2022-2023 L'IMAGE Project PI Journal
To cite this page: Taniguchi, Ai. 2023. Principal Investigator Journal #3: Project Costs. In University of Toronto Language, Identity, Multiculturalism and Global Empowerment Project (L'IMAGE). Available online at https://www.lingcomics.com/pi-journal-3. Accessed on [date].
Journal #3: Project Costs
L’IMAGE PI Journal #3: Project Costs
Alt-Text with long description
[Page 1, Title Page]
Top of page reads: UofT L’IMAGE Project: Language, Identity, Multiculturalism and Global Empowerment
Title over bright red banner: Principal Investigator (PI) Journal
Subtitle under red banner: Journal #3: Project Costs
Under the subtitle, a “shouting” speech bubble containing three dollar signs is seen.
Bottom right of page: University of Toronto Mississauga logo and University of Toronto logos are visible.
[Long description of text and images in the comic strip:]
The comic strips in the L’IMAGE comic series uses the font Ames, which is the standard font for comics. Ames is an all-caps font. However, Alt-Texts for this project are not written in all-caps so that they will be more accessible for screen readers.
The comic artist for the series is Dr. Ai Taniguchi. Her drawing style can be described as: Japanese manga inspired, cute, large eyes, intentionally sketchy and unpolished line art, simplified, expressive. The comic strips are all digital, but she uses a pen that mimics the line weight of a traditional fountain pen. Her line art is on average 0.5mm in width (relatively thin), but the line weight varies and looks hand-drawn.
The title page of each comic strip is in color. It has a University of Toronto color scheme: navy blue, light blue, and bright red. The background is white with a navy blue frame. The references page and the “About the L’IMAGE project” page also have this University of Toronto color scheme.
The comic strips themselves are black and white, and employ digital screen tones for shading and backgrounds.
Top panel: Ai has her eye closed with a neutral expression, and her right hand is open and gesturing towards handwritten text next to her: “International Student Experience Fund” and “Department of Language Studies”. Also above her head reads “thank you”, also hand-written.
Ai’s narration: The L’IMAGE Project is funded by the UofT International Student Experience Fund (ISEF), and also by the UTM Department of Language Studies. I am extremely privileged to be in a position an institution where I have the opportunity to apply for this kind of funding.
Bottom panel: Ai is seated with her legs crossed, and is sipping a cup of tea.
Ai’s narration: In today’s PI Journal, I want to give you an honest behind-the-scenes of how much money this pilot phase of the L’IMAGE Project costs. TL;DR (too long, didn’t read): $9000.
Top panel: We see the Wacom Cintiq 16 (15.6 inch display) drawing tablet, and the logo of Clip Studio Paint.
Ai’s narration: The ISEF grant lets you buy specialized equipment for your project, provided that the equipment is specifically needed for carrying out the project and you justify the need (emphasis on “provided that”). In my case, I used the grant to buy a drawing tablet and software for making digital comics!
Bottom panel: A comical depiction of Ai is crying tears of joy. She seems to be holding an iPad and an Apple Pencil. Hand-written text above her reads: “So much faster than an iPad”
Ai’s narration: Previously, I made my comics on the app Procreate on my iPad, which honestly is good!! However!! I find that my new equipment makes a huge difference in the efficiency and quality of comics production (emphasis on “huge”)!! If your funding is limited, you could probably do this kind of project with an iPad, but go big if you can.
Top panel: A large stack of pizzas in pizza boxes. The top pizza box is open and shows a pepperoni pizza.
Ai’s narration: A lot of money also went towards food/catering. When I introduced the student participants to the project, we had a pizza party! We also got food delivery gift cards for students who joined us virtually. (Funny story: The students who joined us virtually were free to order whatever food they wanted, but they also ordered pizza for themselves lol! “Well it’s a pizza party, so…” they said!)
Bottom panel: Three light-skinned women are seen smiling at the reader. The left woman has short hair, the center woman has mostly dark, straight, shoulder-length hair, and the right woman has curly, shoulder-length hair, half-up.
Ai’s narration: There is a lot a substantial amount of money allocated for paying consultation fees to our language experts. They review the “5-Minute Linguistics” infographics for accuracy. These experts include linguistics researchers, language instructors, and various grad students!
Top panel: Ai with a comically yet serious face has her right hand under her chin. Hand-written text next to her reads: “Hmm… I want multiple perspectives on this…”
Ai’s narration: If I were to do this again, I think I would allocate more money towards expert consultation. I budgeted for having one expert per infographic, but there were many times where I wanted more than one.
Bottom panel: An image of a smaller Wacom tablet (text: smaller tablet for RA), a ticket for the UTM shuttle (text: travel reimbursement), and what looks like a paper copy of Ai’s comic (text: printing).
Ai’s narration: There were other minor costs that I didn’t necessarily plan for. But it wound up being OK because there were other funds that I ended up not using, like money for a signed language interpreter. We unfortunately got no story submissions from signed language users this time
Top panel: A light-skinned person with slightly wavy dark, shoulder-length hair is smiling at the readers. They are wearing a collared shirt. It’s probably Ai’s RA, Haili.
Ai’s narration: The biggest proportion of money goes towards paying my lovely research assistant (RA)! My extremely multi-talented RA does many things, ranging from the graphic design of recruitment flyers to doing some of the background research for the language infographics.
Bottom panel: Haili is winking and saying “no problem!” with a thumbs up. Ai with big, round, teary eyes is pouting and saying “thank u” with her hands in a prayer position.
Ai’s narration: They also write most of the alt-text for the comics and infographics I create. A lot of the project management that they do lets me work on my comics in peace. Honestly such a blessing! They’re amazing.
Entire panel: The background has a regular pattern of hand-drawn penguin faces.
Ai’s narration: I happen to be an artist myself, so the unique skillset that I have as a linguist-artist saves me a lot of money (and probably time). If you are not an artists yourself, you’ll need to hire an artist you can trust. Communication with your artist is incredibly important if you go down this route! But this makes me think, too. If a department wants to do more outreach work, maybe hire the quirky, multi-talented people!! Encourage and fund creativity. Support innovative research transmission.
Top panel: Ai is holding what looks like an iPhone, and is comically crying. Hand-written text next to her reads: “how should I share comics on TikTok”
Ai’s narration: One thing I *wish* I had money for is a student social media manager separate from an RA. I am belatedly learning that planning and making social media posts takes a lot of time! I’d love to hire an undergrad for this next time.
Bottom panel: A more normal depiction of Ai is winking at the readers and doing a thumbs-up. The background has a pattern of stars.
Ai’s narration: My grant was a total of $9000! Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions about doing a project like this. I do not gatekeep. Next time, let me tell you about the other powerhouse of this project: the UTM International Education Centre!!
Text at bottom, separate from Ai’s narration reads: See you next time!
Page title: About the L’IMAGE project
Project PI and comic artist: Ai Taniguchi, Assistant Professor, UTM Department of Language Studies
Research Assistant: Haili Su, MA Student, UTSG Department of Linguistics
Special thanks to: Gilbert Lin, Assistant Director, Intercultural & Global Initiatives, UTM International Education Centre
With the generous support of: UofT International Student Experience Fund, UTM Department of Language Studies, UTM International Education Centre
Learn more: http://www.lingcomics.com
Bottom right of page shows the University of Toronto Mississauga logo and the University of Toronto logo.