Leaving Nothing: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Jacqueline Ta (2017)
I grew by putting myself into my work and understanding how it was formed. Before, I tend to take whatever assignment is in front of me and go at it two ways: with all my heart, or rushing past what insecurities I had and turning it in for a grade. This comic, Leaving Nothing, however, was to be in my face for a good part of a semester, combining my awful plan of a story with my hit-or-miss drawing skills. Naturally, I had to stick to my guns and devote myself to whatever dark hole I had to go through. Thus, that meant understanding where I’d have to put the devil in the details. First problem, a set of spoken instructions for the comic board. Last overall problem, learning a new program. Certainly, I felt my fear growing before me but I tackled them wonderfully. Whatever struggles I encountered, I took my time. I learned to care about assignments placed before me, whether it was redrafting all seven panels in my sketchbook three separate times to asking for help on my layers in Illustrator. My frustration and insecurities laid bare until I threw them away to make the deadlines and just concentrated on what mattered.
I think what I would change the most would be shading. I didn’t imagine for the room to be so dark or the light to come from one area, so I would have liked to spent more time on it. I also think it looks clunky in parts like the main character’s face. I think the idea of photographing someone’s face would’ve helped sell her expressions more and I should’ve taken Ms. Parkinson’s advice. I am still pretty proud of the end result though. Gazing at this colored-in pen work just makes me giddy with pride, especially all the late after-school hours I put into it. I’ll be taking those hours and successful ending with me to remember that my future projects can turn out to be cool and not look too ridiculous once I put my effort into it. I’ve always seen art as challenging to make but now I also appreciate the sentiment of having others look at it and see what I’ve done or to have even just me see what I’ve done.