Archive for the ‘Round 01’ Category

Round 8 Exit Interview: Amber Carvan

March 7, 2010

1. What were you hoping to get out of rehab? Did you get it?

I love going into rehab. The rules and the peer pressure both help me to get back into the groove when I’m feeling, well, in need of some special treatment. This relapse round certainly didn’t disappoint. I finished the month feeling invigorated and bursting with ideas. In fact, I want to do it all over again. Oh dear, do you think I might be addicted to rehab? I wonder if there’s some sort of treatment program for that?

2. What was the most unexpected thing about this round?

I was unexpectedly relaxed about this round of rehab. I didn’t stress out too much about my comics (in comparison to my previous stint), didn’t get hung up on comments and I was relatively chilled about the whole process just working without much intervention on my part. What a wonderful relief!

3. What – about your own comics – made you happiest during this round?

I’m feeling very comfortable with my comics right now – and in a good way. While there are often things that I wish I could change, I’m generally very pleased with how they’re turning out. My consistency is improving. And occasionally I feel like I really nail an image which is a great feeling. My favourite image from this round is panel two of my final rehab comic – in bed with my phone.

4. What – about your fellow rehabbers’ comics – made you happiest during this round?

I adored all my fellow round 08 rehabbers before we even started and their lovely work made me admire them even more.

Helen’s drawing is so tight at the moment it makes me want to eat whatever it is that she’s having for breakfast. Being a lovely spinster myself, I thought her lovely spinster series was a delight!

I was really impressed with the attitude that Adam came in with – ie, to not get stressed out and to go back to basics. I think he did a marvelous job and I really liked the way his story took off (and landed).

Nicola’s drawings are awe-inspiring. My favourite thing about her pics are the incidentals – children climbing monkey-like over fences, street cars, cafes, tattoos. She is tops talent.

5. Are you rehabilitated now?


6. Where can people see your comics in the future?

I’m thinking of going old school and putting out a regular mini-comic again. But hang on, I think I may have said that last time. I detect a pattern!

Seriously though. I have a heap of projects on the boil at the moment and am interested in experimenting with some new ways of telling stories through comics. You can stay tuned to @berrybasket on Twitter for breaking news.

* Lying face down on the trampoline – drawing my shadow.

Round 08: Day 26

February 26, 2010

And that’s the way that my visit to rehab ends… not with a bang but a whimper. It’s been great fun!

Round 08: Day 22

February 22, 2010

Of course I learned to love the Mountain Goats but I still maintain that this particular song could be used as a defence for homicide in a court of law: ‘But your honour, he was playing ‘We Have Seen the Enemy’ really loudly and I was in an enclosed space!’ Go listen to it if you don’t believe me. Yeah, it starts off fine – JUST YOU WAIT!

Incidentally, the only other song that has the same effect on me is The Yip Song by Robyn Hitchcock (whose other songs I also really love).

Anyway, back to Strath Creek. I can’t remember the date that we went on this drive but it was pretty special and remarkably well documented.

And of course, the lovely Marky went on to write a beautiful song about that day.

Round 08: Day 18

February 18, 2010

When I first started doing comics I used to have conversations with whoever would listen about my motivation being to tell ‘nowhere stories’. Autobiographical tales that don’t go anywhere or do anything other than preserve a memory. No climax. No resolution. No punchline. They start nowhere and end nowhere.

I suppose I wanted to draw nowhere stories because it was these that were my favourite comics to read. There’s a nice kind of intimacy about them. Anyway, this is a nowhere story that I’ve been wanting to draw for ages so I’m pleased I’ve finally had a chance to do it.

Round 08: Day 14

February 14, 2010

Round 08: Day Ten

February 10, 2010

In the end I didn’t get to do any of the things that I wanted to. Instead I drew hundreds and hundreds of teeny tiny dashes using a ruler. Now my eyes have gone funny.

Round 08: Day Six

February 6, 2010

Contents of orange envelope: David Shrigley pictures that had been diligently cut and collected from The Weekend Guardian over a period of many months. What can I say, sometimes those heartbreakers can just make your day.

Round Eight: Day two

February 2, 2010

Oh I forgot how hard this is! The indecision, the panic, the insecurity! I really liked this idea for a comic but I don’t think it works well in four panels – should have been six – and I wish I’d not coloured in with pencils… should have used photoshop. Do I look a little CRAZED in the third panel? I’m thinking yes, but that I kinda am a bit crazed so that’s ok.

But still, it is done and I am really pleased that it’s up as I was seriously considering phoning around to find a replacement artist at about 2pm this afternoon. Phew. Ok. Anyway. I will try to settle on an idea a little earlier for my next comic and will try to show some restraint when it comes to the pencil tin.

Oh and can I say that it was actually really FUN to draw again instead of just sitting about *thinking* about drawing. Yay for rehab.

Round 08: Reintroducing Amber Carvan

January 30, 2010

Oh hi! It’s nice/odd to be drawing something and uploading it here after all this time. Turns out that I need the pressure of rehab to get any comics done at all. It’s not that I don’t have ideas. The reverse is true – I can’t control the flow of ideas into my poor overloaded brain. It’s just that nothing gets done unless it is made a priority. This will be good. Happy to be here in this positive space with lovely and talented people who I don’t want to let down.

Rehab Exit Interview: Amber Carvan

November 29, 2007

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

The four days would go very quickly! I’d be chuffed about finishing one comic and then it felt like I had barely caught my breath before another was due. It was good though. I enjoyed the challenge. I loved reading the comics that Claire, David and Bowb made and found the support from commenters really encouraging – especially at the beginning! It went much better than I had imagined. Actually, I feel kinda sad that our round is over.

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

I learned that drawing a comic doesn’t have to be preceded by *days* of high drama and agonising. It’s actually not such a big deal. In fact, it’s quite possible for me to just sit down and do it. Also, I learned to open myself up to to the creative process again. I remembered what it’s like to look at the world with my ‘artist’ eyes.

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

I like the last one, the valley. It was a challenge to write/draw about a macabre/taboo subject in a frank and honest way, but without having people think that I was about to top myself. I haven’t received calls from any concerned friends so I figure I must have succeeded!

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

Probably walking in the bush. I drew heaps of comics that day trying to get something good. All of them were ok but nothing special. I regret not using this one instead:
The idea of the salada as the embodiment of four-panelled perfection has stuck with me.

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.

I *really* want to start doing a mini-comic again. A no-frills, no drama, mini-comic that is photocopied on copy paper and read by a small circle of people. Something that has no crazy ambitions to be a graphic novel or an ignatz award winner. Just a simple mini-comic. I really like the idea of that.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

There was a point in this round where there was a real lull in energy. I could see that it was happening but didn’t really know what to do about it. I think that if this happens again I might jump in with a surprise challenge or something…. I don’t know. Ideas/ suggestions are most welcome.