Thinking (again) about the sequential art (comics) workshop

Its been a long minute that this post has sat in a draft form in my dashboard, 2 years in fact. There wasn’t even really much written here just the bunch of links below and some half baked intentions, but having recently gone back to scan all the pages of one specific sketchbook (for another upcoming post who knows how long that one will take) it just so happened to include the pages from the Comic book workshop I took with Scott McCloud, also over 2 years ago in Lethbridge Alberta. Regardless, the pages are now finally scanned and I can share them here, as well as the the myriad of thoughts they have stirred up.

There a four pages included in this comics workshop summary, I will add a few more thoughts to each page, but in general this was an amazing learning experience which I often reminisce  and draw from in my own work. I was not surprised to find out that a former student of Scotss had gone on to create the RSA animate series after being so inspired by these sessions. I totally get it.  Going over these notes again however has brought back a few things that I missed, or in some cases, have new context for understanding. So 2 years on I am still learning from these sessions. There was not much else written up about this experience but I was lucky to find one other blogged reflection which I will point to as needed.

Keynote lecture – “The Changing face of comics” The event started off the night before with a mini lecture from Scott to kick off the Nerdfest which the workshop was billed under. He made the case that stories are everywhere and also that anyone can both DRAW and WRITE.

Day 1 – A full day of theory and practice, Scott had us do several comic making exercises considering the balance between clarity and intensity. I should dig out the other work we did here, but there was also home work which I have previously posted. .

Day 2 – A great critique to start off the day, reminded me how valuable this pedagogy can be in creative work if done well, and Scott is a master. Image and word are “flip sides of the same coin” but the choice of when to use one or the other is a question I still ask myself today.

Summary – A few weeks later I had a a crack at doing a visual summary to try and get ready to do this blog post. I like the notion that comics is like “writing with pictures” , something I can relate to in terms of my own visual practice such as sketchnoting and graphic facilitation. There are stories EVERYWHERE and people are hardwired for them.  Simply putting a frame around them allows us to share the stories that have meaning to us.


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Learning to fail

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual Failure Wake held by SFU’s “social innovation lab” known as Radius. I’ve become increasingly aware of  developments there through several projects I’ve worked on with some of the faculty at Beedie School of Business including visual summaries and animations.  I’ve been impressed by their “RADIcal ideas , Useful to Society.

Radius lined up a radical group of speakers for this event, in which they shared stories of their entrepreneurial failures and reflected on lessons learned from them, all of which I captured live with the following sketchnotes.


I found each of these speakers inspiring as they reminded me of the importance of taking risks, following your passion and believing in yourself. When all is said and done , your failures are only stepping stones to future success, and the more of them you can have the better! I think these sketch notes offer a glimpse into each of the speakers stories and what I took away. I’d be happy to hear if you have any reactions yourself.

I’m also taking this opportunity to work on my blog a bit and have invested in a new plugin for showing off my art called, ilightbox.  So far I love it though it seems it will take awhile to really exploit this to the fullest.

I’ll be looking to host most of my images on this domain from now on, but also have a backlog of pictures floating around on various social media sites that I feel need to be moved over at some point.