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Julie Chen workshop: Day 2

You have to understand something about me: I get very spazzy when I am near a celebrity. For example, this past Saturday, I saw Boeing Boeing while in NYC. A friend of mine worked on the production so we got a backstage tour. Both Bradley Whitford (he was in the show) and David Hyde Pierce (saw the show, skinny guy) were just inches away from me. I played it all cool while inside I was yelling “Famousperson famousperson!”

I experienced a similar feeling yesterday when I first met Julie. I played it all cool while inside I was yelling “Famousbindingperson famousbindingperson!”

I was much more relaxed today during the second day of Julie’s workshop. Thankfully, I have returned to my normal level of spaz.

We started the day off with a collaborative art exercise. We were given 10 minutes to work on a piece that would eventually (maybe) turn into a book. After the 10 minutes, we had to exchange pieces with our table mate and work on her piece for 10 minutes. We repeated this for a total of one hour. We ended up with the piece we had started at the beginning of the exercise.

My piece evolved into a map-folded form with a travel theme. We shared our pieces as a group, which was interesting. We were able to gain insight into how each pair of artists worked on their piece (it stirred the art therapist in me, all those interpersonal dynamics).

Collaborative Book from Julie Chen workshop

After completing the warm-up, we moved on to our timelines from day 1. We cut up our timelines into six 3.5″ panels. Somehow, I managed to cut one of my panels 1/8″ too narrow (meh).

Artwork by Elissa Campbell
We focused on one event represented on each of the six panels and spent three minutes on free association writing. Afterwards, we reviewed the written text for each of the panels and looked for common themes. We were then asked to summarize concepts for each of the six panels, using specific details from the related events, if desired.

The free association part of the project was such a struggle for me. I should mention that one of the main reasons I am taking Julie’s workshop is because I struggle with expressing myself through content in my books. I focus on blank books partially because it’s safer – I don’t have to take any risks by exposing what’s on my mind. In some ways, I think I started blogging to help me with this issue.

Once the writing exercise was finished, we started working on the structure of the book. We learned that we would be attaching our six pieces to a Panel Book, a structure created by Hedi Kyle. To be honest with you, I had never heard of nor seen the form before. It is wicked cool. And I don’t use the word “wicked” lightly. I am so making more of these.

If you’re aware of any books/references that have more information on this structure, I’d love to hear about it. You can see the basic form below, before I attached my timeline panels. We will be working on these more tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Blank panel book

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