2022-2023 L'IMAGE Project PI Journal
To cite this page: Taniguchi, Ai. 2023. Principal Investigator Journal #9: How Long Does the Art Take? In University of Toronto Language, Identity, Multiculturalism and Global Empowerment Project (L'IMAGE). Available online at https://www.lingcomics.com/pi-journal-9-art-timeline. Accessed on [date].
Journal #9: How Long Does the Art Take?
L’IMAGE PI Journal #9: How Long Does the Art Take?
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 #9: How Long Does the Art Take?
A highly simplified drawing of a prototypical round analog clock is seen. The numbers 12, 3, 6, and 9 are seen, but the rest of the numbers are just short lines.
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. Narrations are inside rectangular boxes unless otherwise noted.
Top panel 1: A simplified Ai is staring at the readers emotionlessly. We can only see her facial features above her nose, so we don’t see her nose or mouth. There is a spotlight on her and the panel is shaded with bold screentone.
Ai’s narration: Frequently asked question: How long does it take for me to make one comic?
Top panel 2: A partially off-screen (cut off at the bottom of the panel) prescription bottle is seen. It is a prototypical North American prescription bottle. There are three bi-color pills are seen next to it.
Ai’s narration: It does depend on a number of things, like whether I’m on AdHD meds or not lol but!
Bottom panel: Here’s usually the timeline for an 8-page black and white comic for Instagram, with 1 color cover:
Re-listen to interview recording (~1 hour)
Rough sketch of comic (~1 hour)
Cover art in color (1~2 hours)
Drafting and placement of narration texts (2~3 hours)
Misc. time for research (reference images, etc.) (1~2 hours)
Inking – Characters (2~3 hours)
Inking – Background and other details (2~3 hours)
Screentones (less than 1 hour)
Edits after student feedback (less than 1 hour)
Top panel: Ai is drawing on what looks like a large Wacom tablet. She looks focused.
Ai’s narration: So the initial drafting of the comic is usually basically 2 sittings ( 2 days). Not to sound unhinged, but if I’m in hyperfocus mode, sometimes I do Steps 1-9 in a single sitting lol (less so when I’m on meds)
Bottom panel: Ai looks comically at ease and neutral in her facial expression. Below her blank expression face, we can see both of her arms moving rapidly in front of her. They’re moving so fast that the action is blurry and indiscernible except when either of her hands are at eye level. She’s holding a pen in her right hand and a page from a comic in her left hand. There are two pieces of paper in front of her as well.
Ai’s narration: I think it’s my ADHD that gives me the ability to make really quick artistic decisions. People have told me that I’m a really fast artist.
Top panel 1: Ai’s eyes are closed, depicted as horizontal lines, and her mouth, which is closed, has a cat-like expression. There is a framed drawing hanging on the wall next to her. It looks like Ai’s self-portrait, drawn with a pencil.
Ai’s narration: Am I a good (emphasis on good) artist? Lol idk you decide.
Top panel 2: There is a stack of various width books and a sketchbook that is mostly off-screen. The books seem to be a collection of art-related books. If you look closely you can see the following books, from bottom to top:
漫画の描き方 (“how to draw manga” in Japanese)
How to think when you draw
Bottom panel 1: A couple of comics pages are seen at the bottom.
Ai’s narration: Oh! But!!! Because of the positive public reception that the L’IMAGE project got, I got to meet other folks at U of T who are interested in using comics and other visual art forms for research transmission.
Bottom panel 2: An older light-skinned woman with light colored short hair is smiling at the readers. She’s wearing large glasses and small earrings. Doodles of flowers around her depicts friendliness.
Ai’s narration: The Centre for Research and Innovation Support (CRIS) facilitated this for me, and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Shelley Wall from Biomedical Communications.
Top panel 1: We see a poster or a flyer of some sort at the bottom. It has indiscernible drawings and text, but it looks like something you might see in a biology textbook. If you look closely it says “COVID-19” at the top left. There is another image to the right of this flyer. It looks like a drawing of the head of a woman with her gaze upwards and to her right, and her skull is see-through and we can see her brain.
Ai’s narration: In the Biomedical Communications Program at U of T, students leanr how to create medical and other health and science related illustrations, animations, etc.
Top panel 2: What looks like a page from a comic is seen at the bottom. The content is indiscernible, but it looks like it’s a depiction of someone diving into a body of water from a bridge, sinking, and then getting out of the water.
Ai’s narration: This might include things like illustrations, medical infographic, and!! Comics that illustrate patient experiences nd other stories related to topics in health and science.
Bottom panel 1: A darker skinned woman with her curly hair up in a high ponytail is looking at what looks like a page from a comic. She has a stethoscope around her neck.
Ai’s narration: Comics in medicine can be used as a tool for training medical students in doctor-patient empathy, for example.
Bottom panel 2: Two square pages from what looks like a medical comic. The first page has a circle with spikes coming out all around it. It has a cute but kind of evil face. If you look closely, the title of this first page is “How does the COVID-19 virus infect humans?”. The second page shows the spiky blob again, and there is a smaller spikeless blob talking to it via speech bubbles. We can’t see what the text is on this page.
Ai’s narration: It can also be sued as a tool for public science communication and education.
Top panel 1:
Ai’a narration: I’m kind of mind-blown that this entire field exists, and I sorta wish high school me knew about it because I probably would’ve pursued it lol
Hand-written text at the bottom of the panel reads: Learn more: search onlie for “Biomedical Communications U of T”
Top panel 2: A mouthless, comically serious-looking Ai is turning back to look at the readers.
Ai’s narration: But I digress
Bottom panel 1: There are six people sitting around a large table. One of them is definitely Shelley and another one is definitely Ai. The table has a large piece of paper and it has drawings and illegible text on it. There are several writing utensils on the table.
Ai’s narration: I attended a graphic scholarly works workshop put on by CRIS and shelley, where I learned about the art of storytelling via comics in the scientific context.
Top panel 2: We see a close up of the cover page of Mustafa’s comic from the L’IMAGE series. It’s in color.
Ai’s narration: I hope to discuss in detail another time what exactly I learned, but it suffices to say that this 2-day workshop really shifted how I tell stories in my comics. I recommend looking at Mustafa’s story in this series because that’s the first comic I made after attending the workshop lol. You’ll be able to tell my art improved!
Top panel: We see a page from Mustafa’s comic in the background. It’s the page where Mustafa’s feelings are expressed as a moldable clay heart.
Ai’s narration; A big thing I learned is that I need to let my drawing do the talking, and I need not be afraid of being more metaphorical in my drawings.
Bottom panel 1: A side view of Ai sprinting fast. Hand-written text around her reads, “PI Journals prioritize speed (emphasis on speed)” and “No rough draft”.
Ai’s narration: Oh for the record, I’m definitely not (emphasis on not) doing a good job of applying all of the skills I learned in most PI Journals (including this one) lol!!
Bottom panel 2: A mouthless Ai with a neutral expression is holding a rectangular analog alarm clock. Hand-written text next to her depicting her speech reads, “Drawing this one only took like an hour”.
Ai’s narration: The journals have an extremely fast turnaround time so I’m a bit sloppy with them lol.
The two top panels are a single image divided by a gutter that creates borders in the comic. The top panels first show a color page from the “Neurodivergence and Language” L’IMAGE infographic, the one where the left hemisphere of a brain is depicted as flowers, and there are flowers around the brain as well. Next, we see a page from Iben’s L’IMAGE story, the one where a white line forms an abstract portrait of Iben.
Ai’s narration (panel 1): Anyway, I do think of L”IMAGE not just as a pedagogy project and a linguistics project: I also think of it as an art project, too.
Ai’s narration (panel 2): I’m excited to continue to grow as an artist.
Bottom panel 1: A screentone-shaded background with a simple drawing of an analog clock, like the one on the cover.
Ai’s narration: Oh back to the question of how long the L’IMAGE comics take. The comics themselves take, what? 8-12 hours each as I said earlier.
Bottom panel 2: We see three pages from previous L’IMAGE comics and infographics. One of the pages looks like a page from the PI Journal about Ai’s ADHD. We also see a page from the Somali infographic, as well as a page from the Arabic infographic (the page where Egyptian Arabic is discussed).
Ai’s narration: So the entire process really looks like this:
There is an enumerated list below the narration box.
1-9. Making of comic (see earlier) (8-12 hours)
Background research for infographic (6-8 hours? Sometimes more)
Draft infographic text (3-5 hours?)
Expert reviews infographic text (7-10 days)
Incorporate expert feedback and do graphic design of infographic (3-4 hours)
Get final approval from student and expert, make final edits (1-2 hours)
PI comic (2-4 hours)
Write up Alt-Text for comics and infographic (~3 hours? Sometimes done by RA)
Post online (I post them as they become ready)
Bottom panel 1:
Ai’s narration: So for one comic/infographic/PI journal bundle, I’d say it takes roughly 2 weeks.
We see a bulleted list below the narration box:
Actual making of comic: ~2 days
Actual making of infographic: ~2 days
Actual making of PI journal: ~1 day
Expert review ~10 days
Alt-text: ~1 day
Total: ~16 days
Bottom panel 2: Ai is waving at the readers with her right hand. There is a spotlight on her and the panel is shaded with a bold screentone.
Ai’s narration: It’s a lot of work but I do enjoy it! Next time, I’ll tell you how I’d change the project timeline and process if I were to do this again though lol. Cause I’d definitely change how I do it lol.
Text next to Ai 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.