Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I was recently invited to Belfort, a city in the east of France, to present 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style and to give an Oubapo workshop to art school students. I devised for the workshop, very much at the last minute, a brand new constraint which I call ROYGBIV.
Here's how it goes: draw a comic of 7 panels, each one corresponding to a color of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. No color allowed (that would be too easy!), black & white only. You need to find non-direct ways to reference each of the seven colors. This could be an associated object, as in a banana for yellow; a textual reference; an emotion represented (red for anger), or any other analogy you can think of. In addition to the sequence of colors, you might also consider the image of the arc, the movement between warm (red) and cool (blue) colors, as well as cultural associations with rainbows (pot of gold, LGBT, etc).
For this class we had about two hours to work so I only had the students produce rough thumbnails. A few examples follow (I apologize for the crappy iPhone pix. No time for proper scans.)
In this comic there's a hidden arc in each panel in addition to the colors. Here we get a tragic life story of potential (that word!) cut short, from rosy cheeks and heart mobile to the icy violet ice floe of a frozen corpse. This is one of the few comics to make a real distinction between blue (water) and indigo (night sky)--the hardest color to indicate, we all agreed.
The kids (well, mostly teens, one 20-something grad student and two middle-aged women) were almost all energized by the challenge and most of them asked for my e-mail, promising to finish up and e-mail me their inked pages (au boulot, les enfants, j'attends toujours ces planches!).
Incidentally, on the way home from Belfort (in the midst of the nationwide strikes that paralyzed the country that October weekend) I spent the night in Montreuil, outside Paris, with my fellow-oubapian, Etienne Lécroart, who shared with me a few constraints Oubapo has been using or planning to use in France. I'll try to post about those later, possibly with examples from me and Tom Hart.