Monday, 22 June 2015

SUMMER WRITING SCHOOL: CREATING COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS at UofT

Do you have an idea for a comic or graphic novel that you'd like to workshop? Interested in the nuts and bolts of scriptwriting and/or art production, pitching, publishing or self-publishing comics?

If so, then this course is for you!

CREATING COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS
University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies
Instructor: Willow Dawson

From scriptwriting to artwork to publishing and self-publishing, this 5-day intensive covers pretty much everything you need to know to get yourself started in the wonderfully diverse world of comics and graphic novels. (Ability to draw is NOT MANDATORY but an appreciation for words and images is a must)

GUEST Jennifer Lum, Design Director at Random House has worked with some of the top talent in today's comics industry and she will take students through the pitching and publishing process.

July 13-17, 2015
(Monday-Friday)
9:30am - 3:00pm
$699
Course can be applied toward an SCS certificate in Creative Writing

More info, including how to register, can be found here:
http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=4098648

Hope to see you there!

Friday, 6 December 2013

NOOK HOLIDAY SHOW AND SOCK IT TO 'EM SALE!

Tonight's the night! I have two pieces in this wonderful illustration show. Come on out and celebrate winter with great people and beautiful art.

Nook
156 Augusta Ave in Toronto
7pm!

And if you can't make it tonight, it will be on tomorrow as well and thereafter by appointment.

Show deets, including a list of exhibiting artists is below! Don't forget to check out the craft fair, too ...

Winter Fox

The Deers


Thursday, 10 October 2013

TEASER ...

Hello fine people! Today is a day for celebration ...

I handed in the final edits on my picture book manuscript and a sample of the final artwork so the design department can see the direction I'd like to take the illustrations in. Now I get to sit back and relax while I await feedback on the rough illus and art sample ... Kidding (about relaxing, that is), I actually have to get back to work after I finish writing this post on another top secret project. Haha ... the life of an author / illustrator!

I am very excited about this project (which must still remain unnamed) because it will be my very first picture book! A picture book with sequential elements! It is a story that is very close to my heart and I'm working with an awesome publisher, a super incredible art director, and two of the greatest editors a girl could ever wish for. And I know from experience that this combo, and this combo only, of good people and shared excitement produces amazing books. So this book is going to be amazing. End of story.

Behold, a sample of the final art for your eyes only ... Enjoy!

Two Wolves and a Bird

Thursday, 19 September 2013

CREATING COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (course) at UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Hi everyone,

I'm teaching my comics course at UofT again this fall, starting Oct 1, and REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN. Please forward the info below to anyone you know who may be interested, or take a look for yourself if this is something you think you'd like to try.

This iteration of the course is going to be pretty fantastic (if I may say so myself)... I've fine tuned it to give more time for students to workshop their own ideas and I've just confirmed the wonderful Ryan North as the guest speaker. See below for more info:

CREATING COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS
at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

Oct 1 - Dec 3, 2013
7 - 9 PM

"Creating Comics and Graphic Novels" is a combination of theory and practice, designed to provide students with an introduction to the amazingly diverse world of sequential storytelling and a space to develop their ideas for new comic works. All genres including fiction, non-fiction and even sequential poetry are supported in this course. Taught by graphic novelist Willow Dawson (Ghost Limb, Hyena in Petticoats, 100 Mile House), with guest speaker Ryan North: creator of Dinosaur Comics, writer of the Adventure Time comic book series, winner of at least one Eisner Award, and creator of the highest funded Kickstarter publishing project of all time: To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure (a Choose Your Own Adventure style retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet). If you didn't click his name above, take a look at this interview: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/09/geeks-guide-ryan-north/

Past guests have included Fiona Smyth (CHEEZ 100, The Never Weres), Francis Manapul (The Flash, DC Comics), Karen Li (Senior Editor of nonfiction and graphic novels, Kids Can Press) and Naseem Hrab (Institutional Marketing Manager, Kids Can Press), and most recently Jennifer Lum (Senior Designer and champion of the graphic publishing program at Random House).

Artistic genius is not a requirement but a passion for words and images is a must.

The course fee is $599. Registration is still open!

Registration and more course deets here:
http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=11833654

Hope to see all your sweet smiling faces on October 1st!
Wx

Monday, 2 September 2013

UPDATE + NEW SKETCHES

You may have noticed I haven't been producing quite as much art over the summer as usual. This is because it's been a busy one! My good news is that I'm hard at work, writing my very first picture book! I'm also working on the writing component for a graphic novel adaptation of a late author's screenplay and her final remaining unpublished work...

Yes, I'm being cryptic on purpose because, for now, I cannot reveal any details about either of these projects! They are top secret. But, I assure you I will let you know exactly what they are as soon as I've been given the go ahead to speak about them. Thankyou for being patient and sticking with me through this inwardly inspiring, but outwardly quiet time. Shhhhhhh....

I leave you with these two new sketches in the hopes that you'll come back soon for more!

Twigs

Bee Maiden

Thursday, 8 August 2013

HAPPY SHARK WEEK!


National Shark Week, please!

Happy Shark Week, everyone. I don't know if this is actually a national holiday, but I do think it should be one. Across the globe, that is.

Did you know sharks are a vital part of the ocean's delicate ecosystem? That without these apex predators to keep fish and seal populations in check, ecologists believe the oceans ecosystem could unravel entirely? And when the worlds oceans die, so too will clean water and oxygen, making the planet unable to sustain life.

Sadly, many species are coming close to extinction due to the destructive and cruel shark fin industry, ecologists estimate one hundred million are killed each year. Yes, ONE HUNDRED MILLION SHARKS. Similar to the way poachers take ivory and leave the elephants to bleed to death, sharks are caught, definned and thrown back into the ocean alive. They die slowly and painfully of blood loss and/or loss of oxygen. Sharks can't breathe without moving and they can't swim without their fins. It's a horrific practice that needs to end.

I used to be very scared of sharks until I saw these amazing documentaries...

In this BBC Natural World documentary, GREAT WHITE SHARK-LIVING LEGEND, Naturalist Mike Rutzen dives unprotected with great whites to uncover some of their secrets, including how they communicate, when they spend time together, and how they hunt with such power and precision. This was an eye-opening piece for me that helped me gain new respect for these enormous and quite beautiful predators.

National Geographic made another awesome video of Mike's experiences diving with sharks (including great whites), but it is sadly no longer available online. In SURVIVING SHARK NIGHT Rutzen spends three nights underwater and without a cage with these fantastic creatures. It is an incredible tale (with a terrible soundtrack, sorry if I'm offending anyone) of a dude setting out to prove these creatures are not the cold blooded killing machines we've made them out to be. It's incredible!

And of course, the doc that started this whole obsession of mine was SHARKWATER directed by Rob Stewart. Stewart has a new movie out this year called REVOLUTION, which investigates the larger picture of conserving the world's wonderful, vast, vital oceans. Get your hands on a copy and watch it now!

I leave you with this quote from the man himself:

"There's nothing more important than conservation, because conservation is the preservation of human life on earth." --Rob Stewart

Is anything else more true?

Friday, 12 July 2013

NEW SKETCHES!

Hello friends, I've been enjoying the summer and all the pretty flowers and inspiration it's brought. I have a few new sketches for you to see on my website, if you'd like to take a look... they are here: willowdawson.com

Here is one to get you excited. Hope you like!

Cheveux

Happy summer times!
xoxoxo