Alice Jaggers talks with Elizabeth Trembley about her recent book, Look Again. Her memoir follows her various versions of her experience finding a dead body in the woods and the mental companions she has along the way. Both Alice and Beth have experienced trauma, which influences their discussion on the weirdness of trauma, how finicky memory can be, what it means to have a safe space violated, and the importance of using art (especially comics) to heal. After this interview was recorded, Beth hosted Drawing Together (link below)!
Elizabeth Trembley’s Bio:
Beth grew up knowing herself to be a kid who could write but who could not draw. Everyone else in the family created visual art, but she just couldn’t make anything that looked good. In her late thirties, she realized that she could probably become a better draw-er if she approached it the way she approached writing: daily practice, lots of experimentation, a sense of humor, and teachers! Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Danny Gregory’s The Creative License were the two most inspirational companions she had on her way. Beth knew she didn’t want to become a fine artist, but someone who used the visual to enhance storytelling. And, she just wanted to be able to draw fun short comics that captured her adventures with her dogs.
In April of 2014, her progress leaped forward when she enrolled in the first klasses offered by Sketchbook Skool and became exposed to so many different teachers and the wonderful community of fun, challenging sketchbook artists. She began to draw and paint every day. She created sketches of events and animals and people and trees and buildings and, really, everything. She combined these with writing into illustrated journals. She took other classes with teachers online and at the Center for Cartoon Studies and the Sequential Artists Workshop. The wonders of using comics as a medium for telling her own stories opened up possibilities and power she had barely imagined. In 2019, after thirty years of college teaching, she retired to work more fully in comics. In addition to creating comics, Beth currently teaches comics and graphic memoir online and in-person. In particular, she runs the Graphic Memoir + Medicine group and teaches multi-week courses in graphic memoir for the Sequential Artists Workshop.
Her graphic memoir, Look Again, is her first published work in comics.
- Trauma Is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Sophie Standing
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