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Do Now #76: What’s Your Illustrated Story?

| April 23, 2013 | 46 Comments
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Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Artists often use true stories to inspire their artwork. Which of your personal stories would you illustrate? What is a story from your life that would make a compelling series of illustrations?

Introduction

Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton creates her own “drawn journalism” by embedding herself in communities, talking to people, and drawing images based on their personal stories. She created a book about the San Francisco Public Library and its frequent visitors, and is currently working on a book about the stories behind people’s tattoos.

MacNaughton’s approach to storytelling is unique, and there are many other artists who have developed their own styles of drawn journalism. There is an entire genre, non-fiction graphic novels, with examples such as Chris Ware’s substantial collection, Building Stories, which chronicles the lives of a group of people who share an apartment building in Chicago. Below, listen to Chris Ware discuss his approach to “giving shape to the human experience” in 19 seconds.

Maira Kalman, whose work is pictured above, is another artist who approaches storytelling through drawings and paintings. Look to these artist for inspiration, then think of some of your best stories, whether they’re true or embellished, and drawing a picture that represents the story. You can choose to use text or not, but be sure to include details that help convey the emotion behind your story. Tweet your images to us and we’ll post them here on EdSpace!

Resource

KQED Art School video In the Studio with Wendy MacNaughton – March 21, 2013
Meet San Francisco artist Wendy MacNaughton, who discusses her approach to making art, and her “drawn journalism” projects. Also, learn more about Wendy MacNaughton and check out her video lesson about drawing beverages like a coffee cup and a wine glass.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can…and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

Gallery Crawl video Echo Test — September 2009, Pt. 2
In September 2009, Gallery Crawl interviewed Mel Kadel about her Echo Test exhibit at Fecal Face dot Gallery in San Francisco. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kadel creates mysterious, yet familiar imagery partly inspired by her childhood.

Sound Cloud Search Collection of Chris Ware
Here are a list over 500 Chris Ware sounds featured from a variety of Sound Cloud sources like prainpicker, CKQ, Design Matters, and Chris Ware.

Ted Talk video Maira Kalman, the illustrated woman – Mar, 2007
Author and illustrator Maira Kalman talks about her life and work, from her covers for The New Yorker to her books for children and grown-ups. She is as wonderful, as wise and as deliciously off-kilter in person as she is on paper.

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Category: Arts, Do Now, Do Now: Art and Popular Culture

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About the Author ()

Kristin Farr is KQED's Arts Education Manager. She is the creator and producer of the Emmy Award-winning video series, Art School, which brings audiences into artists' studios to learn about contemporary art, and engages learners with ideas for new ways to get creative. She is also an artist and a contributing editor for Juxtapoz Magazine.
  • Devin DeGeyter

    If I could illustrate a scene from my life I would definitley emplify my car ride to my grandparents I used to go on every summer. I loved seeing the scenery change from the fields and plains of the valley into the mountains tree filled north.But I will no longer be able to make that trip anymore.

  • Devin DeGeyter

    If I could illustrate a scene from my life I would definitley emplify my car ride to my grandparents I used to go on every summer. I loved seeing the scenery change from the fields and plains of the valley into the mountains tree filled north.But I will no longer be able to make that trip anymore.

  • Ashley Tran

    If I could illustrate any thing from my life it would definitely be the time I rode an airplane without any family members. I met so many interesting people, including a devout Christian who handed me a ton of bible scriptures, and a 30 year old punk rocker lady who seemed to still be in her lost years with her bright red hair and somewhat wrinkly tattoos. I was sitting in the middle of these two and despite their conflicting beliefs we chatted up a storm and the seven hour flight wasn’t at all agonizing.

  • Ashley Tran

    If I could illustrate any thing from my life it would definitely be the time I rode an airplane without any family members. I met so many interesting people, including a devout Christian who handed me a ton of bible scriptures, and a 30 year old punk rocker lady who seemed to still be in her lost years with her bright red hair and somewhat wrinkly tattoos. I was sitting in the middle of these two and despite their conflicting beliefs we chatted up a storm and the seven hour flight wasn’t at all agonizing.

  • Jocelyn Kilpatrick

    If I were to illustrate any point in my life it would have to be the first summer I spent working/volunteering at Camp Kids. I had just finished my seventh grade year and felt as if I had no friends, and didn’t know what else to do with my summer besides sit on my butt and wait for school to start again. Joining this program gave me more than friends, it gave me a family, a place of refuge, and a home. This group of kids and leaders have had such an impact on my life and every year I am so grateful to go back and spend my summer with all of them.

  • Jocelyn Kilpatrick

    If I were to illustrate any point in my life it would have to be the first summer I spent working/volunteering at Camp Kids. I had just finished my seventh grade year and felt as if I had no friends, and didn’t know what else to do with my summer besides sit on my butt and wait for school to start again. Joining this program gave me more than friends, it gave me a family, a place of refuge, and a home. This group of kids and leaders have had such an impact on my life and every year I am so grateful to go back and spend my summer with all of them.

  • Quinn “Qtip” Watson

    If I could illustrate anything in my life I would illustrate my times at Rodeo Beach. Everything from the scenery to the story behind why the name was changed is beautiful and a lot of my fondest memories are there.

  • Quinn “Qtip” Watson

    If I could illustrate anything in my life I would illustrate my times at Rodeo Beach. Everything from the scenery to the story behind why the name was changed is beautiful and a lot of my fondest memories are there.

  • http://education.kqed.org/edspace/2013/04/23/do-now-76-whats-your-illustrated-story/#comments Kevin Lillich

    If i could illustrate something from my life, it would be a picture of me and my friends just talking. Why? Because I’ve realized that in life the important things aren’t always, where you were, what you saw, or what you experienced. Sometimes the important things in life is the people who were there with you. And just having a conversation with someone is something i enjoy.

  • http://education.kqed.org/edspace/2013/04/23/do-now-76-whats-your-illustrated-story/#comments Kevin Lillich

    If i could illustrate something from my life, it would be a picture of me and my friends just talking. Why? Because I’ve realized that in life the important things aren’t always, where you were, what you saw, or what you experienced. Sometimes the important things in life is the people who were there with you. And just having a conversation with someone is something i enjoy.

  • Justin

    If I could illustrate something from my life, it would be my time at competition for Business Professionals of America. From regional, to state, to national competition, there have been so may bright memories to illustrate.

  • Justin

    If I could illustrate something from my life, it would be my time at competition for Business Professionals of America. From regional, to state, to national competition, there have been so may bright memories to illustrate.

  • Daniel

    I would probably illustrate my life in high school. I would depict my hardships with being bullied and the things that followed that.

  • Samantha Wojcik

    If I could illustrate something from my life, It would be a picture of my family during the holidays. Because during the holidays is when I get to see all of my family that I don’t get to see all the time. It would tell a story about us talking and playing games together just having a great time. Being with my family is verry inportant to me and it would make a great picture.

  • Camdon Hisey

    I think I would illustrate maybe the life of a homeless man. Maybe with him standing looking upward clutching a fortune cookie paper with the word hope on it with a really darker city background him with a lot of commotion.

  • Dakota Brooke

    If I had to illustrate a certain story about my life, It would be from this past week at Fort Myers beach. I saw the best sunset and in the scenery was Fort Myers pier and it made it look like paradise.

  • Cole Reinhold

    I would say that a good story to illustrate would be a student through all of there education. From kindergarden to the end of college.

  • Ben

    If I had to illustrate a story about my life, it would probably be a time period during summer or a break. Usually I am happy during this time and it would create a good feeling in the illustration.

  • Wesley Seidelmann

    I think I would probably illustrate how someone who lives so far away could so easily capture the heart of someone. It would show that even meeting someone is some dumb, goofy way can cause a chain reaction of events that will eventually lead to someone’s heart being captured but in the end shattered as they have to leave…

  • Clay

    Artists often use true stories to inspire their artwork. Which of
    your personal stories would you illustrate? What is a story from your
    life that would make a compelling series of illustrations?

    I wouldn’t use my personal life/stories. It’s personal for a reason, and I don’t see the need to exploit it for art/fame.

    • john

      i agree somewhat with you. Eminem uses his personal life stories to inspire his music but also got famous because people related to his music.

  • Quentin

    I would say that a good story to illustrate is someone through their whole life. From birth to the end of their life

  • Kyle Williams

    I think the best illustrations would come from your dreams because they are not entirely from your life, just what you wish your life would be like so the possibilities are endless!

  • Manuel Moreno

    I would say ones dreams and life experiences would be a good illustration.

    • Dakota Brooke

      It would be awesome if i could remember details about my dreams to make an illustration.

  • Cesar Aguilar

    I would think back out all the good memories and try to pick the best one to illustrate. I think that would be so awesome to be an artist and make a series of drawings of great moments of my life.

  • Dakota Brooke
  • Ben
  • Cole Reinhold
  • john
  • Clay
  • Kyle Williams
  • Quentin
  • Owen Manns

    I think peoples dreams would be a great thing to illustrate. I think also people could use either the happiest moments of there life, or the most down in the dumps part of it to illustrate.

  • Arthur Clemons
    • Kyle Williams

      It is pretty motivating, logos are a great way to capture parts of your life since there are logos for almost every company. And the Alabama Seahawks are one of my favorite teams!

  • Wesley Seidelmann
    • Cole Reinhold

      I like the idea of a website like this allowing people to write stories about whatever they want to, even there own lives.

      • Clay

        I agree with Cole, and like the fact that a website allows such freedom when it comes to writing.

  • Manuel Moreno

    I would illustrate fun times in my lifetime and make continuous serious of illustrations.

  • Brandon Milligan

    I think that you could make illustrations about certain things in your life.

  • Brandon Milligan
    • Samantha Wojcik

      That web site was pretty cool. The pictures told a story and the added movement helped get a better understanding of the picture.

  • Isaac Scarborough

    I would illustrate the time when I first got my dog. This story is executed right, would make a very compelling story.