As an artist I find the graphic narrative communicates my energies, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. My own personal struggles with intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depression have crafted my work and style leading me to find focus and expression through creation. They have brought me to the decision to work with black ink and white paper. Increasingly, I am finding that by narrowing myself to work within the frame of these two colors I can widen my ability to portray strong emotion and shifting psychological states. Through this form I am able to depict, dramatize, and even process what I am going through; additionally, I am able to share with and inspire others to find meaning and perhaps 'metabolize' their own struggles. My aim is to complete a graphic novel that expresses my own inner workings and experiences. I have included representative pages that depict my experience of intrusive thoughts.
I am submitting my work thus far to an "interactive colloquium" that wants to re-evaluate the role of comics. This conference, "Comics in Medicine & Teaching: Rethinking Comics as a Therapeutic and Educational Tool" is a perfect fit for my graphic narrative because their focus is in work that "demonstrates people's own lived experiences with mental and physical illness." Attending this conference will help me further my research in comics as a therapeutic vehicle as well as help me to better understand and apply my practice as I continue to explore ways to narrate and give shape to inner conflict.
Dr. Vera Camden
graphic narrative print outs