Recently our second years undertook a four-day sequential illustration brief with talented illustrator and writer William Goldsmith. The project was named ‘Waverley Stories’ and was a way of getting students to think of themselves more as storytellers and writers, as well as image-makers.
“Using Waverly Station as a setting, the students were encouraged to hone their powers of observation to record goings-on in this complex, bustling space, and to think how directly (or indirectly) real-life observations can inform a narrative.
There was also the task of leading a viewer’s eye across a sequence of images, to build and develop a story. This was perhaps the biggest challenge of all but the students used composition, dialogue and characterisation to good effect in their sequential storytelling.
The first day at the station was thrown into potential jeopardy after a telling-off from the security staff, a pitfall of location drawing which students did well to overcome. In some cases this officiousness actually made it into a few stories. It was also pleasing to see students interviewing staff and passengers at the station and to see the importance of this interaction in the writing process.
We had a real range of styles and approaches at the end – from the viewpoint of an improbable pub raconteur, to a child’s viewpoint, to a pigeon’s viewpoint, even to the viewpoint of the station itself. There were stories of tender, everyday moments, comical anecdotes, and some dark, macabre stories thrown in for good measure.
Hopefully some of these stories can be the starting point for longer narratives in the future – I think everyone should be pleased with their efforts.” – William Goldsmith