About the Author
Robyn Chapman has studied cartooning at two of the medium’s finest institutions, receiving her BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her MFA from The Center for Cartoon Studies. In 2005 she became The Center for Cartoon Studies’ first fellow, and spent the next five years as their program coordinator and a faculty member. She has built and managed the curriculum for their successful Create Comics and Cartooning Studio workshops. Her cartooning courses, workshops, and lectures have brought her to classrooms at The New School, Wellesley College, The University of Iowa, and the 92nd Street Y. She lives in New York City. Visit her online at http://www.un-pop.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Lab 18: Drawing Without Stopping
- notebook paper
- kitchen timer
- bristol board
1. Pick a time of day when your mind will be fresh, your body rested, and you won’t be distracted. For me, this is in the morning, before going to work.
2. Grab your notebook paper and set your timer for 5 minutes. Write “I’m afraid of...” at the top of your paper. Underneath, make a list of things that scare you. Keep writing for 5 minutes, without stopping. If you can’t think of anything, write the word fear until you have something, or doodle little shapes in the margins. The important thing is to keep your pencil moving.
3. Look at your list. Did anything surprise you? Pick a fear that you would feel comfortable exploring in words and pictures.
4. Create a nine-panel grid.
5. In your first panel, draw a moment when you might begin to feel the fear you picked. Start by drawing yourself, then fill i n the blanks around you. Draw without stopping—always keep your pencil moving. Keep your drawings loose and sketchy. Don’t erase. If you can’t think of anything to draw next, trace some lines you’ve already made.
6. After that first panel, your story can move in any direction: reality, fantasy, or something in between. Keep drawing without stopping until you’ve filled your nine panels. Don’t plan or think ahead, except for this: as you reach your ninth panel, try to give your page an ending that feels complete.
7. Put your comic away for a week, and don’t look at it or read it. After a week, take a look. What do you think of the story you made?