Week 13-14 Drawing
After we’d decided the basic outline of our zines,it was now time for us to make a rough version of it.I had my main character in place,so I thought I’d start from there.I decided that my zine would go something like this:
First,a cover page with a title that isn’t too ‘in your face’,neither is it too vague.I started looking for cover page inspiration before I even completed my ideas for each page inside the zine,since I was worried that a disappointing cover page would end up undermining the entire zine.A lot of ‘body positivity’ pictures or illustrations are often about an obese woman in minimal clothing,something about body hair,or basically a page from Priyanka Paul(@artwhoring)’s instagram.I didn’t want my cover page to target a specific audience,so I kept looking for something more broad-spectrum to make.I finally decided to make an illustration about a girl with a head full of flowers ‘watering’ herself,to symbolise self care and self love.(More of that in the final zine blog).
Next,I wanted to convey why I’m making the zine and what body positivity is really about.This zine has been little about actual artwork and a lot more of research. I’ve gone through several articles,illustrations,videos and even other zines to finally find out what I could condense in my zine. This topic is pretty sensitive,and there’s several strong opinions about it.Some are of the opinion that it’s largely against fat shaming,and that bigger people should be treated equally as compared to an average sized person.This is taken too far,though,and thus I keep seeing people on the internet who are almost morbidly(or at least unhealthily) obese,celebrating being body positive and condemning those who don’t agree with their opinion.This simply did not make sense to me,since it meant people are just letting go of their bodies under this excuse,and living an unhealthy life,similar to those people who get an eating disorder to end up becoming anorexic.This is nowhere close to where the true meaning of the term lies.Body positivity is all about listening to the signals our body gives us,and keeping it healthy.It also involves normalizing natural processes our body undergoes,like acne and stretch marks.
So keeping all this in mind,I’d earlier decided to make short comic strips on each issue to highlight how we approach it in a wrong manner and how to handle it correctly.But I simply felt stupid doing that. It felt like I was giving instructions to the reader about how to be body positive,and saying that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t love your body.That would just make me like all the other articles,trying to force people to understand that they have to be happy with their current selves all the time.That’s not how it works for everyone.So instead,I made short articles,dedicating one page to each aspect of insecurity people face.I think it made things a lot more interesting,since a lot of my peers were adapting the comic style and this was like an information brochure about yourself instead.
The biggest challenge in accomplishing this was keeping the word count in check.I could easily fill up my entire zine with text if I wanted to,but I obviously had to represent as much using illustrations as possible.I first made some rough frames in my sketchbook itself.
I then decided to make a life-size sample of my zine.Like I mentioned previously,I already had a colour palette planned,namely shades of pink,blue and orange.So I took A4 sheets of the respective colors,folded them down the centre and stapled them.I wanted more of a pastel palette,but I only had vibrant coloured sheets at hand,so I used those.I thought alcohol markers were the quickest and the most precise way to lay down colour,so I cut up A4 marker sheets and stuck them to the coloured sheets.This prototype was very rough,but I used it as a trial and error thing to write and erase content so that I could settle for something concrete.
As you can see,this is still super rough,and at this point I’d begun to dislike the strict rectangular boundaries in the comic strips,and as I’d mentioned earlier,I decided to completely chuck the idea of using comics in my final zine.So I selected the following topics:Sizeism,Diet Scams,Acne,Social Media,the changed meaning of Body Positivity,Things that we should normalise as part of the movement,and a personal note on why I made the zine.
After getting my ideas approved,I started working on my final zine!