Here we go, my first post!! Thank you for visiting my web page and checking out my work! Putting stuff up online was sure an accomplishment for a technophobe :P but taking this first step was an empowering move, and I really appreciate your presence here.

I have been wanting to share the images of my work process. Here are some from Refractions, a potential back cover of my graphic memoir Memory of an Avalanche. It's a multi-step process--I generally do everything by hand up to the post-production stage. This piece was essentially made for a "compression" assignment, where the entire story must be told within the space of one page: 4 panels with 2 words of narration per each.

So I began by working out the concepts and compositions, heavily referencing the figures and backgrounds, doing a tight sketch, transferring the sketch onto a good comics paper (11 x 17"), then inking the whole thing by hand (brushes for large, organic areas and dip pen for details). Afterwards, I scanned the inked work and applied digital screentones, which are patterns of lines and dots commonly used in Japanese manga.

How can "invisible" forms of violence be visually represented? Is it even possible? My main challenge was to articulate the simultaneity of intersectional oppressions in a visually recognizable format. Of course representing the entire story, the inarticulable trauma, and the visceral effects of border enforcement within the structure of linear temporality was an impossible task. But reckoning with this condition of impossibility was a starting point to come up with my own ethics of representation.

Someone said they read the piece as the protagonist traversing (or falling through the cracks of) multiple institutional spaces, and that it is these very conditions of violence that precisely facilitate the possibilities of resistance, as can be seen from the interstice of accomplices in the bottom panel (protagonist's friend and partner). Some other folks mentioned reading the rectangular panels as tarot cards, particularly because of the curious narration. Here we have the dealing of cards, the uncertainty of the protagonist's fate, the irony of chance carefully calculated by the matrix of state and capital, like the idea of the diversity lottery visa.

Next time I'll upload work process photos from my first sequence, Dissected. But first I've gotta get it done! Please send me good vibes :)