Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meryl Streep in Istanbul

Disclaimer before I get started: No, I did not see Meryl Streep in Istanbul. But the title of this entry will make sense to you by the end.

So I realized I haven't really shown any new process photos of spreads I'm currently working on in a while, so here they are.

While in London, I took a weekend trip to Istanbul with about twenty other students and two guides. There, we had the chance to meet with a high school student who spoke with us about politics, religion, and social equality in Istanbul and in Turkey as a whole. It was incredibly interesting, and the discussion stuck with me, so I decided to include it in my graphic novel.

But as you will see below, my original spreads were:


and extremely text-heavy.

A lot of my editing process is about "capturing the essence" of what I want to explain or illustrate with a particular story. Especially because each story only gets two pages in the entire book (not so in my original draft), the message has to be concise. And in order to make that message concise, there must be a lot of crossing-outing and a lot of moving-arounding of text, frames, and focal points. (See below.)

As Bill, my Capstone advisor, puts it: "There needs to be two of you. The creator and the editor. The creator can put in whatever she wants, include everything for the original draft. But then the editor comes in. And the editor is another part of you that's like-- who's that woman from The Devil Wears Prada?-- Meryl Streep. Your editor has to be like Meryl Streep. Comes in and puts her foot down."

Well, I hope all my scribbles and rewrites make both Bill and Meryl proud.


  1. You know, my mentor Steve tore the first draft of my paper for him to shreds. To shreds! He thought I was too verbose, essentially.

    My next draft, he loved. My trick was, for every two sentences I wrote, I deleted one. I told him that, and he thought it was wonderful. Sometimes brevity is the best virtue.

  2. I think that keeping the evil Meryl Streep persona available as a small (but powerful) inner voice is a perfect metaphor here -- also her stare and her disdain and her utter contempt for work that isn't as concise or as well-exectued as it ought to be. But sometimes even Meryl flashes a small satisfied smile -- one you'd miss if you weren't paying adequate attention -- and you need to have that moment inside your head, too. Keep your standards high, but acknowledge when you achieve them.