Capture your life in comics

  • Hi, everyone! My name is Jonathan Hill and I want to share a quick exercise I do to  check in with myself and document how I’m doing. It’s called a journal comic. 

  • Do any of you keep a journal? It’s a great way to document your life, but also if you are feeling  something or worried about something, it gives you a place to work through those feelings.  Most people keep a written journal, but since I’m a visual storyteller, I like to do it in my favorite medium: comics. 

  • Step 1 of 8

    I always like to be prepared, so to start off, the supplies we’re going to need are just something  to draw with and something to draw on.

    Some folks like to keep their journals in bound  notebooks or sketchbooks. The reason why people like to do that is so that they can refer back  to it easily later and it’s easier to do when it’s all together. But if you wanted to, you can also  use things like sticky notes or loose whatever that you can put into a bound book if you want  later.

  • Step 2 of 8

    So now what we’re going to do is to think back to yesterday, or the previous few days, and ask  some questions quietly to yourself. You can write the answers down or keep them in your head.  (I like writing them down so I can see them and when I write them down I just write words that come to me) 

    1. What happened to you that day or the last few days? 
    2. What did you do? 
    3. Who did you see or interact with (online counts!) 
    4. How did you feel? 
    5. What made you feel that way?

    Answer these as honestly as you can. It doesn’t matter if ‘nothing’ happened to you or you felt  like you were boring. That’s important too!

  • Step 3 of 8

    Next we’re going to look at what we wrote and see what sticks out to us.

     

  • Step 4 of 8

    I’m going to circle (or mentally make note) of one that sticks out to me the most. That’s what I realize I have been thinking the most about the last day.

  • Step 5 of 8

    Now at this point you can turn those feeling or experience into a comic. You can draw an image that stands out to you and write a little about it. I like comic strips and making it into a little story. But before I do that, I like to do a quick planning out on what will need to go in the story. I usually sketch out somewhere else the panels and then write out the ‘story beats.’

    I might play with that a little bit, but I don’t want to spend too much time on it! After that I’ll draw out the comic strip.

  • Step 6 of 8

    It’s important to remember with these that you’re not worrying about drawing well or  perfectly, you’re just trying to capture the feeling or experience of that moment. You can  always redraw something again if you want to change something. 

  • Step 7 of 8

    Like a journal, if you do these often, you’ll be documenting the ups and downs and everything in between of your life, which can be a really great tool to track your growth as both a person  and an artist! 

    Thanks for tuning it! Stay safe!

  • Step 8 of 8

    Want to share some of your journal comics in our gallery? We’d love that!