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Inspiring Artists & Writers #2: Ara Carrasco

Ara Carrasco is a talented artist and writer, whose graphic novel, a collection of short stories, will be released in a few months.

In this series, Ara shares with us the process of writing and creating art.

If you’re a writer or artist, hopefully you’ll be inspired by her words.

Creating Graphic Novels

Drawing a story for a comic book requires a certain vision of what is going to happen next, and why.

You have to keep what you just draw and what you’re going to draw next in your mind, as well as how the two panels are going to fit with each other.

Every drawing has to be not only correct and easy to read. It needs to maintain narrative continuity.

That’s why it’s essential to do thumbnails first.

In those first thumbnails I always try to strike a balance between close-up, detailed frames and the more general ones.

It’s more attractive to the eye and makes the page a lot more interesting. I also go to great pains in order not to break what I’ve established.

For example, in my last story the protagonist walks towards a fixed object in almost every panel.

She always goes from left to right, so the reader doesn’t get confused about where she stands and where she is moving to.

Those are some of the basics and they apply to many other media, especially cinema and animation.

What makes a graphic novel different? The answer is the other two key elements: text and framing/distribution, and how they interact with the story.

If, for instance, I want to communicate a lack of freedom, I try using very rigid and regular panels, in a symmetrical grid.

If I need to give a sense of something breaking free of that oppression, then I wouldn’t use any framing at all, or as little as possible.

This is only an example of what you can do with framing.

As for text, I must say I’m rather minimalistic. Since in my stories it usually represents the inner thoughts of the main and only character, I favour very neutral and unobtrusive lettering.

As for colour, I don’t use it in my graphic novel, but I do use textures. The idea is to give a rather grunge feeling to the illustrations, as if they were only sketches or even collages.

Again, I prefer a minimalistic approach. The text and the situations are sometimes rather abstract and I want to keep it this way, because I believe it’s what fits best with the tone of the whole graphic novel.

This is one of the reasons why I think comic books are such a great expressive medium – there is no end to how many things you can say, just playing with a few simple elements!

 

Check out Ara’s previous article in the series!

Inspiring Artists and Writers: Ara Carrasco

We’re starting a new series of articles: The Inspiring Artists and Writers Series!

New Worlds Comics is here to empower you: Empowering the readers, empowering indies, empowering artists and writers.

Ara Carrasco is a talented artist and writer, whose graphic novel, a collection of short stories, will be released at the end of 2015.

Ara will share with us the process of writing and creating art. If you’re a writer or artist, hopefully you’ll be inspired by her words.

There are two main ways in which I approach the making of a new story: in a visual way or in a narrative one.

If I start in a visual way, I try to envision beforehand the general shapes, the composition, the rhythm and the mood each page. Every page will be a small piece of the story, and until I get to see that first one, I have got no idea what will happen in the following ones.

On the other hand, when I start in a more narrative way, a leitmotiv comes to my mind and then evolves into something more profound and complex. Each line resonates inside me, unconnected, while I strive to tease true meaning out of them. It takes me a while and some effort to put them together and know what I’m actually trying to explain.

I must say that the kind of stories I write follow very strict, yet unintentional rules. I never thought of imposing any kind of limitations upon myself, but the truth is that all my stories have little to no dialog, and most of the text is corresponds to the thoughts of the protagonist, who acts as a narrator of the ideas I’m trying to communicate.

Once I’ve got the beginning of a story (after some years and effort I’ve learnt to recognize when I have something worth writing) I start sketching very roughly the general panels, expressing the main idea of each one. If the idea has been properly designed in my mind, this first sketch comes out pretty quickly. It’s a completely irrational process. Most of times I wouldn’t be able to explain why I had chosen that idea over the other ones.

Lately I’ve found that the main reason why I feel drawn to a certain idea is that it has something to do with my past. And as I draw panel after panel, I relive the same intense emotions that I have felt at that particular point in my life. Once I get to that phase, it’s “just” a matter of drawing what’s needed in each panel.

Art: Ara CarrascoAra's Work

Art: Ara Carrasco

 

“Most of All I Loved Outsiders” – Ara’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues! 

This time, Ara Carrasco, who is working tells her story: 

I still remember being a child and trying to comprehend the world around me: Why adults would react in a certain way, why they would not answer the most important questions, why they would get angry or sad or stressed so often – and what could I do to avoid being like them when I grew up.

Comics were a world where I could get lost and avoid all that rationalisation.

I was trying too hard to find a reason for everything, when maybe at times there wasn’t any.

I just loved the drawing in the panels, the colours and the distribution in each page. I wanted to get lost in them, feeling their mood and rhythm. And I liked superheroes, but most of all I loved characters that seemed to be outsiders.

I believe comics are the future for many people who want to tell stories. Compared with other media, they’re incredibly flexible. You don’t need to be a virtuoso with the pencil – what’s really important is to know what you want to say, and express it faithfully.

I am writing my first stories with New Worlds Comics. And I realize there is so much to be said, about all the stuff I’ve been observing since my childhood, things that could perhaps be meaningful to someone. I’d love to inspire people, even if it’s only a little bit, in the same way comics have been an inspiration to me.

 

Ara Carrasco is currently working on a graphic novel for New Worlds Comics. Follow her on Twitter: @aracarrascoart.


 

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Welcome to the Team: Ara Carrasco

New Worlds Comics is glad to announce a new addition to the team!

Everyone, meet Ara. Ara, meet everyone.

Ara

Ara Carrasco is an artist and a writer, currently living in Cambridge in the UK.

New Worlds Comics has just accepted Ara’s graphic novel, an anthology of short stories, to be published in the second half of 2015.

This is another step in our attempt to create Comics 2.0: a new level of storytelling and depth in comic book form.

Here’s the first page of the short story, Jan, about the 20-year-old student who burned himself to death to protest the Russian occupatin of Czechoslovakia.

Based on a true story.

Based on a true story.

Please make her feel welcome, say hello!