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 of research to cut and paste onto a current drawing:

The words were originally photocopied, cut and pasted onto paper and placed in a binder by my father.  I gingerly felt the paper he had once touched, being so fully in awe that his hands had used his glue stick to place the cut-outs onto the paper he chose.   I was so aware of the way his hands moved.  What his skin looked like.  And now some years later, I am taking his process further by cutting the words out and using my white glue. To place those words onto my latest piece.  I know it may sound trivial, but seriously- I am so in love with how the creative process brings the living and the dead together into a type of timeless/spaceless mid zone.


And the tangents the process takes me on are magical.

For example, the other day, I was contemplating where my interest in crime (and the human condition and its dark side) originated.   As per usual, I decided to put a crime drama on in the background.  To drench myself in the  Swedish language, I decided to look up some Nordic Noir.

Nordic Noir

With its roots in the ground-breaking TV dramas The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and The Bridge, Nordic Noir has become a genre in its own right, influencing screenwriters far beyond the Scandinavian Peninsula. – nordicnoir.tv

I found the following six part very Agatha Christie type drama inspired by the writings of Maria Lang.

Maria Lang

Dagmar Lange (31 March 1914, Västerås – 9 October 1991, Nora) was a Swedish author of under the pen name Maria Lang.  She was one of the first detective novelists in the Swedish language, and her books helped make the genre popular in Sweden.  Her first novel, Mördaren ljuger inte ensam (The Murderer is Not the Only Liar), was published in 1949 and caused some controversy because two of the main characters lived in a homosexual relationship… Lange wrote more than 40 detective novels, as well as crime fiction for young adults.  Most of her books are set in the fictional Swedish town Skoga, which is based on Lange’s home town Nora. She was one of the original 13 members of the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy when it was founded in 1971. – wikipedia

OMG- how cool was she?!

And since I was in full creative process, and in that timeless spaceless mid-zone again, feeling the presence of my parents, I was reminded that Maria Lang was one of my mother’s favorite authors.  There was one book in particular that she always had in her bookshelf or by her bed.  And I (who keeps everything) still have that book.   I found it in my personal library (that is why you should keep everything- ha!).

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I looked inside and was DELIGHTED to discover that the book was a gift from my father to my mother as she lay in the maternity ward, having just given birth to my  older brother on the 13th of August!  A murder mystery.  Was it her special request?  Or a surprise?

King Lily-of-the-Valley from the grove,
King Lily-of-the-Valley is as white as snow,
now the young king mourns
over Princess Lily-of-the-Valley-Maiden.

King Lily-of-the-Valley, he lowers
his sad head so heavy and weak;
and the silver helmet shines
in the pale summer twilight.

Around the bier, a spider weaves
from the “incense place” with floral scent
an incense [that] slowly flows;
the entire forest is full of fragrance.

From the birch’s rocking crown,
from the wind’s waving green house
small songs of sorrow sound;
the entire forest is filled up with whistling.

A message is whispered through the valley
about a king’s sorrow among whispering leaves,
in the wide kingdoms of the forest,
from the capital of the Lilies-of-the-Valley.

And this lovely timeless/spaceless mid zone sends me on a wormhole of research that feeds my creativity.

Gustav Fröding

Gustaf Fröding (22 August 1860 – 8 February 1911) was a Swedish poet and writer, born in Alster outside Karlstad in Värmland.

My mother gave birth in Karlstad, received a murder mystery by her favorite author, that featured her favorite flower and the poem by the poet also born in Karlstad (and where I was also born).

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And here it is May, and I am drawing birds and wondering about my interest in the dark side, and being reminded that it is from my mom, and that my love of research and drawing and cutting and pasting is from my dad.  And again, here it is May, and I am reminded of my mom’s favorite beloved worn book and her favorite flower and I am still drawing birds:

Lily of the Valley and the Nightingale

A sweeter story tells of the affection between Lily of the Valley and Nightingale.  The Lily of the Valley loved Nightingale’s song, but was so shy she hid in the grass to listen.  Nightingale was lonely and said he would no longer sing unless the Lily of the Valley revealed herself, and promised to bloom every May for all to see.  And so she does. – Deborah Weber


These times are treasures. I need not fear I didn’t have time to collect all the stories I could from mom and dad. They are telling them to me still.


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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 know that the spinning in place also helps the inner critic inside me to rise, causing me to over-think my current book as I prepare a presentation for my agent.  I find myself wanting to succumb to self-doubt.

And so I freeze, bite my nails down to the quick, feel exhausted.

Yet still at peace.  For I am ready.

And I am taking care to take care.  Reminding myself to stand in my successful self.  To remember to trust that magic.

Yes- to TRUST.

To just LIVE.

But it’s hard.  It is a weighty time.  Especially in the fall.  The anniversaries come quick this time of year- like Dad’s death October 25, my kitty October 29, Molly’s suicide November 6…

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My mother- today.

My mother. My God.  7 years ago- today.

So much to process there.  And that is certainly a large part of the personal exploration I am on.

I acknowledge the umbilical cord.

I adore my mom.  Miss my mom.  Fear my mom.  Love my mom.  Learned so much from my mom.

As I go further and further back into the past (more on that journey later), I am gathering clues and connecting the dots as to why I am who I am, made the choices I have made, found myself in certain situations, found myself powerless at times, why I am drawn to the therapeutic work I do, why I am drawn to researching crime, why I am drawn to my main character, Molly- why Molly chose me

So much of it all is intertwined in my relationship with my mom.

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Mom’s unfinished tapestry…
And so I’m spinning in place.

Yet at peace.  For I am ready.

And I feel it is key for me to try to UNDERSTAND all this– at least to acknowledge and explore, for that may, just maybe, make my spinning stop.

I am so much part of Molly’s story and to write it- I need to know why.

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I recall all of a sudden, a childhood dream!

I believe I may have been at age 5 or 6 (before moving to Canada). I know I was very young at the time.

In the dream, Mom and I walk along a gravel road in the middle of a large field. Large empty lots on either side. In the distance- mountains. The lots are empty, unkempt, and overgrown, with knee-high beige dry grass. We are on a single gravel road in the undeveloped giant field, and the road ends as a cul-de sac.  There are no buildings.  In fact, I don’t see any buildings anywhere.  It appears that the lots sit empty, but will be used some time in the future.  The centre of the cul-de-sac has a roundabout island, also overgrown with 6-foot tall grasses- some green.

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As the dream unfolds, the action loops- we sometimes walk along the right, counterclockwise around the cul-de-sac, or along the left, clockwise… the gravel road and our direction of walking points north.

As we walk around the roundabout island, I am holding my mom’s hand. I am about 5 years old.  I feel like I should be scared.  We continue to loop- walk down the road again, walk around the roundabout island.  I am still holding my mom’s hand.

Finally, we come across a rotting corpse. A human corpse.

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Photo: public domain
The events re-occur again and again. Looping. We walk, we walk, we come across the corpse.

The dream is recurring within the dream.

I am aware that it should be a nightmare, but somehow, it isn’t.  Instead, I am filled with curiosity- as long as I hold my mom’s hand.

The corpse shows decomposition, maybe several weeks old.  Teeth exposed.  I am not scared.  As long as I hold mom’s hand.  I crouch down and look closer…

Was that the first moment I heard the calling to investigate the silent voices of the dead?  To peel back the human psyche to search for clues between the lines, to not take any clue for granted?  Was the dream an awakening of the curiosity gene I inherited from my mom?

It was my first look into the dark side.

I am still on that path.  Spinning.

Dedicated to my mother Karin September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 and my father Roar August 8, 1930 – October 25, 2012. And my sweet cat Violet who passed October 29, 2014.
Dedicated to my mother Karin September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 and my father Roar August 8, 1930 – October 25, 2012. And my sweet cat Violet who passed October 29, 2014.

It doesn’t stop him. My death stops him. #graphicnovel study

Recall March 7, 2013, photoshoot at Salmagundi West for my graphic novel.

I am struck by the ability of my model, Jocelyn Louise, to convey, in a simple glance, the pain of my main character as she tries to escape the memories of childhood trauma.

Sins of the father
Sins of the father.

Asexual.

Living in church,

reading about God all the time,

getting callouses on my knees.

It doesn’t stop him. 

My death stops him.

– Maire MacLachlan

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China marker on newsprint.

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Jocelyn Louise as Molly.  Styled by Jay Fisher. Photo by Anna Thorsen.
Styled by Jay Fisher. Photo by Anna Thorsen.

COVER TEST

GRABLINE:

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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With a faery, hand in hand… photo shoot for the #graphicnovel at Salmagundi West!

On March 7, 2013, I was humbled at the generosity of Salmagundi West owner Anna Banner who allowed us to use her store as a back drop for our latest photoshoot!

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I was joined by Jocelyn Louise (who portrays Molly) and stylist Jay Fisher…

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Jay, Jocelyn, Anne

… and my daughter Anna Thorsen who took the main shots (to be shared in the book).

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Anna, Jocelyn

Here are some moments I captured.  The focus for me was to emulate Molly’s restless travels.

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Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s morefull of weeping than you
can understand.

The Stolen Child, WB Yeats

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cover-test

MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS

WEEKLY SERIAL

AT MOLLYGRAPHICNOVEL.COM

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

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MOLLY- the graphic novel

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“Where white is black and black is white, I won.” #graphicnovel study #crowskull

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When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.

He decided it glared much too whitely.

He decided to attack it and defeat it.

He got his strength up flush and in full glitter.

He clawed and fluffed his rage up.

He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre.

He laughed himself to the centre of himself

And attacked.

At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,

Shadows flattened.

But the sun brightened—

It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.

He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.

“Up there,” he managed,

“Where white is black and black is white, I won.”

– Charles Bukowski

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Crow’s skull purchased at Salmagundi West:

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Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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Regarding Molly- importance of working titles and “acting as if…”

As I experiment with marrying text to illustration in my graphic novel, I am working from the end backwards, creating a working title and promotional mockup. Acting as if the book is completed, the project feels organized and allows me to create a skeletal framework on which to flesh out ideas. This framework can then be dismantled, contorted and altered as needed. It is not the final result by any means, but it is a great way to MOVE FORWARD. And I’m moving forward fast!

I have some exciting ideas as to how to present the finished work (format, paper etc) but first I will marry image to page and and image and pages to chapters and I am loving the creative process. Next up is ensuring all the permissions are in place for using primary sources, news articles, photographs and names within the work. And more photoshoots!

COVER TEST

GRABLINE:

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

SYNOPSIS:

Who killed the Babes in the Wood? Artist, art therapist and researcher, Katarina Thorsen, makes her case as to the resolution of this historical Vancouver mystery through crime scene reconstruction, forensic taphonomy, historical archives, genealogical records, behavior evidence analysis, circumstantial connections and artistic interpretation. Katarina first immersed herself in the investigation in 2003 when she volunteered as a criminal profiler and researcher with the Babes in the Wood Task Force. She has remained dedicated to the case ever since.

Using a combination of text, primary sources, illustrations and photographs, Katarina now presents her research journey, equivocal findings and creative process to the reader. The goal is to identify the children whose skeletal remains were found in Stanley Park on January 15, 1953. Through rich and insightful imagery, Regarding Molly reveals a portrait of a troubled young woman in post war Vancouver. The reader is encouraged to draw their own conclusion as to the identity of the Babes in the Wood, their mother and killer.

TEST nurturant

Following Katarina’s lead, readers will be inspired to search out their own stories using intensive genealogical research.

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AUTHOR’S BIO:

Artist/ art therapist Katarina Thorsen is passionate about the power of research and collaborative approaches to create solutions. She specializes in providing therapeutic art to at-risk youth and young offenders. Her own art work includes drawing, painting, crafting, journaling and street art and can be found in private international collections and on the streets of North America and Europe. She believes wholeheartedly in the healing power of art and its ability to build connections. Katarina resides in Vancouver, BC.

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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The Babes in the Wood study #graphicnovel

The Babes in the Wood [1]

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My dear do you know,

How a long time ago,

Two poor little children,

Whose names I don’t know,

Were stolen away

On a fine summer’s day,

And left in a wood,

As I’ve heard people say,

Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!

Oh! don’t you remember the Babes in the Wood?

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And when it was night,

So sad was their plight,

The sun it went down,

And the moon gave no light!

They sobbed and they sighed,

And they bitterly cried,

And the poor little things,

They lay down and died.

Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!

Oh! don’t you remember the Babes in the Wood?

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And when they were dead,

The robins so red,

Brought strawberry leaves,

And over them spread;

And all the day long,

The branches among,

They mournfully whistled,

And this was their song;

Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!

Oh! don’t you remember the Babes in the Wood?

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[1] “BABES IN THE WOOD”, retrieved September 14, 2006 from http://www.rjohnwright.com/babesinthewood.html

Mother Goose’s “Babes in the Wood” was first published as a ballad by Thomas Millington in 1595.

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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Take Off the Amber, Put Out the Lamp #graphicnovel #research

Take the day.  Immerse.  Forget everything else.  Read.  Sketch.  Cocoon.  Trust the calling.

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Image in Vivian Maier: Street Photographer

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Today’s resources:

Jamison, K.R. (1999) Night Falls Fast- understanding suicide, Vintage Books: New York, NY, USA

Malooof, J., ed. (2012) Vivian Maier- Street Photographer, powerHouse Books: New York NY, USA

Appignanesi, L. (2007) Sad, Mad and Bad- women and the mind-doctors from 1800, McArthur & Company: Toronto, ON, Canada

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Photo by Rick Legal
Photo by Rick Legal.

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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These three hours that we have spent.. two shadows went along with us… #graphicnovel photoshoot w. @RickLegalPhotos

Recall Photoshoot Dec 3, 2012: A Lecture Upon the Shadow

Here are some MEGA TASTY treats from Rick Legal.

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As an artist/researcher/behavior evidence analyst, these photos fill every cell of my being with joy!  It is wonderful to allow a fellow artist the freedom to do his work within the context/limits of a vision.  Extraordinary.

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Jocelyn Louise, Jay Fisher. Styled by Jay Fisher

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A LECTURE UPON THE SHADOW.
by John Donne

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Recall that on December 3, 2012 was an evening of collaboration as Jocelyn Louise and Jay Fisher recreated 1947 and main characters from my graphic novel as they were photographed by the extraordinary photographer, Rick Legal, and as the entire process was documented by photographer and colleague, Nancy Kirkpatrick.

The book will include text, illustration, photography, street art, primary sources, documentation and collaboration.

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Jocelyn Louise. Photo by Rick Legal
Jocelyn Louise. Photo by Rick Legal

**NEXT STEP: MIND MAPPING THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK**

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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A Lecture Upon the Shadow: an evening of collaboration on the #graphicnovel with @RickLegalPhotos and co.

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A LECTURE UPON THE SHADOW.
by John Donne

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December 3, 2012 was an evening of collaboration as Jocelyn Louise and Jay Fisher recreated 1947 and main characters from my graphic novel as they were photographed by the extraordinary photographer, Rick Legal, and as the entire process was documented by photographer and colleague, Nancy Kirkpatrick.

The book will include text, illustration, photography, street art, primary sources, documentation and collaboration.

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jay and Jocelyn.  Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jay and Jocelyn. Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Katarina Thorsen
Photo by Katarina Thorsen
Rick Legal.  Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick.
Rick Legal. Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick.
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Julian Bowers
Photo by Julian Bowers
Photo by Katarina Thorsen
Photo by Katarina Thorsen
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
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Photo by Katarina Thorsen
"November 6, 1947" Photo by Katarina Thorsen
“November 6, 1947” Photo by Katarina Thorsen

I have been a fan of Rick Legal’ work for a long time and it is such an honor to have his work appear in my book.  As I write this, he is in the process of editing his images.  Here is a sneak peek:

Photo by Rick Legal
Photo by Rick Legal

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Jocelyn Louise. Photo by Rick Legal
Jocelyn Louise. Photo by Rick Legal

**NEXT STEP: MIND MAPPING THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK**

Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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Muse reawakened. #Vancouver #coldcase #graphicnovel

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Read updates at KICKSTARTER

Follow links at GRAPHIC NOVEL

Recreating 1947 with model, Jocelyn Louise, and stylist, Jay Fisher.

 

• Prepping the mindmap

• Gathering inspiration

• Collecting quotes

• Reviewing current work- written and drawn

• Creating new pieces

• Planning new photoshoot

• Documenting process

*Rethinking approach

• Full immersion imminent

She waved as she made her way to the back door and out to the fire escape stairs.  The firewood was stored under a musty tarp on the landing, and the hatchet [he] used to make kindling sat rusty and dull on top.  [She] never noticed the hatchet placed in that way before, not in all the weeks and months she’d been climbing these fire escape steps.  It was a sign, she knew, and though she wondered what exactly she would do with the hatchet if the footsteps followed her again, she snatched the thing up and rested it on her shoulder.

 Lori Lansens Rush Home Road[1]



[1] Lansens, L. (2002) Rush Home Road, Toronto ON, Canada: Vintage Canada

#Graphicnovel update! Checklists, mindmaps, plotting out chapters, inciting incident… #startattheend

I love that all I am doing in my art and career feeds the graphic novel, even if I’m not working on pages in the book per se.

When I do my street art, I am utilizing the style and perfecting the technique and medium I am using in Molly.

When I am working with my Dad on our book, I am learning the ropes in independent publishing and utilizing the plan for the book with Dad laid out by Julie Salisbury to organize the way I present Molly.  Julie has an extraordinary ability to see the complete project and I will be using her teachings to organize the next steps.  Her Mastermind weekend intensive infused me with such clarity and confidence.

We start at the end– visualize what the book will look like.  Judge the book by it’s cover.

Truly liberating to allow the creative process to sustain itself.  Everything feeds everything else!

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher. My street art ready to be pasted by Jocelyn in Vancouver! I am tempted do the entire book as street art images- take the story to the streets!

Next steps:

  • “START AT THE END”
  • PLAN THE BACK COVER AND TITLE
  • MIND MAP THE ENTIRE STORY
  • INCITING INCIDENT
  • PLOT WHAT GOES INTO EACH CHAPTER
  • BOOK PROPOSAL/PRESENTATION
  • MARKETING CHECKLIST/ BUSINESS PLAN
  • FOREWORD/ TESTIMONIALS/ AUTHOR’s BIO
  • BOOK LAUNCH: proposed date January 15, 2013
  • BOOK LAUNCH EVENT
Utilizing my notes from Fredrik Thorsen’s lecture on story/script.

ETC!

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Her Catholic childhood. #Vancouver #coldcase #graphicnovel

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
― Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

ASYLUM. #graphicnovel research

When I saw this book on my fave site, BrainPickings, I immediately called around the local bookstores and found a copy downtown.

From BrainPickings:

One of the 19th-century’s most notorious socioarchitectural phenomena were the “insane asylums” that housed the era’s mentally ill — enormous and stunning buildings whose architecture stood in stark contrast with the ominous athmosphere of their inner workings.  Fascinated by this phenomenon and its ghosts, photographer Christopher Payne set out to document the afterlife of those baleful buildings in Asylum: Inside The Closed World Of State Mental Hospitals — a compendium of images that peel away at a lost world and, in the process, offer a provocative portrait of the history of our (mis)treatment of the mentally ill.  A foreword by iconic neuroscientist Oliver Sacks frame the photographs in a sociocultural context of how these institutions evolved and what role they came to play, both in their time and in our reflections on history.

Observation window. (p. 103)

My friend, Darcy, and I poured over it, at once fascinated, sad, gleeful and horrified.  We talked about what it may mean to us, to any of us, to feel these conflicting emotions.

For me, there is such a visual metaphor in these massive fortresses.  No matter how large they were, they could not contain the anarchistic and primitive human spirit stripped raw by mental illness/circumstance/trauma/misunderstanding.  There was an attempt to contain and cure.

But what are we containing?  How?   Why?  What are we killing by “curing” as opposed to embracing and providing a safe haven, a nurturing environment?  And what about the seemingly failed experiment of outdoor asylums like the Downtown Eastside?

Endless questions.

Recommended viewings:

Recommended readings:

Recall: Molly’s brother died in Essondale

Planning a return visit to the Riverview grounds do some in situ sketches.

Essondale (now Riverview) research files

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  YES PLEASE!  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Creative process = flow = trust. #graphicnovel #crimescene #Vancouver #coldcase

I am letting the creative process flow through me as I work on the story.  Letting whatever comes out, come out as it needs to.  Editing will happen later.

TRUST.

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  YES PLEASE!  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

On Becoming a Woman- vintage treasure. #graphicnovel research #Vancouver #coldcase

I found a glorious and heartbreaking book on ETSY at LOST BEAR STUDIO as I was searching for 1940s/50s items for my graphic novel research.

On Becoming A Woman by Harold Shryock, MD.

The information teenage women were receiving at the time regarding their physical, personal and sexual development was truly horrifying from my perspective now.  This is what makes this book one of the most frustrating and fascinating reads.  WOW.  Delicious and tragic.

And of course, the chapter on homosexuality:

ARGH!

BUT- what makes this book even more special are the margin notes by the teen, Laura H. [Full name is in the book, but for privacy, I’ll just use last initial].  It adds so much to the experience.  I wonder who she was.  Where she ended up.  What a window into this young woman’s life!

Handwritten “owners” name on the inside, as well as some notes, underlining, & check marks she made on certain sections of the book that appeared to interest her which adds to the character to the book. – LOST BEAR STUDIO

Make sure to check out other items at LOST BEAR STUDIO:

Lost Bear Studio is my Collection of Vintage finds. I collect housewares, jewelry, decor & kitsch… I love art and all things creative, colorful, upcycled, repurposed & recycled… I collect a variety of quality vintage and antique treasures. My specialty items include home decor, housewares, storage items (tins, boxes, ANYTHING with drawers) & vintage accessories and jewelry. I collect items that catch my eye, and bring them to you, in the hopes that my descriptions will give you ideas you can utilize in your own home. – A. N. Fowler, Lost Bear Studio

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  YES PLEASE!  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Finding Norah. #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel (model: Jocelyn Louise)

Recall my post about Molly’s mother: Hanora (Norah) Morris:

Norah’s relationship with her daughter was a complex one.  One that I hope to explore in the illustrations.

Tonight I had dinner with my dear friend, Tracey Bell.  Her beauty and spirit inspires me to no end.  Her outfit tonight was incredible.  I then realized I was looking at Norah.  Just as Jocelyn has become my Molly, it appears Tracey has become my Norah.  The photoshoots ahead will be truly awe-inspiring.

  

. . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire…

– Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

Vintage fur coat arrived. Very moving. Photoshoot soon! #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Today , the furcoat I purchased on ETSY from wolfman1377 Vintage Clothing and Accessories arrived!  As it is very close to the original found at the crime scene, I felt quite shaken thinking about a woman covering her dead children.

Here is a look at opening the box.

The next photoshoot with Jocelyn and Jay is in the works!  It feels quite humbling to experience the story revealing itself.

From photo by wolfman1377

      

Recall my previous post about A WOMAN’S FURCOAT.

… Covering the bodies was the celanese lining of a woman’s’ coat and a small portion of the fur collar.  In the hairs of the collar were hemlock needles, which indicated that needles were falling at that time.

Later from the scant clues, city furrier R.J. Pop. Fifteenth and Granville, laboriously reconstructed a duplicate of the coat of such accuracy that the original button, later found at the scene was identical to the one put on the duplicate.

Police say it was worn by a chunkily built woman about 5 foot 3 or 4…

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953
EVIDENCE BOX 2 item 13: Woman’s fur coat- large bag containing fur coat remnant plus lining

The coat discovered at the scene was reconstructed and featured in an article in The Vancouver Sun on April 20, 1953.  Initially it was described as an “oilskin coat” but it turned out to be a fur coat with its lining facing out.  “[The victims] were covered with a cloth later found to be the lining of a woman’s fur coat of the factory mass production type.”

The article described the coat as a “dark brown Coney (dyed rabbit) with leg-o-mutton shoulders, popular in 1943.”  “The lining of Celanese material (a synthetic fiber first spun in 1921) indicated the coat had been worn two or three years.”

The coat was described as size 16 and 40 inches (101.6 cm) long.   “From the length of the fur coat lining which covered the skeletons, police believe it was worn by a short, stocky woman about five feet three or four inches tall weighing between 125 and 135 pounds.”

Remnants of woman’s fur coat with Celanese lining in evidence box. Video capture from Babes in the Woods Task Force meeting at Vancouver Centennial Police Museum, February 2004. 

See also:

Photoshoot 1

Photoshoot 2 

A woman’s furcoat 

Vintage furcoat

 

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE


Molly’s consequence. #graphicnovel #Vancouver


MOLLY- the graphic novel

There is no refuge from confession but suicide; and suicide is confession. – D. Webster

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

“Molly” model: Jocelyn Louise, styled by Jay Fisher

Visual input, planning and a visit from producer, @annatfabulous #graphicnovel #Vancouver


MOLLY- the graphic novel

As I work on finding the ultimate way to present the drawings in my graphic novel and juggling how much or how little I want to use text, I continue the creative process by sketching and visiting, photographing and soaking in location shots.

Anna Thorsen, my daughter and project producer, is up from San Francisco for Canadian Thanksgiving.  As the new year approaches we will be planning a later Spring 2012 art event to launch our self-published small run of the book.  The event will feature interactive art and the original drawings and the night will centre around a a 40s theme:

Jay Fisher consults with Anna then works his magic to create an inspiring retro look!

 

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

“Molly” model: Jocelyn Louise, styled by Jay Fisher