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Hey people,

So I'm trying to kickstart an attempt to feature comics being made out in the open, by which I mean on the SAW Facebook page. It's just a group of people putting out panels and pages and comics. What better thing to share? I'll probably post this in a day or two (or three) if it takes me too long to finish a panel to accompany the post. If there's something you think I'm missing, or if you somehow think the message is off, I'd love to hear it before I post it on FB. Okay, here's the post as I currently have it:

Hey, so let’s cut to the chase here: let’s make some comics. So you joined SAW’s site and maybe took some awesome courses. Maybe you’re just looking at taking some. Maybe you have some raw material to develop. Maybe you’re waiting for divine inspiration or a break, or a new feeling or something I haven’t guessed.
I’m just a person, not really an artist. I’m not here to tell you you’re an artist, either. Now why would I go and say something like that? Well, if I’m totally honest, it never worked for me. It never spurred me to create. I’m one of those people who thrives within groups or classes or even creative teams. I even like some competition on some things. Do you? I think people like us, who love art, but also love the communication aspect of comics can also make comics. Also, I can’t lie to myself that I'm actually making stuff, so let’s try fixing that before we go into some new self-definition, okay?
So that leaves us where we look at how these ‘artists’ work. Mimic this to the best of our abilities by faking it. Let’s just try on the cartoonist’s schedule and not be hasty here, try before you buy. So how does this work?

1. Make posts on the SAW facebook page with the hashtag #lonelyhartsclub. Show your finished panels, finished pages. Not your roughs, though. If you have rough ideas and want critiques, you can PM whoever you want, but this isn’t that. As long as every new post has new stuff, great as gravy. You can always subtract panels later, but post finished panels, finished pages. Notice I didn’t say what constitutes finished? That’s for you to decide!

2. If you’re stuck for ideas, for heaven’s sake, please check out some of the incredible classes at SAW. Tom even has some free ones for you to generate ideas from practically nothing.

3. Comment on the other artists busting their butts to get this stuff done with that hashtag. Let’s keep it simple: either mention: how far they’ve come from their last step, or congratulate them on their present step or share how anxious you are to see their next step.

4. And this is the most important part: Print your comics up and mail them off to at least 5 people. PM people who you want to mail to, ask for addresses. If you get one of someone else’s, thank them on social media and post a picture the comic. Mail a copy to SAW in Gainesville, Florida!

So, the idea here is to make your comic not a capital ‘A’ piece of art, but a vehicle to communicate with, to socialize with, like a letter or an article. Make your comic part of your conversation with the world. You will do the same thing differently tomorrow, so capture what you say and how you say things today. Don’t shoot for immutable and perfect. Let your work be merely a reply, not the entirety of a conversation. Let it be open to replies from other works, you can’t help but influence one another. It could be a beautiful thing. #lonelyhartsclub

Thanks for reading.

As we come to the end, I want to say I am really proud of everything that has happened here, from my ability to teach on-line, to how proud I am of you as students. Thanks for sticking with me, trusting the process... and doing so damn much work!

I sometimes ask myself "Why the hell am I doing this?" after working with some students... but this has been one of those experiences where I know why the hell I am doing this!

Coming to the end or not, I don't feel sad, I feel really good about what happened... and though we end on Sunday... it's not the end, 'cause you're gonna be integrating this stuff and mastering it for a long time to come. Plus, you can always go to my site, email me, and keep sharing your work with me, and I will offer whatever guidance I can.

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Cave of Wonders v3.0

I feel like this one went off the rails when the markers came in. I would have done it just in black and white if I had more time- I know as it is I'm way late. I included the line drawing before this happened. I plan to redo it for my own satisfaction in b&w.
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5/4/17
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Hi everyone hi +Justine Andersen some more from my inch by inch drawing. It's kind of quiet in here, which I think means the class/bonus week is finished?

Thanks for everything Miss Justine! I've left my review somewhere up in the feed. BTW, I had a look at some of my earlier drawings from about 5 weeks ago, and was a bit stunned to see how far I have progressed! I truly enjoyed this class even though at times I wanted to beat my head against a wall. Your a great teacher and artist and I look forward to your inking class!
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So, I thought I'd try to take advantage of the bonus week and work on having large silhouette areas that are still interesting. I think I could have done more with that area in front of the fallen tree. I'm looking at it as I'm posting and I realize it's become the same layer as the trees behind it. That and where the hill meets the mouse head could be better.

That said, I think this is 1000 times better than something I might have attempted six weeks ago.
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By the Goddess Justine's request, here are my three Cave of Wonders drawings all in a row. (Plus the pre-marker stage of the last one.) While I still have a lot to master I am very pleased with my obvious progress here. Thank you Justine!!!! There will be a fourth version of this, eventually, as I am not satisfied w/the markering on the last. Feel free to snicker at the first one! 🤣
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5/5/17
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So I haven't gotten around to the homework assignments... These are two panels I did do though this week for a short comic I'm working on. I like to think I was able to apply the lessons already a bit: layers of depth (although there's not that much depth in these closed areas), contrasting detail so elements stand out against each other. These are to be inked and colored later, but the images should also read in this stage I think. Anyway, it's as far as I got... Hope to practice this a lot more! The course blew my mind and changed how I now look at image composition. Justine, thank you again.
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5/4/17
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Three images that work...I tried to keep it Australian, just for fun.
1) A watercolour by Blamire Young, 1911. I just adore this man's work -- he was the first person I thought of for things that work. Lookit that layering, how the beautiful sky pushes the eye down into the smoky end of Melbourne, down the hill (with gorgeous colour granulation) and into the distance of the industrial city, and the smokestacks/smoke lift your eyes back to the sky and bring your view forward again. It doesn't matter where you begin looking, you can just go round and round, so much to see. He's great with bold dark paint for contrast.

2) An oil painting by Dorrit Black, a painter from Adelaide. Her work is also among my favourite -- she was a modernist thru n thru. I love her simplified forms, beautiful colour palettes. She uses angles amazingly in her landscapes -- your eye zigzags up through the painting through the furrows and along the tractor, the farmer points you back into the painting, and the heavy, slightly softer form of the trees sort of weights your vision -- keeps the viewer grounded, earthed, so to speak -- good theme for an agricultural painting.

3) A panel from the graphic novel Salty River, by Jan Bauer, about two backpackers falling in love during a trek thru the Australian outback. He's a designer and every panel/page in this book shows it. The dark rock outcrop leads your eye right up to the woman standing on it -- her arms parallel the horizon to keep your eye in the image. The man creeping cautiously up to her perch also brings your eye into the focal point, and the curve of the hill brings you to the same. The contrast fades off to give the drawing depth. He also uses contrast beautifully -- the highlights on the rocks help to lead to the woman on the outcrop too.

Things that don't work were hard to find -- I filter those right out of my collection and so I didn't have any to choose from! I'll try to get onto it.
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02/05/2017
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Hi everyone +Justine Andersen, more work on my Orientalist dreamscape collage. It feels like it's taking forever, inch by inch and I haven't even begun the details on the walls yet...I'm including one of the source pics I used for the setting.
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5/2/17
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