Doing Our Own Thing Together by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us about “Doing Our Own Thing Together.” Enjoy!
Things have been evolving as I work on my latest graphic novel, Queensgate. You may be able to tell if you’ve read my previous posts that I’m very hands-on when it comes to my work, as I’m sure are many of you folks out there! My graphic novels are so far based on my own screenplays; they’re completely hand-drawn, by me, and I’ve also experienced that extremely steep learning curve that comes from being self-published and having to market and promote one’s own work (though I understand that even if you’re not self-published that’s often the case). For me that last part has been not only steep but vertiginous, because though I’ve created publicity for and happily promoted other people’s work and events, it’s different when doing that for oneself. It just is.
I’m still deciding whether to make Queensgate a trilogy as discussed in my last post. I can tell lately that it doesn’t take me nearly as long to draw as it used to so once I get things mapped out more completely I’ll be able to tell about that. One thing I have decided that will make the process more fun and fascinating is inviting other creative people to join me in this project. Writing is by definition a fairly solitary pursuit, and so is creating art and drawing, but even if you’re the consummate loner, eventually someone has to see your work, comment on it, critique it, etc. If you’re taking classes you have to at some point gather your nerves and present it to the class, or to your instructor/ mentor, so it can’t really be solitary forever, can it? Unless of course it’s a journal, which is different.
Creating my graphic novels has been a very solitary pursuit, which is perhaps why then turning around and sending them out into the world was so daunting. I’ve gotten past that now, and past the idea that I have to control every tiny detail. Here’s a paradox: when I started adapting my screenplays into graphic novels after storyboarding my first short film, one of things that appealed to me about it was that I could “direct” my story on paper, and oversee every detail, including set design and wardrobe, etc.—but in making a movie, one of the most collaborative tasks in the world, there’s a tremendous amount of creative input from others on the various aspects that make it complete.
So, once again inspired by the world of cinema, my next graphic novel will be a collaborative effort. In fact, I’m preparing to hold a fashion contest for new and emerging designers to style my characters, and for new and emerging interior and set designers to create places where the story will happen! In addition to getting unique perspectives on what my characters would wear and their spaces, I’m excited about seeing what other people are doing, and how they perceive my characters’ styles and tastes based on the drawings and descriptions I’ll provide. Several of my characters are in the process of reinventing themselves, so this spring seems like the perfect time to give them fresh looks as they go forward. My plan is to ask people in fashion and interior design to be judges so that those who participate can get valuable feedback from professionals in each industry. I’m looking forward to creating a community around this project, and to making creative connections that will hopefully carry on into the future. After going through a very solitary winter season of transition myself, the idea of expansion and emergence appeals to me a great deal right now, and I hope it will to others as well. It’s a new season, and time to seek out a new way of doing things!
I’ll be launching this project soon so if you’re interested, stop by my web site, www.nevada-mcpherson.com for news, and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and/or Linked In for further updates.
Are you seeking out new ways of doing your creative work, or are you happy with your process and just ready to create a new project as spring begins? Either way, I wish you all the best and encourage you to go for it! Take a chance and be bold; you’ll be glad you did!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Georgia, Nevada McPherson lived in uptown New Orleans for several years and now lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi near Asheville, North Carolina. Nevada received a BA in English/ Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She’s written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, one short screenplay, short stories and two graphic novels. Nevada taught English at Nunez Community College for eighteen years, attaining the rank of associate professor, and founded the Pelican d’Or Short Film Festival, serving as its director for ten years. She also taught film studies and screenwriting at Tulane School of Continuing Studies. She is currently busy with her creative arts business and Etsy shop, Noisy Muse, and her new graphic novel, Queensgate. For more information about Nevada and her projects visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.