This week, Danny talks to Beth Trembley about her new graphic novel, Look Again and how making art helped her process a traumatic event.
Beth grew up knowing herself to be a kid who could write but who could not draw. Everyone else in the family created visual art, but she just couldn't make anything that looked good. In her late thirties, she realized that she could probably become a better draw-er if she approached it the way she approached writing: daily practice, lots of experimentation, a sense of humor, and teachers! Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Danny Gregory's The Creative License were the two most inspirational companions she had on her way. Beth knew she didn't want to become a fine artist, but someone who used the visual to enhance storytelling. And, she just wanted to be able to draw fun short comics that captured her adventures with her dogs.
In April of 2014, her progress leaped forward when she enrolled in the first klasses offered by Sketchbook Skool and became exposed to so many different teachers and the wonderful community of fun, challenging sketchbook artists. She began to draw and paint every day. She created sketches of events and animals and people and trees and buildings and, really, everything. She combined these with writing into illustrated journals. She took other classes with teachers she encountered in Sketchbook Skool. She attended SketchKon in California and loved meeting so many virtual colleagues!
In 2017 Beth decided she was finally brave enough to get serious about creating comics, so she began what became several years of in-person and online study at both the Center for Cartoon Studies and the Sequential Artists Workshop. The wonders of using comics as a medium for telling her own stories opened up possibilities and power she had barely imagined. In 2019, after thirty years of college teaching, she retired to work more fully in comics. In addition to creating comics, Beth currently teaches comics and graphic memoir online and in-person. In particular, she runs the Graphic Memoir + Medicine group and teaches multi-week courses in graphic memoir for the Sequential Artists Workshop.
Her graphic memoir, Look Again, is her first published work in comics.
Teaching at Sequential Artists Workshop: https://learn.sawcomics.org/