Recently, I created a graphic novel panel sequence for page 44-47 of the book Empire of the Sun using Adobe Illustrator. Below is the final product (which you can click on to enlarge and take a closer look).
I have learned so much from completing this project, whether that was regarding Adobe Illustrator, or how the use of graphic novel conventions can affect the audience. Since this is a Design project integrated into English, I also learned how the two subjects interrelate and come together to convey plot and meaning to a wider audience.
The use of visuals help to reinforce a particular message, as it adds visual depth to the scene through illustrations. There is only so much one can convey using words, and an illustration makes the message more comprehendible for a wider community – art is international. Every stroke and every drop of colour could show meaning and underlying moods, if you think about it. The artistic intention is what makes up the entire panel sequence.
Technology is able to facilitate the communication of ideas, as lines, shapes and text can easily be created, while colour can easily be added. Technology is basically the simplified version of real life, meaning that tasks are less difficult and challenging to complete. In our case, we used Adobe Illustrator, which was an application used so that we did not have to draw out the panel sequence by hand.
Perspectives can definitely change through the use of visuals. The colour scheme and the use of line, text and transitions are just a few elements that can change the perspective of the audience. With a change in the visuals, the mood could change, affecting and impacting the audience in another way. One small change can make a big difference.
Throughout the Design project, I encountered many challenges, all of which had to do with the application Adobe Illustrator – which is slightly ironic, as I just mentioned how it is meant to make our lives easier. Creating an entire graphic novel panel sequence as an Illustrator newbie is not a piece of cake. All the tools in the sidebar were unfamiliar, and I had no idea what to do when I first opened it. Slowly, by clicking on and experimenting the various tools that Illustrator has to offer, I learned how each of them worked and how I could implement them into my design. I also searched up tutorials online, as people who have a lot more experience than me tend to teach their skills to the online community.
If I were to do this project again, I would spend less time perfecting every tiny little detail, and focusing on making the panels intelligible for everyone – ensuring that an appropriate amount of context is given. This is rather important, as it is necessary that the audience understands what is going on in the scene, or everything else would be utterly pointless.
Overall, this has been a great experience for me, to work with Illustrator, to show my graphic novel knowledge and to display my artistic skills. Though there were some challenges along the way, I managed to persevere and overcome the challenges; and create a final product that I am proud of.