Thursday, 14 November 2013

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel Behind the Scenes

In this blog we'll talk a little bit about the creation of the Time To Shine: Graphic Novel, which we produced for Creative Scotland. We were approached by Creative Scotland well over a year ago, and were asked to place a bid, for the work of creating a graphic novel which would support Scotland's new arts strategy for ages 0-25.
Cover spread for Time To Shine: Graphic Novel

The idea was to produce an entertaining and accessible story which would appeal to a wide range of ages and backgrounds, a story to inspire young people to get involved in the arts and a story that supported and underlined the key themes of the strategy itself.

First we read hundreds of pages of documentation, research carried out by Creative Scotland with young people and adults, and the strategy document as it continued to evolve. We digested and condensed all this material into a story.

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel research material
John wrote a script - we discussed and developed the story together while walking around the park while John was writing the script. From this, Sandra created pages of layout. The layouts had to be approved before we could get started on the actual finished artwork. We also attended focus group meetings with young people at Young Scot, where we discussed the story and received feedback, particularly on the dialogue. We were pleased and encouraged that the young people liked what we'd written and drawn.

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel script and layout

Sandra also drew some thumbnails at various stages to work out how best to tell the story. We had a limited amount of pages to fit everything into, and also a very limited amount of time to complete the final artwork - 64 pages in under 4 months from planning to finished pages!

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel thumbnails
Here are a couple of page extracts from the graphic novel.

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel page extract
Time To Shine: Graphic Novel page extract
We also had fun with the design of the book and tried to incorporate and represent as many different artforms as possible. These are peppered throughout the story, but also in the actual design of the book. See if you recognise the artists and artforms we referred to in the following spreads.

Time To Shine: Graphic Novel inside spread
Time To Shine: Graphic Novel inside spread

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