Turn Your Life into a Graphic Novel

Sketches from life by Kathryn Sturges

Sketches from life by Kathryn Sturges

I got this idea a while back and it haunts me like a ghost!  If you have ever wanted to write a memoir or if your life is interesting, why not turn that into a comic book or graphic novel?  To get started, plan ahead with some writing.  Choose a time of your life that was either the best or worst time...you know how certain eras of life just seem to stand out more than others?  Write a basic outline of events and then create short stories from those times.  Feel free to use you imagination and add aspects that are fiction.  If something happened that didn't seem that big at the time, make it a huge event in your novel!

Create panel sketches like the above drawing.  This sketch is based on a couple of experiences I had a few weeks ago.  You can use the sketches to fine tune character elements and figure out a color palette for your novel.  Create panels in any way that fit your story, here I used four sections but using variety throughout the novel will add to the element of surprise.  

Finally work on some good paper and create the final draft.  Figure out what art medium you are best at and work in that medium.  Graphic novels are often inked, but why not use watercolor or markers instead?  Once you have the final draft complete, go through and make sure the stories have congruency to them.  If need be, add some more pages here and there to tie everything together.  

Now comes the fun part!  Distribute that novel!  Go to a copy store and copy the pages, or have the copy place do the work for you and get it turned into little pamphlets or books.  Give them to friends and family, sell them on Etsy, get them published by a book distributor.  And be sure to keep a copy for yourself to add to your own personal archive.

I've had this idea forever, and hopefully some day I will do this myself.  I thought I would share the idea to incite a riot of creativity in others.  Turning your life into art can be such a beautiful way to turn the mundane into something to celebrate.