Process #1

It seemed like a good idea to document my process for making these pieces. So here's the first part of a step-by-step look at how I work.

After transcribing the interviews, I re-read and re-listen to them several times to get a good feeling of what is most important or significant and to pick out which details I can communicate visually. I'm a huge huge fan of lists so the next step is brainstorming and listing all the key words and images. Then I do a couple of quick little sketches to help me figure out the content and composition.

This papercut was for Gloria's memory. Gloria is one of the women I befriended at the Ann Arbor Senior Center. Her memory was about how an older friend wanted to take pictures of her and her friend to enter into a local photography contest. There were quite a few adventures along the way as they climbed on icebergs in Lake Michigan and stood on top of ski hills. A photo of the two girls peeking over an iceberg ended up winning a prize. Gloria's mother cut the picture out of the newspaper; it was one of her prized possessions for awhile.

I wanted to focus on the fact that this was something important to her mother. Gloria's mom was divorced; a black mark at the time. Because she was a single, working mom, Gloria and her brother spent a lot of their childhood in a boarding house for children with single parents. I also thought that the visual of the photograph in the newspaper would be rather compelling and easier to communicate than some other parts of the story.

Once I have the general idea down on paper and in my head, I start drawing it out in Illustrator. This particular story took quite a few revisions and I almost scrapped it all together at one point, thinking a different memory might work out better. However, I came back to it and ended up being happy with the final design.

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