Connecting with the journal everyday. Even if just to copy…

Ut Pictura Poesis- the narrative potential of the drawing

I draw pictures. I imagine storylines. I imagine a narrative, a comic, a screenplay… There is nothing quite as on target as the prose I write in my mind when on the bus- whilst staring out the window to deal with motion sickness, taking in the landscape. But alas, those musings instantly disappear as soon…

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…

Visual notes: Patient No. 6, Psychiatric Diagnosis, 1959

As part of my research for a current project into mental health treatment in BC 1940’s to 60’s, I came across vintage psychiatric videos recently. One particular interviewee has completely captured my heart. Psychiatric interview series. Patient no. 6 : evaluation for treatment Publisher: Los Angeles : University of California at Los Angeles, 1959. Edition/Format:…

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…

It’s not that I don’t know what to do.

Regarding my passion project Molly- a true crime analysis: 2003-2016 was all about researching, drawing, accumulating, writing, collecting.  2017 was all about creating an online weekly draft, telling the story with images, words and music in whatever way it unfolded, sharing it openly, publicly.  2018 has been all about allowing others in, and letting go of control,…

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)…

Tuesday November 6, 1947

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 6, 1947 MOLLY, A GRAPHIC NOVEL– my now 15+ years passion project– continues at the drawing board and at the writing desk and in my heart, with new developments, insights and directions behind the scenes.  Some announcements in the new year. NOTE: this is a work of creative non-fiction inspired by true facts, evidence and…

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)…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

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 Today’s short: © Katarina…

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…

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 1: Introduction

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

When public goes private, do I lose you?

When public goes private, do I lose you? I am so used to sharing my creative process openly– and now I find myself in a new state of being, where in order to discuss and develop the project further, I have to stop sharing it. This is all exciting and unreal– so why do I…

Molly- a new phase

Molly- a true crime analysis Currently in a new development phase and therefore the online graphic novel is now set to private. Thanks for your support!  ♥️ Stay tuned. Love, Katarina  … a crime analysis to determine the general characteristics of the most likely suspect for the crime. – Henry Lee, Crime Scene Investigation (1994)

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…

The New Year’s Drawing Marathon

On January 15, 2017, I launched the first chapter of the third draft of my experimental graphic novel: Molly- a true crime analysis.  Birds have been a recurring theme throughout the work.  It is difficult to explain their symbolism fully, but to me they carry messages across space and time.   I spent Dec 31,…

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…

#SKiP 2017 was amazing!

Recall: I had the pleasure of presenting and facilitating at the SKETCHING IN PRACTICE 2017 SYMPOSIUM on June 23 and 24! It felt so great to be around such like-minded, like-spirited, enthusiastic, inquisitive, creative people!  I was invigorated! And being able to participate in three fabulous workshops as well was such a treat! June 23:…

See you at #SKiP 2017 June 23-24! @sketchapractice

I’m so excited and honored to be hosting two sessions at SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) 2017 June 23-24, 2017 at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre! SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) is a two-day symposium that explores the construction of meanings through sketching. In 2016 we brought in scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to explore the question, What…

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:…

For I need to SPEAK FREELY. Without restraint…

So, I’ve been doing a lot of chatting in the past few days about my passion project: Molly- a true crime analysis: I’ve been chatting, speaking, blabbing, vomiting words with friends and family about it, at the dinner table, over the phone, even on the radio— Check out my INTERVIEW about Molly- a true crime analysis from…

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, my true crime online graphic novel serial, launches in 1 month!

Look for Part 1A on January 15, 2017 MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS at mollygraphicnovel.com An analysis in 5-acts. … to dissolve the very boundaries between fact and fiction, life and art, memory and imagining.  The result would be a five-act narrative tragedy comprised of materials gathered from everything from journal, diary, memoir, novel, poem,…

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…

I am a star, glimpsed through a sideways glance.

Working notes, Molly, a True Crime Analysis

Digging deeper, the secrets become aviatic.

  Working on Molly, and I remain fascinated that I find it easier to dig deeper into the story by using the image of birds.   Somehow, the layers that obscure the truth are scraped away a little easier.   Are the birds metaphors?  My guides? I robbed your grave.  I revealed you.  I showed you in shameful moments….

“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:     

I am obsessing about Molly’s wandering soul.

I am obsessing about Molly‘s wandering soul. I have written before 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 in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches….

“I put myself back in the narrative…” and ugh- LOG JAM. #innercritic #onwriting

On the gross creative process, the ugliness, the inner critic, the log jams, the writing… Log jam.  Log jam.  After feedback FEEDBACK from multiple sources that I should be in the story and I try and try but log jam log jam— Why does the creative process halt when I do that?   I place…

Rejection letter from publisher? Despair? No- liberation.

I have been awaiting word from a significant publisher who has been considering my passion project- Molly, a true crime analysis. The book is not finished.  I am re-writing the manuscript, and still drawing- but thanks to my agent, Peter Breeze, we have been creating a buzz and were quite elated to be contacted earlier this…

That is a step on which… #creativeprocess

I was working on my Molly project today— contemplating a slightly new format, to reconstruct the prologue.  The idea came out of the first weekly mini writer’s retreat that I started last Monday with my soul-sister, Patti Henderson: Patti encouraged me to attack the material in a new way. I love how collaborative dialogue can push, pull, inspire.  Afterwards, perseverating…

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 objects are the context from which I draw clues.

What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate? For me it is all about the historical context. When I work on Molly, I step into the 1940’s through books, research, primary sources.  And I do it…

Special sale: Dead Bird Collection- embroidered drawings

I am a BIG BIG fan of symbology, imagery and metaphor.  I feed on it like some kind of voracious vampire.   As I was collecting a few books from my personal library to donate to our local community mini library, I pulled out an old book I had forgotten about.   Oh, how I love…

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…

The boarding pass lies within the double helix…

I had a bit of a silly dream last night. I write, silly because, unlike the dream, I usually get to the airport three hours ahead of time for a domestic flight.  I am already fretting about the upcoming 6:30 AM flight on June 19 when I head back to Toronto for more creative community…

The timeless/spaceless mid zone of creative process and chatting with the dead…

There is a beautiful part of my creative process that I cherish- the part that allows me to dialogue with my parents as if they are here in my kitchen, sharing coffee and offering advice and dialoguing on the cold case.  I had some magical moments the other day as I pulled out old binders…

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…

MOLLY TERESA O’DWYER APRIL 25, 1924

Molly Teresa O’Dwyer (April 25, 1924 Costel, Ireland- November 6, 1947; suicide, age 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada (Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver) — My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, continues.  Stay tuned. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada….

The Sparrow’s Feet.

I was gifted some delicate Sparrow feet from my friend, Hannah. — They immediately inspired a portrait of my main character, Molly: “How does one respond to a nurturant monster? What archetype do we possess for that?” – Patricia Pearson — Why the obsession?  Why bird feet?  Why dead birds?  Why the sparrow?  Why does…

Creative mind mapping example: developing characters

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam…

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,…

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….

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

— Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds. — — Here are some experiments from the past weekend:      I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,  And Mourners to and fro… – Emily Dickinson

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…

it should be a nightmare, but somehow, it isn’t. Instead, I am filled with curiosity…

I am a bit lost these days.  Spinning in place the last few weeks.   I know the spinning comes from diving into the past for a certain personal project.  The triggers pull the rug out from under me. And so I freeze, bite my nails, feel exhausted. Yet at peace… strangely.  For I am ready. I…

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…

The importance of historical context in an investigative story

  What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate? For me it is all about the historical context. I interviewed Dr. David Sweet, forensic odontologist, on the importance of historical context in solving the 1953 Stanley Park cold…

“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…

Limited edition hand-embroidered print sale #graphicnovel

— I am making available 10 hand-embroidered prints entitled Who is it that can tell me who I am? featuring an original image from my graphic novel, Molly. —  — The print captures the moment a crow, the magician of the forest, adorned by a child’s skull as a crown, looks, with intense curiosity, into Lost Lagoon…