The Drawing Together community convened again on Sunday, October 30. Our session was led by Elizabeth A. Trembley, a Lambda Literary award-winning mystery writer who now tells her stories in comics. Her new graphic memoir Look Again explores the fragmenting nature of trauma by tracing the convoluted evolution of her own story through six variations of the same event. Elizabeth has a PhD in literature from the University of Chicago, and currently works for the Sequential Artists Workshop. She lives in West Michigan with two big dogs, two cats, a collection of Batman toys, and her episcopal priest wife. She walks in the woods every day.
Beth introduces herself and our work for this session, and we launch into the three warm-up exercises.
You can draw along with the video above, or use these instructions:
- Draw three frames on your page, whatever size you like.
- In one minute, doodle in the first frame basic shapes – circles, triangles, squares, stars, etc.
- In the second frame, doodle shapes that you find bothersome to you. They can be made up shapes, or known ones. They are shapes that feel annoying or “prickly” to you.
- And in the final frame, draw shapes that are the opposite – shapes and marks that are comfortable or comforting or welcoming, fun to you. Shapes that have a positive resonance for you.
Next Beth introduces us to her inner voices and how she came to interpret them visually. and come to understand them as helpers, not just annoyances. We then launch into our main drawing exercise, a four panel comic.
You can draw along with the video above, pausing for the four minute drawing times. Or you can use these instructions:
- Draw four panels on your page.
- Take about four minutes to each panel.
- In the first panel, depict one of your inner voices. Perhaps one you hear all the time, or only when calm, or when stressed or frightened. Or when you make are. Draw that voice as a character. You can give it a voice and background setting if you’d like.
- in the second panel, depict a way in which this character or voice is a “problem” to you. You can speak to it, “You are a problem because…” or you can show yourself reacting to what the character says to you.
- In the third frame, draw a moment when you have a paradigm shift – you think to yourself, “wait a minute, maybe this thing that has been annoying me actually means well, but is not communicating that clearly.” What might that inner voice be trying to draw to your attention? How could it be helpful? Draw the moment when you think maybe your inner voice is trying to be helpful.
In the fourth and final frame, draw the “so what” of this situation. What happens after you have your realization that your inner voice is trying to help you, or giving you a piece of wisdom, or something to think about. Draw a snapshot of what happens when you establish a different relationship with your inner voice.
Thanks to Beth for leading an amazing Drawing Together session! If you’d like to share your work from this session on social media, use #DrawingTogetherGM.
To see more of Beth’s work, check out her website and her instagram.
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