William March’s Company K (1933) studies- ink, watercolour, coffee, salt

I have never ceased to wonder at the thing we call human nature, with its time of beauty and its time of filthiness, or at the level of calm stupidity that lies in between the two. – William March, Company K (1933)

I am happy among my books – I am not happy without them. – Anne Lister

“Anne’s reliance on her books for mental well-being and personal happiness was clear – ‘What is there like gaining knowledge?’ she once said. ‘All else here below is indeed but vanity and vexation of spirit – I am happy among my books – I am not happy without them’ (2nd May, 1829). Words on a…

There is one moment in Pippi Longstocking that nailed it for me…

As a child, I desperately searched for characters in books that aligned with my anxious outward ways and my happy reclusive interior.  Charlie Brown came close, but he was always seeking connection.  I was seeking alone time.  Like Charlie, school terrified and exhausted me.  Home, my room, my books were my calming tools.  I found…

One must not be too romantic about madness…

Feeling burned out today from my bread and butter work, I decided to ignore my entire to-do list this evening, decided to not to catch up on things, to ignore prepping for the rest of the week. Instead– I got my hands dirty, dove back into my research into mental health treatment 1940’s to 60’s…

Nature moves through carcasses…

Illustrating decomposition by allowing the newsprint to deteriorate over several years and for the dead bird to slowly be encompassed by embroidered roots and the dark. The process continues. Check out:

Relaunch and new look: my online graphic novel “Molly, a True Crime Analysis, the third draft”

Molly- a true crime analysis is my experimental graphic novel, originally workshopped online in weekly instalments between January 15, 2017 and January 13, 2018.   I call the current online version the third draft.   mollygraphicnovel.com UPDATE: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL IS BEING RE-WORKED AND THEREFORE SET TO “PRIVATE” WITH RESTRICTED ACCESS My work is based on extensive research, interviews and…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 9- Torpet

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 8- The Letter

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

Inktober 2018: 31 studies of Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD

  Imagination, of course, can open any door– turn the key and let the terror walk right in. – Truman Capote No. 1 Richard Hickock: “It was early, not yet nine…” No. 2: “Nancy Clutter is always in a hurry, but she always has time.” No. 3 Truman Capote: “In Cold Blood- a true account of…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 7- Grad and the Party

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

Father, daughter, Fenrir, Gleipnir and “Drawn Together”- the book: 6 years later.

Wow.  October 25, 2018 will mark the sixth year since my father passed away.  I am so aware of all the dates in October… so aware that he was winding down. Interestingly, more October connections: on October 12, 2005 (13 years ago), my father drew for the first time after his life threatening stroke (September 21,…

Come back to me.

Come back to me, Molly.  It’s been a strange time- hiding you from the world in order to explore new ways of telling your story.   I’m not sure I like this anymore. You chose me.  Remember?  At the library?  15 years ago.  As your spirit wandered restlessly on the  viaduct, you passed through me with…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- The Audition

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Today’s short:  This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- I am 15 now.

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Today’s short: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 5- They don’t know what it is.

    Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Today’s instalment:     © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 4- Sex Education

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Today’s instalment: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Today’s instalment: © Katarina Thorsen 2018 — Potato Nose Gallery:

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 2: The First Entries

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Today’s instalment: — © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Instalment 1: Introduction

  Subject to change Instalment 2 August 12, 2018 © Katarina Thorsen 2018

“Potato Nose Diaries- 1977” illustrated weekly instalments start Sunday!

©2018 Katarina Thorsen

Bird School: The first rule

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths. Recall: Parts of…

Bird School- Head feather groups

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths. Recall: Part- Parts…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward when life seems in limbo and my energy is fully depleted.  Here is a sampling of those I return to repeatedly. I return to this quote to address my subject of research and remind myself why: A cheap Saturday night took you down….

I promised myself a library…

When I turned 10, my parents gave me this book– Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales illustrated by Jiří Trnka (published by Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, ©1959, 1972).  My father had purchased it at the Vancouver Airport.  I remember so clearly being woken up, with breakfast on a tray and receiving the book.  The $4.95 in pencil…

New comic: Come Into Me, Issue 1

Creative process for me is not about the end product.  It is about the entire process.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate end products! And today I celebrate this comic: Come Into Me.  Thanks to my colleague/friend, I was elated to hold the final product in my hand the other day– that gorgeous smell of paper…

Reclaiming the act of creating…

I could sit and wait.  Ask myself: how I will get back to that beautiful, exhilarating buzz of creative process and my soul’s work?  But why wait?   I MUST simply work.  Reclaim the act. How?  I mind map.  I attempt to draw and throw out the results.  I return to my crafts.  I allow the…

30 strange chapters completed.

I am workshopping my true crime graphic novel online. 30 strange chapters completed. I am working on the 31st today. Then 15 to go. I am sure it is all as confusing as a Twin Peaks episode! The online workshopping method helps me get perspective.  Laying out ALL the information for editing it down and re-drawing…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 13: The Act of Dying

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart. Recall: Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life Part 2: Practice Dying Part 3: Preparing to Die Part 4: Dying from the Common…

Celebrating 95 pages with a vulnerability hangover…

I am workshopping my graphic novel through a weekly online serial. So far… we have been witnessed a crime: Looked at the original headlines: I’ve introduced my involvement (more to come): And travelled to Ireland to get our first glimpse at the main character: Molly’s and The Babes in the Wood timeline are now starting…

Boundary by Emily Cowan

Wow.  Emily Cowan, comic book artist, has just completed an extraordinary book: What a beautiful journey it has been to dive into Paige’s teenage life.  My cheeks prickle with familiarity– those hot-nosed, overly self-conscious struggles of a 15 year old. The book is deceptively gentle, masterfully rendered. DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS GORGEOUS BOOK! LINK:…

The best things in life are free…

Sitting here, surrounded by drawings and notes and cold coffee in multiple cups… butterflies in the stomach… I want to honor Molly, who reached out through space and time and chose me to tell her story and my muse, Jocelyn Louise, who has so generously lent herself to represent my vision of Molly— and to celebrate…

My weekly serial format serves as a means to workshop the graphic novel…

My Molly site mollygraphicnovel.com launches with Part 1A on Sunday. The work is presented in an experimental form. I will simply allow the creative process to unfold. THIS WEEKLY SERIAL FORMAT serves as a means to workshop* the graphic novel. *Workshop production: … a form of theatrical performance, in which a play or musical is…

Molly- a true crime analysis, a visual serial goes online January 15!

How do you escape from a convincing story?  After enough repetitions, the facts come to serve the story and not the other way around.  – Errol Morris I began working on this PASSION PROJECT in 2003 when I was a volunteer criminal profiler on the Babes in the Wood task force in Vancouver, Canada.  And…

Around 3 am… I felt a tap on my shoulder.

Around 3 am yesterday morning (November 19) I woke up because I felt a tap on my shoulder. More like a double jab. On my right shoulder. It felt so real— I just knew it was a message regarding Molly but it didn’t even feel like her- felt like a male presence. Like he was telling…

“Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa. #toliveuntilwesaygoodbye

My greatest cheerleader was my Dad. 4 years ago today, his heart stopped beating, but his spirit lives on. His pep talks were the best. “Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa.   Our gift to you: Free PDF version of DRAWN TOGETHER, THE BOOK by Roar and Kat Thorsen! LINK

Delicious book! ‘Awakening Joy- for kids’ by Michele Lilyanna and James Baraz

I reconnected with a sweet friend/soul-sister/colleague last Friday, sharing sacred hours at my kitchen table. When I lived on the Sunshine Coast 1996-2003, I was lucky enough to befriend and work with Michele Lilyanna.  (Happy 20th anniversary, Michele!) Incredibly, both my kids were lucky to have her as a teacher, and her friendship got me…

“I recall a childhood dream…” with visual storytelling.

  Toying with creative process. Thumbnail sketches and experimenting with storyboarding the PREFACE (preamble) portion of Molly, a true crime analysis: RECALL:     

First line… let’s go.

Recall:  I sit now surrounded by my manuscripts, references, inspiration and pressing fingertips to keys and (re)typing.  (Re)COMMITMENT!  This version will be from the pelvis.  First chakra shit. Yesterday, I posted: Start again. Put China markers and socks and threaded needles down. Write, bitch, write. There is no beginning.  I’ve tried to invent one but it…

It is important now for me to honor this call for retreat. #creativeprocess

I sense it is time to really retreat in between work schedules and ensure cave time to focus on my passion project: Molly, a true crime analysis.  Seek solitude, writes Delacroix.  I hear you.  I am in a fantastic place regarding the project- she feels ripe, ready, eager.  Through a tear in the fabric of time…

The importance of the vintage photograph as creative resource.

  There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination. The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a…

Death is not the end of the story, but just the beginning.

I am deep into the creative process this morning.  This current drawing is being prepped for embroidery re Molly, a True Crime Analysis as I simultaneously review forensic techniques and review my manuscript.  Multi-tasking. Symbols within the drawing reflect: Genetic discovery, the drosophila, Y-STR haplotypes, the Spiral of Inquiry, the web of intrigue, physical evidence, the…

Embroidered drawings and forensic taphonomy

My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, centres around a 63 year old Vancouver cold case. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The victims became known as the Babes in the Wood.  The physical evidence indicated that the children were killed…

Group mind mapping: RJ as a pedagogical tool @SFU

  — On March 30, 2016, I took the  Criminology 315 (CRIM 315) students at the Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus (teacher: Associate Professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice, Brenda Morrison) through an in depths mind mapping process as they reflected on their understanding and learning during the course. CRIM 315 is…

Stanley Park. Birds. Angel whispers. And Pledge Drive.

I walked around Beaver Lake today.  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I describe the feeling as angel whispers. I took…

The 5 W’s. #Molly #GraphicNovel #Process

Working on Molly. Keep at it. Revise manuscript. Organize the collected research. Walk around the lagoon.  Think think think.  Massage the timeline. Spend hours in the coffee shop.  Keep massaging that timeline. Rewrite introduction. Add it to the private presentation site. Work on treatment and elevator pitch. Review the theme of the month: committed choice. Spend hours,…

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output. And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head…

Using Braid Theory to explain triple timeline. #Molly #graphicnovel

It has taken me years to create a structure for Molly that could combine two stories that run both parallel to each other and have intriguing connections. Massive research needs to be formatted in a cohesive way, yet allow for a compelling narrative. Currently, three timelines run through Molly  and eventually braid together converging in…

Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O! Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! She was a fishmonger and…

Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard….

Lessons from Pippi- strength, generosity and gentleness…

Being Swedish,Pippi Longstocking has been an icon to me all my life.  Yes, there are troubling racist elements in the books and, my God, as a child I would lay awake at night worrying about Pippi living alone, but Pippi’s character is glorious and hopeful.  She’s ahead of her time- a give-no-fucks attitude combined with curiosity…

And so, the vulnerability shakes set in…

Hi. As you may know, I’ve been fully immersed in process in the last month or so- working on my book presentation for my agent to shop around, and I have LOVED the process, trying to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.  Exciting to be at the next stage.  Ready to share.  So ready….

I write of what I cannot speak- the truth.

I write it over and over wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak- the truth. I write all I know of it and then I throw the pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it. – Moira Buffini Ah, Molly is speaking.  Sitting here with me. What an incredible time…

A marker for Molly

I do not take my work on Molly lightly.  I respect that her story is a tragic one.  I respect that Molly somehow chose me to tell her story.  Eve Lazarus refers to it as a tap on the shoulder– and Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library…

A certain preface this way comes. 

Writing for me often happens in stolen moments.  It is easy for me to plan time for and execute illustrations.  It is easy for me to plan for and to execute mind-maps as well as write down structural and technical details.  It is TOO easy for me to plan and execute and get lost in RESEARCH….

Stick to the facts in the text, avoid assumptions, yet draw conclusions.

In my current project, Molly, I use mainly primary sources and secondary sources such as news articles, as well as well-vetted research in order to build the story around the cold case. The drawings are then freely inspired from the research, i.e. they are an artistic interpretation. I can combine my research to build portraits….

When grief is like a wave crashing on shore…

I attended an event last night at the Vancouver Public Library. I am so glad I went alone, for not only could I soak in the event itself (as I am passionate about this case), but I could really sit in my personal grief. This was the room I sat in with my Mom as…

1940’s kitchen. The importance of historical context cont.)

Recall the importance of historical context for my graphic novel research in my post yesterday: LINK. As the story is mainly set in the 1940’s, I find myself fascinated by the 1940’s kitchen. — — — Afterwards, they always had tea in the kitchen, much the nicest room in the house. – Flora Thompson — Make sure…

“What do we know?” Drawing conclusions from the facts. #graphicnovel

My graphic novel is more of an illustrated thesis rather than pure graphic novel.  My words are based in fact.  The drawings are where I can take a leap of faith- a surrealistic interpretation. It is creative non-fiction.  I literally DRAW conclusions based on the evidence at hand.  That is my artistic take on it.  But the story…

“Write the f*!king book.” The importance of mentors in creative projects.

I am all about creative process.  I am not worried about that.  I have creative process down to a science.  No worries.  It’s a habit embedded so deep that it literally is part of my every breath and heartbeat.  I got this.  Yep.  And if you want help to do the same- believe me… I…

Autopsy and the somewhat autobiographical nature of my graphic novel

I have been on a bit of blog-haitus of late.  Just experienced an amazing pull back into the past as a dear friend spent 9 days here visiting from Sweden.  We dove deep.  Real deep.  Drenched in Swedish.  Endless necessary exhilarating conversation. Fully open and torn open- finding old wounds long hidden- releasing them. Reflecting…