Sketch: Stuart Yoshihiro.

More on my PhD project. A graphic novella. In revising Stuart’s narrative, I wanted to draw him in Craig Thompson’s style. Stuart is a character, who is completely fictional. He is influenced by research on high-functioning Autistic individuals… as well as my own experience.

This is the original style I drew him in, for the first narrative. The style is influenced by two favorite Mangaka of mine: the late Satoshi Kon, and Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame. Stuart’s last name ‘Yoshihiro’, is a nod to Satoshi Kon, who adopted this pseudonym during his earlier works. His name ‘Stuart’, is a reference from the fictional Gorillaz front-man “2D”, who’s true name is ‘Stu Pot’. His appearance, is probably based on an amalgam of Alexander David Turner from “Arctic Monkeys”, during the Humbug album–and elvish-looking men. Although, people who have read through drafts of the comic thus far… have mistaken Stuart for being me–so, there is most probably that influence, just as well.

Well, he is my son. I created him after-all.
One takes the symbols, which connote their supposed representations and ‘water’ down the depictions to mere abstraction. That is my process in changing/adopting styles. It’s implicit. Not much thought is given to it, truth be. I just do… Also–Hah, there’s only five staves there. Stuart, you wrote them wrong! Start again!

Warm-Up Sketch.

A Warm-up sketch, before I work on setting out compositions for my PhD’s comic. I enjoy changing styles, or “borrowing” styles from other artists, when the mood calls for it. However, I do not mimick them completely–I like to augment little things here or there to the style, as per my own tastes. For example, the French comic artiste Mobius (Jean Giraud) has a nice way of shading with lines. I add this little detail into anything I draw.

The PhD I am due to finish in two years, is really… if I were to simplify it, about utilizing comics as a means of communication. That is, for addressing a sociopolitical issue. For my PhD, the research is concerned in bringing more awareness and understanding to high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. That is, through fictional depictions of characters diagnosed–to depict a more authenticated experience, of how they (may) process the world. One character is a fictional representation of ‘myself’, whilst the other is an amalgam of interviews, literature reviews, and surveys.

I have always been a strong believer in merging both, what one would define as ‘art’, together with ‘theoretics’. That is another reason why I love music. The ‘instrumentalist’, as my viola instructor would call the ‘serious musician’, is a scholar practitioner. They learn the theoretical underpinnings of their craft, and of course, just as well… they apply this knowledge through their respective instrument. And yes, I love music theory. ‘Deed I do.

Now, as for Craig Thompson’s manner of drawing. I am referencing his graphic novella Blankets. I highly recommend it! Thompson draws with his heart.