Senior Project Proposal

For my senior project, I originally wanted to work on a project that had some relation to music, whether it be interning at a music label like Roc Nation again, or working on an individual music study. However, since I was able to take Studio Art this past trimester, I thought it would be interesting to do a project in the field of illustration as well, since drawing is also a hobby of mine. Yet combining solely illustration and music posed as lackluster in my opinion, and there weren’t many options to explore. Therefore, I decided to incorporate writing as well into the mix, and decided to combine all three into a project known as an online interactive manga. Since I like to write short stories, I thought, “What better than to take storytelling and make a manga out of that, and then compose music to play along when someone is reading the manga!”. That’s the basis of my idea. I want to illustrate a manga and simultaneously write a full novel/story of that manga, and create a website where I can place the manga and also include a text version of the story on the sidebar. Then, for the website, I want to compose music and have it play in the background and change, depending on what scene the reader is reading at that moment.

There are a lot of things I hope to learn while working on this project. For one, I have never taken a full step into creating a manga for myself—I’ve only drawn short, two page ones at most—and I want to research that process and learn about how manga are formatted, ie. how to ink illustrations, how to accurately portray imagery within a box, and overall learn techniques to efficiently and successfully produce a manga. Illustrating a manga, I realize, takes a lot of patience and practice, so that in itself will be a learning experience as well. In terms of writing the novel form of the manga, I want to practice writing and learn how to correctly write a story and portray characters accurately, avoiding things like telling (and not “showing) the story out front, minimizing on really specific detail (because that’s a problem I have had in the past, both in and outside of class work, and still do have now).

To be well informed about both manga, writing novels, and the composition of music, I’m positive that my research will be vast and possibly not intertwined (at least with composing music and writing a novel). For writing the short novel portion, I will have to research many forms of writing (i.e. writing a novel in 1st person versus 3rd person), the best methods and direction of writing a novel, as well as other things like how to develop characters and scenes. For the manga portion of the project, there will probably be a lot more research involved than with the short novel portion. For illustrating and developing a manga, I will have to research information regarding how to accurately display emotions, since the face of a character in a manga is the most important aspect of understanding any character in manga. I will also look at other manga for examples, and compare different art styles so that I can get a better idea of how I can illustrate my own. Thirdly, I will have to look at how I can accurately take my art that I illustrate from paper, scan it, ink it, and organize it into manga form. This might possibly include learning the essentials of illustration programs like Manga Studio 4, which is specifically made for artists who want to create comics/manga,  or Photoshop. Lastly, in terms of composing music, I will have to research various things—one, how music makes a movie, and how implementing the right music into a scene changes the mood of that scene. I will also need to explore how to correctly jot down notation if I am to make score sheets for music reference. Thirdly, I will have to listen to examples of cinematic music. The technicality of composition, however, will mainly come from practice rather than research.

Since my project is solely on the internet, I will mainly have to demonstrate my new skills and understanding of my project through logging every step I take while working on the project (via the blog), by doing things like making comparisons between my early art from the beginning of the project and the later art that I draw; through comparing old and new recordings of compositions of music that I make, and by posting many drafts (with self commentary) on the novel portion.

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