community. 

TCAF Application

Still work was coming slowly. I find I tend to need a hard deadline to drive myself to complete a project. So when TCAF (the Toronto Comic Arts Festival), announced they would be having an in-person festival in the Summer of 2022, I decided to apply. I've been at the show a number of times, and it's one of my favourite comic shows. If I got in, it would be the kick in the pants I would need to finish "A Girl Walks Into the Woods", my Little Red Riding Hood Adaptation.

Then - in March, 2022 I got the email that I was in for TCAF! That meant I had to have something new on my table for June 18! I had about 3 months to complete my comic, so I ramped up like I haven't in YEARS. It was a TON of work - I'm very slow and comics are SO laborious! But honestly, it's been refreshing and somewhat thrilling to be fully creating again. PLUS I really like the outcome - rare for me. Files are in to the printer, nothing like making it JUST under the wire.

More to come with full info and images on the comic! 

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