Pracownia Profesora Wizytującego: Język narracji w rysunku (współczesny komiks)
mgr Jose Manuel Jimenez Munoz, labor.
The studio of Narrative Language in Drawing, most commonly known as the Comic Studio, was firstly conceived by the Department of Painting and Drawing deanery team. Tomasz Kalitko and Joanna Marcinkowska thought it to be a modern and never seen before implement to the department that provided students the opportunity to connect with a current and influential subject such as comics.
Once forged, the studio started its first steps in the university as a required laboratory for students within the department during the first semester and, given its overwhelming response, was extended until the end of the academic year as a free choice lab.
The studio was understood mainly as a practical workshop, while keeping some basics regarding its theoretic and technical matters. And so combining lectures with the working aspects of the subject, the studio proposed four different projects for the students to emerge in.
Here can be found a selection of those projects created by the students from the lab during the academic year 2019-2020.
First Project: Accordion Book
The first project challenged the students to create a sequential narrative in an accordion format with no supporting text. That is, only visual aspects could provide the natural and organic transitions through the images themselves.
This kind of assessment force the student to think about not only the nature of individual drawings, but also the connection and progression between them. It concerns aspects regarding composition, construction, narrative pulse or tension, plasticity and, always, the emotional portrayal of a story without the use of something so recurring as the written word.
The restricted aspect, apart from the use of texts, was the size and its length; they all had to be square with a minimum of 150x150mm and 10 pages with front and back cover.
Second Project: Big format narratives
The second project provided the students the possibility to understand composition, narrative and sequence in bigger formats. The idea was to choose a silhouette or a shape matching the plotline while working inside of the edges of the chosen shell. This project propels the student to discover different framing and sequential systems in comics, as well as the importance of composition and narrative passages. It also gives the students the possibility to investigate in non-traditional forms of comic representation.
Third Project: Limited constructions and spaces
The third project was thought out to be both, an allusion to the University’s centenary and a recollection of all students that have passed through the studio.
The assignment was to create a one-page story (A4), based on the short narrations from the Sunday supplements that appeared during the XIX and XX centuries in the European and American press, one of the first comic publications featured to popular audiences. And so each student selected one year between 1919 and 2020, all the time the University of Arts has been running, to create their pages.
For the magazine to make sense as a whole and giving the circumstances that each page would be attributed to a different author and, as a result, a complete different point of view, the students were given a topic to work on: spaces.
How each one took it, in a more literal or symbolic nature, was up to them while everyone work their stories based on that particular theme.
As a technical learning devise, the magazine was thought to be printed in risograph, allowing the students to understand digital processes of the image and its more mechanical aspects towards its final version.
This project provided a tool for students to investigate the possibilities of a limited surface but with the goal of creating a well-rounded storyline.
The project will be printed in Risograph as planned and will include all the students from the studio since the beginning. Nevertheless, due to the circumstances during this year, it was delayed.
Fourth Project: Shared stories
The fourth and final project of the studio required this time for students to be paired, for the assessment was meant to be worked out in couples.
This project tested the written abilities of the students in order to create guidelines and scripts to their stories, an incredibly important aspect for a comic best interests.
And so, without knowing it then, they started to write their stories for someone else to work on. And so here each project have two co-authors, one in charge of the story and another with the task of translating it into a sequential plastic system.
The project allowed the students to develop their partnership skills and their intuitiveness with the restrictions of a regular professional project. Besides, it gave them the chance to give life to a colleague’s idea with the opportunity to also introduce their unique approach to storytelling.