Visual storytelling & journeying
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Citation:Grieben, T. (2014). Visual storytelling & journeying. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of Design, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2411
Illustration is a medium that can enhance and interpret storytelling. When part of sequential art, like comics or graphic novels, it can effectively communicate ideas using specific visual conventions. This masters by research project investigates how visual conventions can convey the experience of travelling and cultural displacement. By using the form of a graphic novel I have converted my personal journey of moving from Germany to New Zealand into a visual narrative. Previous research has helped me to identify the format of the graphic novel as a suitable medium for stories about journeying. It has also shown me the lack of academic research in that specific context; thereby my project can make a significant contribution to this field of creative inquiry. A heuristic method has led me to generate a body of work that spans a variety of visual conventions that convey notions of travelling, displacement and cultural shift. Further visual experiments have led me to explore a range of illustrative conventions and new graphic approaches. I have identified six overarching themes that have informed my journey, namely memory, discovery, transition, freedom, knowledge and the quest for belonging. On this basis I have created a graphic novel which not only encompasses my personal story of living in New Zealand, but which also reflects these universal themes of travelling and cultural displacement in its content, structure and design. Nevertheless, the outcome of my research is subjective: it does not claim to be complete. There are many more ways to convey a travel experience visually. This research project aims to represent my personal account of moving from Germany to New Zealand by translating that travel experience into a graphic novel narrative called In the Land of the long Raincloud (Figures 12–17). It reflects different modes of journeying, from the actual physical trips I undertook in New Zealand, to the quest for freedom and the emotional inner search for a place to belong. To achieve this I have explored visual conventions that communicate notions of travelling, displacement and cultural shift. I have focused on the process of assessing and subsequently applying these illustrative conventions to visual storytelling.