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Storyboarding your narrative

Totally not a spoiler…I removed the dialog at least 🙂

As with many things creative, there’s a lot of ways to storyboard your idea. I am by no means prescribing how storyboarding should be done, only that I use storyboarding as a tool to develop my narrative at the visual level.

One thing that’s helpful to understand is that the act of script writing and storyboarding is pretty fluid and they lend themselves to one another. In fact, I believe that a healthy back and forth between the two is very necessary in order to convey the right tone, idea, and visuals. For example, I wrote my script with a visual in mind and added cues in my writing where I felt necessary, but once it goes into a quick sketch, there are things you can absolutely convey without text, and vise versa there’s some antecedents that require more context from the writing side of things as well. Storyboarding absolutely helps with sussing out the type of narrative you desire, so it’s important to be flexible and let the process flow.

Use a script to guide your visual narrative
I write out my scripts like scenes where I have both dialog and non-dialog displayed, and I experimented with various layouts before I ended up with the below script template example. This is what works for me:


The above is a 1:1 screenshot of how this appears in my docs file

SCENE 1, EXAMPLE

[I use this as a way to convey action, scene, setting, or anything else that might be non-dialog. There’s unlimited ways to write and layout a script so try different things to see what works.]

Character A: “Hopefully this helps with ideas for how to layout a script.”

[I use this as a way to indicate some sort of action or non-dialog.]

Character B: “Do what’s comfortable and works for you.”

Character A: (smiles) “Couldn’t have said it better myself!”



Don’t worry too much about the fidelity
Your storyboards don’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s better if they’re not so you can make adjustments without a lot of revision work. Think of your storyboard like a rough outline of your graphic novel. Each moment conveyed should take small strides in telling your story. Your storyboard overall is meant to save you time, so once you get to the illustration, coloring, and lettering portion of the process, you’re a little bit more foolproof when it comes to revisions, which can take a lot of time and that’s what we’re trying to save by adding this to our process. In the image below I’m using the webtoon scroll format because I think it lends itself beautifully to the handheld device medium.

How a webtoon format would display on a device, far right image shows the storyboard unsliced

You want to convey just enough information in your sketches so that if a stranger were to pick up your storyboard and read it, they’d know exactly what’s going on with no context whatsoever. Your storyboard is also going to fill gaps for you and let you know if you’ve left out any important details in your narrative.

It’s ok to take shortcuts
Making a comic is a huge time investment, so creators are always looking for ways to optimize the process. I use acon3d for things like settings and backgrounds and view the models in Sketchup. Though it’s best to take this into account when you’re storyboarding so you can grab the models and angles that best fit your workflow.

Ask for feedback and revise as necessary
A storyboard will allow you to look at things holistically, which is a beautiful aspect of adding this to your process. Also, don’t be afraid to share with friends and ask for feedback in areas you feel might need more attention. I love getting detailed and actionable feedback:

She’s not wrong.

Good luck with your storyboarding process!


Recommended Playlist:

Thank you for the support. ♡

OC Sketch

I do not have much in the vein of new art for you, so here’s a sketch I doodled this month of one of my OCs, Ryn. Why’s he so grumpy anyway?

I’ve been diligently writing episodes and outlines, but hopefully I’ll have some new artwork to share with you soon. 2023 is off to a great start. I successfully launched Tiny Chicken Island, (the sticker shop inspired by all the drawing I’ve been doing for the comic) and it’s kept me pretty occupied. But I promise you I have not neglected TBS that much, I’m making good strides. Comic production for Season 1 is slated for April 2023. More news to come soon!


Recommended Playlist:

Thank you for the support, I hope you’re having a good start to 2023. ♡

2023, Happy New Year

Here it is, the artwork I promised…and just in time for 2023. I hope you like it, I enjoyed working on it. I’m still trying to find the creative styles that suit me, and this has been a fun learning opportunity. A new year means new opportunities for creativity and growth!

Let me give you a little background on the new artwork. It’s all my favorite characters from season 1 (which starts production early this year by the way, I’m so excited!). Oriole, Ryn, and all the fun support Onyx Guard characters: Bolse, Imaris, A’zahl and Thome. This has inspired me to actually make a similar layout with the ‘bad guys’, which could be kinda awesome.

January is going to be a very busy month for me. I’m actually launching a sticker business that was inspired by all the drawing I’ve been doing for The Barrier Scroll. The name of the shop is called Tiny Chicken Island, and I’ll be selling island themed stickers that hopefully bring you joy 🙂 Opening day is January 20th, 2023.

Things I aim to do more of this year:
1. Comic panels
2. Running
3. Welcoming uncertainty
4. Writing
5. Eating better
6. Drawing
7. Pouring into cups that pour back into mine
8. Prioritizing my needs
9. Embracing difficult conversations
10. Making time for the people I care about/care about me

Things I aim to do less of this year:
1. Force, chase, or beg
2. Negative self-talk
3. Let my empathy impede my self-respect
4. Dwell on failure
5. Compare myself to others
6. Take things personally
7. Hold onto toxic feelings, people, or ideas
8. Be a prisoner to the things I can’t change/control
9. Worrying
10. Making time for people who don’t care about me

Recommended Playlist:

Thank you for the support, I hope you have a wonderful new year. ♡

Reflecting on 2022

This year has been capricious to say the least. But regardless of how tumultuous it’s been, I have been able to continue to pour my heart into the passion projects I care deeply about. This comic has been a wonderful escape for me for the last year and a half, and within that time I have been able to conceive characters and a world that I love and I hope someday you do as well. That being said, none of this consistency and progress would be possible without time and dedication set aside to work on these things.

Making time for Personal Projects

I recently wrote a post about how to make time for the things you care about and want to be doing. Creating The Barrier Scroll comic is a huge undertaking for me, and something that I was, quite frankly, intimidated to commit my time to. I am by no means an ‘illustrator’ or a ‘writer’…but I want to be. So I try to take what time I have in each day, and dedicate it to something that gives me joy and passion. I’ve given passion projects and personal development a lot of thought and it really comes down to one thing: making time. This little cutlet of insight can be applicable to countless parts of our life. We as human beings can be extremely busy, overwhelmed even. However, it’s important to identify what really matters.

I completed my Book Blurb

I decided to stop putzing around and finish my attempt at a “back of the book blurb”, not to be confused with a “synopsis”–which I am also still very much working on as well. I’m not writing a novel obviously, but the need for some sort of way to entice readers to care about my comic seemed necessary. And what better way than a short pithy paragraph or two that leaves the reader wanting more.

Seasons 1, 2, and 3 are outlined

The story of The Barrier Scroll is something that has been with me for a long time, but I’ve never truly fleshed out the details. When you start to think about story structure and character motivations, it can be daunting, intimidating even to outline your narrative, so I put together a post on how I approached this task. Seasons 1-3 are completely outlined, Season 1 is written, and 2 is well on it’s way, and it’s been so enjoyable to do this since the outline really helps propel the narrative forward for me. I know what I’m writing towards, and rarely hit writer’s block now. It’s been such an enjoyable experience and allows me to look at the story holistically–that way I’m able to plant seeds in Season 1 that won’t come to fruition until Season 3–and I’m here for that.

I drew so much and enjoyed it that I’m opening an (unrelated to TBS) sticker shop

I’ll be honest with you I did not expect so much art to come out of me this year, I hadn’t even planned on it. But I was so inspired my the narrative I just drew and drew, some of it good, some of it crappy, but all of it enjoyable. In fact, I had so much fun drawing and doodling that I’m launching a sticker shop called Tiny Chicken Island on January 20th, 2023. The Barrier Scroll and its progress has reignited my love for drawing and I couldn’t be happier. Also side note, a new promo image is coming soon (totally not sneak peeked somewhere in this blog post) with all my favorite characters and I am so excited to share it as soon as it’s done.

Recommended Playlist:

See you in 2023. I’ll have much more to share with you soon, thank you for the support. ♡

Writing a book blurb for my comic

I decided to stop putzing around and finish my attempt at a “back of the book blurb”, not to be confused with a “synopsis”–which I am also still very much working on as well.

What is a Book Blurb? A book blurb (also called a “back-cover blurb” or a “book description”) is a short description of the book’s main character and conflict, usually between 100 and 200 words, that traditionally is included on the inside cover or on the back of a book.

I’m not writing a novel obviously, but the need for some sort of way to entice readers to care about my comic seemed necessary. And what better way than a short pithy paragraph or two that leaves the reader wanting more. I’m currently in the process of garnering feedback on how to make my blurb better on various sites, but I’ll post it here too, and if you’re up for it, I’d love yours as well. I’m at ~182 words.

I’ll post the resources below that I used to get to the point I’m at now. I hope they’re helpful to you as well. Any helpful resources get you to the blurb you love?

Here’s the formula I loosely followed:
1. Grab the readers’ attention
2. Introduce your protagonist
3. Introduce the basics of your conflict
4. The twist or the ‘not everything is as it seems’ moment
5. The ‘stakes’ of your story

The work-in-progress blurb is just below here:

Broken Swords Still Cut.
Seven hundred years ago, Abjuration Barrier Magic ended the East Territories War. The realm is at risk again, only this time, there’s no Abjurer.

The child of a Federation Soldier and a Su’nethian Aristocrat, Oriole is an outsider from birth, hoping someday to find her parents. When her guardian’s life is threatened, Oriole unknowingly casts an ancient magic barrier for protection. Whisked away to the Ivory Ministry in Vaal to harness her abilities, Oriole finds fellowship with the renowned Onyx Guard, as well as an unlikely ally in the dejected soldier, Ryn Alrae.

Now that Oriole has glimpsed a world that perhaps accepts her after all, she is ready to fight to be a part of it. As Oriole’s powers grow, so does the desire by Emperor Su’neth to get his hands on the rare and ancient magic many thought vanished. As the threat of war looms between two nations, Oriole will discover things about herself that will change the course of the conflict, and what she believed, forever.

And that’s it! Here’s the Recommended Resources as promised:


Thank you for the support. ♡