Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Creating a comic strip for patient education

This is a guest post from our comic book artist, Syanne Djaenal, an extremely enthusiastic student now studying in the USA.

Having worked for Dr Malpani for about a year and a half, I pretty much get the gist of making something that most people find complicated and mundane into something more entertaining. The most important thing is simplicity. As a designer, it's sometimes a challenge to make something simple and easy to understand out of quite a heavy topic, but it's actually quite a fun journey!

Since I'm working on my own, my Mac and my pen tablet became my best assistants and tools. I actually bought my Mac computer just last summer to do projects like these, and of course for school as well. It's one of the best computer for a designer to have and also not forgetting my pen tablet. It has changed my life ever since I started using it instead of a mouse. You can practically draw or color straight in your computer and have no worries about hurting your wrist from working too much with the mouse. Many people think it's expensive, and there are a lot of expensive ones, but now you can just get a decent one for under $100 which works just as well as the $300 ones!

I've also been using Adobe Photoshop to do my comic layout and a new software I purchased recently to create 'Baby Chase' which is called 'Manga Studio Debut'. It's a software that allows you to create comic books painlessly. They have many different speech bubbles, background patterns, and more. This is a must have for those of you who's thinking of making a comic, it makes life a lot easier :)
and it's cheap too!

One tip is to always have your reader's best interest in mind. Remember who your target audience is ! This is why I have a lot of pastel colors and tones in my work since my readers are mainly female. Also , learn how to simplify your work so it's easy to understand for the readers. When it comes to designing, sometimes less is more. I've also learned a lot from working with Dr Malpani, even designing stuff! Such as to make bigger fonts, and put more effective graphics. The most important thing however, is that if you love what you do, you'll never feel as if you're working, and every time you get paid, you'll say to yourself that you can't believe that someone is actually paying you to do this!

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