Boundary by Emily Cowan

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Wow.  Emily Cowan, comic book artist, has just completed an extraordinary book:

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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.

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The book is deceptively gentle, masterfully rendered.

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DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS GORGEOUS BOOK!

LINK: BOUNDARY

Emily’s decision to create a webcomic has been a huge influence on my own work.

But the journey is not over!

In the words of Emily:

Thank you so much for reading, for sticking with me when I updated late, for encouraging me and supporting me.

I’m so glad I got to share this, my first full-length comic, with you, my sweet readers from the beginning and all the new ones who joined in along the way.  I can’t believe anyone read along at all, and the fact that so many of you did is something I can’t even believe.

The future of Boundary: I’m going to be Kickstarting a book, so keep watching this space for news about that! The archives will stay here, free to read any time.  And in the meantime you can follow new comic news at my twitter or instagram

If you like, you can support my Patreon, where I’ve been posting journal comics every day, and will be sharing sketches and plans for upcoming projects. 

Thank you all again.

And thank you especially to Julian, without whom I couldn’t have done this. – Emily Cowan

I can’t wait to PHYSICALLY hold that book in my hands.  

ABOUT EMILY:

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Hella cool queer brat who makes a comic about sad teens!

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SUPPORT EMILY COWAN ON PATREON:

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https://www.patreon.com/emilycowan

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Visual facilitation is #visualstorytelling w. felts and paper

Many of you know, I love mind mapping.

If you say, can I talk to you?

…you know that I will first pull out felt pens and paper before saying- talk to me.

I usually work either one-on-one or with small groups, in order to facilitate deeper dialogue and connection, as well as help with personal and project planning.

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It is the best way to engage right and left brain to create the big picture.

Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way. – Jennifer Lee

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I find myself lately visually facilitating much larger group discussions and workshops!  And I have to say, it feels like home!

For example:

• Community Engagement in Retirement Living

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Large mind map created live during workshop facilitated by Beverley Pomeroy

The graphic recording/visually storytelling/mind map process engages participants in a friendly and whole-brain way and, most importantly, allows all voices in the room to be heard and visually recorded.

Whole-Brain thinking provides you with a strategic road map for creativity, problem-solving, innovation and transformation. These processes can be used to develop creativity and innovation capabilities within the individual and organization. – Linda Naiman

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There is something absolutely profound and magical that happens when participants feel heard, visually!  The process creates an overview of the big ideas; themes and key phrases naturally form in real time.  Mind mapping facilitates dialogue and reflection.   The resulting map also serves as a guide for subsequent reporting and recommendations.

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The process itself feels like a dance between the key facilitator, the graphic recorder/visual storyteller and the participants.

SPECIAL NOTE:

It is such an honor (and a blast) working with author and community engagement strategist, Beverley Pomeroy.

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And during our first workshop, we were joined by artist, Emily Cowan, who enriched the experience for participants by drawing a portrait of the group during the event:

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Bev and Kat by Emily Cowan
Kat and Bev by Emily Cowan

What a delight for everyone involved to be captured by Emily!!!

• Think!Well

A little less than 2 weeks ago, I was asked to visually record youth voices during:  Think!Well– an evening to explore youth mental wellness, get connected with youth and community resources, and talk about the importance of taking care of our minds.

What a treat to spend 5 hours visually storytelling and developing a large mind map for the youth as a take away!  This map serves as a real-time art piece, celebrating the profound dialogue during the evening and all the hard work and leadership exhibited by the youth facilitators and support staff.  The art will hopefully now act as a springboard to further youth-run workshops around mental wellness.

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Large mind map created live during Think!Well youth conference on mental wellness at Burnaby Neighborhood House

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This visual storytelling is not new.  Nor unique.  It’s been going on for a long time by many practitioners.  But there is so much of it happening in the world of graphic recording, visual facilitation and visual storytelling right now.  I am LOVING being part of the current movement!!!

And I am also excited about the opportunities that are unfolding!  Cheers to the power of felts and paper!!!  Cheers to what lies ahead.

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Check out:

VanCaf Reflections Part 6 of 6: Moen, Boumeries and take aways

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK

5. Inspector Pancakes BLOG LINK

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

The only problem with my visit to VanCaf was that my visit was too short and my budget too low.

But I learned so much from all the artists and my daughter and I made some great notes regarding tips around my own work and what I hope to be a future table at VanCaf.

TAKE AWAYS/ TIPS/ NOTES:

1. Point of purchase- clear signage

2. Cash/debit/visa

3. iPad email signup

4. Portrait offer (limited to 20)- then release some more offers

5. Secret code/password

6. Quality publication.  Tight presentation

7. Branding

8. Simplicity

9. Small broadsheet release as sneak peek

10. Multiple price points

11. Never leave booth empty

12. Elevator pitch

12. Engaging product

13. Thematic booth

14. Welcoming

15. Talk to people

16. Question whether or not to show original art work panels- leave something to mystery.

17. Not t-shirts or clothing

18. Get the right reps (the 6 second/13 second rule)

19. Not too much product

20. Have an “everything for $…” deal

21. Research/question ComicCon/Fan Expo attendees/friends- what draws you to a new artist?

And so, I end my VanCaf 2015 posts with two new favorites.

I was encouraged to search out Erica Moen and Boumeries by my son and his group of friends.  I am just getting to know the work of these two- so my post about them is limited- but from what I have seen so far, I am HOOKED!  They both share the ability to be transparent, honest and funny as hell.  Gorgeous slick artwork on both parts- filled with the raw joy of REAL LIFE.

ERIKA MOEN:

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BOUMERIES:

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The teddy bear!  My heart!

    

VanCaf reflections Part 3 of 6: Emily Cowan, comic artist

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic

5. Inspector Pancakes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

3.  EMILY COWAN, COMIC ARTIST, BOUNDARY COMIC

I adore this artist.  For so many reasons.  It has been such a joy getting to know her more and more this past year!

Emily has an impeccable eye for character study and environment.  Her comics also drip of authenticity.

I was elated to see her set up at her VanCaf booth (table C4), displaying her delicious product.

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I learn so much through my interactions with Emily and her art.  We are certainly soul-sisters when it comes to our desires to work fulltime on our art as hermits in our personal caves, riddled with anxiety and self-doubt, but driven nonetheless.

I do love that Emily demands honesty and exploration of identity in her own work.  Be it the gentle, masterful strokes of her pen, the quirky aspects of her characters, the conversation with environment or the metaphoric imagery of inner angst.

Indeed, she has inspired me to embrace and really explore my own identity.   Identifying as an asexual, pan-romantic, cis-woman artist at age 53 is fabulous and LIBERATING!  Bad ass, even!

    

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BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.  

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The worst part of being fifteen is the monotony.  That’s what Paige thinks anyway.  Doing the same things, seeing the same faces, hearing the same opinions and going to the same places: day in, day out, forever – it’s driving her crazy!  Add a teacher’s strike that completely stalls the school year, friends who don’t seem to think monotony is a problem, and parents who think EVERYTHING is a problem and Paige feels ready to tear her hair out from the restlessness.  She can’t wait for a few more years to pass so she can finally DO SOMETHING – because after all, once you grow up you can finally make things happen for yourself.

…Right?

      

Check out Emily’s experience at VanCaf in her 365 Project:

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Boundary- a new comic by Emily Cowan

I am so excited that Vancouver artist, Emily Cowan, has now launched her extraordinary comic BOUNDARY online!

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BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.  

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The worst part of being fifteen is the monotony.  That’s what Paige thinks anyway.  Doing the same things, seeing the same faces, hearing the same opinions and going to the same places: day in, day out, forever – it’s driving her crazy!  Add a teacher’s strike that completely stalls the school year, friends who don’t seem to think monotony is a problem, and parents who think EVERYTHING is a problem and Paige feels ready to tear her hair out from the restlessness.  She can’t wait for a few more years to pass so she can finally DO SOMETHING – because after all, once you grow up you can finally make things happen for yourself.

…Right?

Emily Cowan has a sharp and insightful approach to both life and her art.  I have been lucky enough to watch Emily’s creative process in person.  Each panel is meticulously rendered with a sure hand and the drawings reflect the dry wit and teenage angst that is the heart of the comic perfectly.  The landscape, both exterior and interior, are so welcoming, familiar and accurate.  I love the sparseness of the text, allowing the story to truly speak- authentically.  And the characters have that look- what we call in Sweden: halvslutna ögon- that half mast eyed “sigh” look of the anxious and fatigued- yet ALIVE, living life one beautiful step at a time.

And OH MY GOD- it’s just so GOOOOOOOD!

Check out panels 1 and 2 and make sure to catch new posts online!

Boundary updates on Mondays.

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Check out Emily’s new ETSY site:

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