The 8 Basic Steps to Make a Graphic Novel

Have you always wanted to make a graphic novel but don’t know where to start or think you have no talent for drawing? Nowadays, it’s possible to create graphic novels very fast and publish them almost immediately. With sites like Amazon and apps like iBooks, you can get your work to readers worldwide while earning money with your novels.

So let’s review the 8 basic steps on how to make your very first graphic novel. In our case, we will create a photonovel or a novel made with photographs.

1. Turn your ideas into a script

This is essentially the backbone of your work. Make sure you develop a very good script with a solid story. There are many ways on how to develop powerful stories with deep meanings, but the key elements to keep in mind are:

  • Know your subject or research it thoroughly
  • Convey a universal message with your story
  • Keep the story simple, few characters, text and locations

2. Locations

Once your script is ready, you can now focus on searching for locations. Since you are doing a simple story, the number of locations can be very few, if not just a single location. It’s very important when dealing with locations to think about the mood of your story and see if they match what you are looking for.

3. Actors

You can invite friends to participate in your project but always keeping in mind that they should be consistent with the main features of your characters. If you go professional, find a local acting agency and browse for the actors that match your criteria and needed experience. Meet them prior to hiring them to know them better and figure out if they are indeed what you are looking for.

4. Storyboard

Sketch a graphic sequence of your story, also known as storyboard. The main purpose of the storyboard is to have a graphic guide of each shot, depicting framing, composition, movement and the general sequence of the story. Finally, develop a shot list.

5. Equipment & Props

For a photonovel you can use your phone camera or rent a professional DSLR plus lenses and lights to achieve crisp images and create atmospheres. Think about clothing and props; keep it simple again.

6. Production

Program a schedule for all team members of your project. Use your shot list as a guide for the work to be done in each session and keep good track of time.

7. Post-production

Make your own templates with Photoshop or use Comic Life. Fine-tune each photo and correct color, contrast, brightness, saturation, etc.

8. Prepare for Amazon and iBooks

Turn your novel into an epub file. This format works well for both platforms. Search online for tools on how to convert files into epub format.


Basic 7 Rules For Good Graphic Design

1) Don’t reinvent the wheel for the sake of being different: There’s a reason for most design rules beyond taste and opinion. If something is tried and true, and it works, don’t change it without a very good reason.

2) Start with good idea: Polishing a bad design will only go so far. It takes dozens bad ideas to come up with a one good one. Don’t fall in love with your design only to have to justify it to your client. Be willing to throw ideas out and restart.

3) Brainstorm your ideas: Share your initial designs ideas. Even if you don’t use any of the input, just talking about the options and explaining your work will spark new directions for you. Know your own feelings, the reasons why you did something, about the design and be clear with yourself about what works for you and what doesn’t.

4) Make sure to design for your target audience: This is so obvious, and yet, so many times I have seen inappropriate design elements, colors and fonts in a design targeted for a specific group. The design for a concert poster for children’s play will have to use a very different approach if it’s target audience is the children the if it’s their parents.

5) Stop using too many typefaces: A typeface (also known as font family) is a set of one or more fonts each composed of glyphs that share common design features. Each font of a typeface has a specific weight, style, condensation, width, slant, italicization, ornamentation, and designer or foundry (and formerly size, in metal fonts).

6) The beauty or the power of a good design is often in its simplicity: If you don’t have a very good reason to use a certain font, a shape or a certain color to be in your design, delete it. Don’t fill in the space in your design with “stuff” just to make it “interesting”.

7) Use the “white” space to your advantage: The empty space in a page layout (or any graphic design) is called the white space. The balance of a good design often depends on the relationship between the graphic (or typographical) elements and the white space around them. As a matter of fact, you can give power to an element in your design with the white space associated with it. White space is not empty space!

Remember that the quality of your graphic design is in details. Be diligent in your decision-making – there is a difference between Arial and Helvetica; and you should know why you choose one over the other. Choose the right color for the right reasons, not because it’s pretty. Different colors have their meaning.


4 Advantages of Canvas Prints

If you don’t know about canvas prints, then you are in for a visual treat. These are beautiful images on canvas. You can exhibit these in your living room, drawing room or bedroom. With an intention to reproduce the original oil painting or acrylic painting these look breathtaking. Photographs can be easily transferred onto the canvas using a specialized press. While you can do this as a DIY project, it is better to hand over this project to a professional for the best outcome.

Great option

Canvas is great option for an enhanced interior d├ęcor appearance, especially if you are on a budget and want a great look. It is a superior option to traditional frames and modern photo mounting in large frames. The canvas prints cost almost 50% less and, if you are on the email list of any of these companies, you can be certain of getting one or another discount coupon thereby getting an additional deal. The fact that these are less prone to damage and are less labour intensive makes them all the more popular and price competitive.

Advantages of canvas prints

These look beautiful and resemble an artistic painting. These have many advantages compared to traditional printing. Some of these advantages are:

1. Very durable: This is perhaps the most important advantage. Canvas is sturdy and lasts for generations without the print quality diminishing. Remember that the paintings in art galleries and museums have been around for hundreds of years and still look great.

2. Three dimensional painting: Traditional photos look flat in a frame, but with new technology canvas prints impart a three dimensional look. This is interesting, as both an amateur photographer and a professional photographer can take advantage of this and get beautiful prints from their ordinary photos. If you want to further enhance their look, you can complement them with an appropriate frame.

3. There is an artistic feel to the photo: This technique gives an artistic feeling to the photos. Many offices use this as a form of advertisement for their brands or services. An impressive print can make them look more marketable.

4. They are easy to frame: Traditional photos need to be framed with a lot of care. In contrast, canvases offer an easy way of framing photos; only an additional border is required around the image and then it can be framed as desired.

The list of advantages is endless. It is wonderful to see that millions of people have embraced this technique. This method of printing photos allows photographers to showcase their fine work. The fact that you get to see the same quality as you would get to see in any oil painting makes it an impressive option. Overall, these prints give a timeless feeling.