Escape: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Natalie Rockhold (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
The main character of this comic is a girl who feels trapped in her mundane, polluted environment until a flying ball leads her back to nature. We are all guilty of spending too much time inside (especially here in Silicon Valley) but nature can do a lot for a person. Not all of us have magic talismans to follow there, however, and we need to get outside even when it’s not convenient. I wanted to illustrate the contrast between the city and the landscape with colors. The city that the girl begins her journey in is full of smoke, brown buildings, and gray skies. I tried to keep the color scheme really neutral and dark until she escapes to the end environment, which is full of vibrant pinks, purples, and blues. Visually, the comic panels give the reader an idea of what will happen within. My personal favorite is the panel where the girl is swimming, which I made into an organic shape instead of having harsh lines like the rest.
Finishing this process helped me to understand the Adobe Illustrator program better. Although it was challenging at times, I learned how to work back to front in each of my panels and use the pen tool (not the brush tool!) to create my comic. I also ran into problems with layers but was able to sort them out. Hopefully I can use the skills and mistakes that I encountered while creating this piece for works in Illustrator to come. I am extremely proud of the final project even though I do wish it looked a little more hand-drawn, because that is usually my art style.