Aye, reflection post here. (´・ω・`)/

Wow.

WOW.

Now that I’m sitting here, officially, on the first day of the senior project presentation preparation period (ah… it’s difficult to say, haha), I’ve been thinking back on the past six months I’ve spent working on this project. There’s been too many ups and downs; too many surprises and disappointments. Yet here I am, the Monday after the senior project is over, steadily drawing away, putting the final touches on the manga and typing up all the edits I’ve made on the ~90 page story.

I categorized this post as “Proposal”. …Don’t know why. It seemed fitting.

The first thing I’ve learned? Well… I’m too ambitious. Clearly.

I’ve had to rearrange this project so many times already.. and even now, I’m still getting new ideas. =w= Which… really sucks when I’m on such a tight schedule…

Anyway. It’s been a pretty long six months. I started this project not knowing a thing about illustrating manga. Creative writing, while not necessarily “new” to me, was something I had never expected to tackle fully in a “novel-esque” form. Finally, there was musical composition, which I began as, and sadly will continue to be absolutely new to.

…There are things about this project that can’t be helped. There are things from this project that are unfinished as of tonight, but will no longer be “unfinished” by tomorrow morning. And I can say, that over the past six months, I’m  pretty proud of the work I’ve accomplished. Six months ago, I would’ve never dreamed of writing a 90 page story. Six months ago, illustrating 30 pages of manga after never doing a manga illustration larger than a one page short story seemed impossible. And to an extent, still does, as I painstakingly complete these final four pages.

Six months later, I’ve got a stack of draft papers sitting in front of me, and a digital comic nearly at completion. So, in short, I could definitely say that this entire project in itself was a huge surprise, because I never expected myself to get anywhere near the amount of work I’ve done. Despite having to put the composition on indefinite standby. /sobs

For the first “part” of this project—creative writing—I began with a simple idea. Two kids get displaced from their hometown, and go off on an adventure to find their missing “link”. Then, Kaos got thrown in there, and the story went from being a simple adventure to a fugitive-style story. …Then I had my “revelation” moment (see Twitter two months ago), and even more ideas got thrown into the story.

Out of all that, I learned one important lesson: Writing will always be susceptible to changes, no matter how many times you attempt to perfect it. There will always be something you want to add, or change, or rework. Hence, the subtitle of the website/project, “Forever a work in progress.”

It’s been difficult, really. Even now that the story is complete, I still want to add even more. I want to rework details, and add more scenes. Yet sadly, I don’t have the time for that. For now, I’m satisfied with what I’ve written. I’m satisfied that I’ve written 90 pages of story, and have edited over half of it.

Moving on to the illustrations.

NEVER AGAIN.

I’m being perfectly honest here by saying that I completely underestimated how much work, time, and pain, illustrating thirty pages of panels would take. Doing illustrations for this manga was simply unbearable, and the only reason why I managed to get through with this is because of this project’s end result. I want the end result to be perfect. To be… incredible. I don’t want to squander all the time I’ve already spent sketching and sketching panel after panel, and inking page after page by giving up just because of time constraints.

Of course, it’s stubborn. My methods are stubborn, painful, and tedious. It’s how I work. ;D

However, illustration, nonetheless, was incredibly fun. When I purchased the Wacom Bamboo tablet to assist me in this project, I can say I was pretty happy to work with it. smartest purchase ever

I spent my time learning about the structure of manga pages—like how wide the page borders are, the rules of making panels, how to ink a completely sketched page, where to place text, etc.

Despite the number of pages I’ve illustrated, and the number of pages left to ink, tone, and complete, I’m pretty happy with the nearly finished project.

Finally, composition.

I’m disappointed  Really. I wanted to do composition so badly, but there were so many factors that went against my original plans.

I still have two weeks. But that’s solely for presentation prep. I can try and do something. I really can. But I can’t guarantee anything. At this rate, I really can’t. But I’ll try, and see what I can do.

BONUS!

I forgot to talk about one other portion of this project that I think deserves some mention as well. The website.

As I’ve said several times in previous blog posts, there is a website that I have been copying all my work to. In a few days, the manga will *officially* be up there along with the story. The website took hours upon hours to make perfect, even when starting with a default theme. Customizing it took a lot of work. When I first came into this project, I had no idea how to make a website. wix became my learning tool, and for about a week, I worked with the website builder and built the project website in its entirety from top to bottom.

It took forever, but it was worth it, and it looks great, and I’m proud of it. ;w;

As for how I’ll present this… I’m undecided on specifics, as of now. When I heard that there was an option to present “gallery style”, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Since I have a visual arts portion and hopefully a music portion of this project, I think that it wouldn’t do my project justice by presenting it in a typical, bland, PowerPoint style presentation. It’s a manga and a story, after all. There’s too much process to explain, too much illustration to describe, and too much story to refer to. It’d be impossible to explain it all and give equal attention to each portion of the project in a mere ten minutes. So, in terms of presentation, I’m still here, brainstorming away, as well as working away. By tomorrow, I’ll definitely come up with something good.

It’s late now. Good night!

~vertica

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