Creative Conscience Awards

Creating the Final Piece

After our Proof of Concept, and the feedback we received, we decided to change our idea from bugs crawling underBlue’s skin, to on Blue’s skin, as there was confusion surrounding what the lumps on him were. We also decided to rethink the colour palette to be more in keeping with the mood of the story. Zing created a variety of different colour tests that we all discussed and finally decided on a mainly blue colour palette with pops of orange, than changed towards the end of the story as Blue finds understanding and acceptance of himself.


Sketching & Lining

As soon as we’d completed our Proof of Concept, made our changes (including some role changes where I was put in charge of all of the lineart; characters, background and layouts) we began working on our final pages for the graphic novel.

We created a pipeline wherein I sketched up the first few pages to get group approval on how they looked before I went ahead with the final lining. Then once lined they’d be sent along to Zing for colouring (at which point I’d begin lining the next page), then once Zing had coloured then they’d be sent to Heva to be animated.

After the first two pages were lined Zing suggested an alternate, shorter ending than the one we’d initially planned (which would have made the piece 6 pages long, while Zing’s ending brought in more emotion and cut it down by a page.


With our colouring we wanted to show the mood changing through the story. It starts out dull, dark, and destaurated with the only pop of a brighter colour being the harsh orange of the lipstick and the bugs. We chose the contrasting colour to make them stand out, so the audience knows that these are significant to the story.

As the story goes on the colours soften and get lighter, showing how the mood lifts as Blue realises what the trigger of the bugs is, and with washing his face, rids himself of the trigger for his dysphoria. The last page, of Blue in the water, changing into his true self, is accompanied by reassuring words that you just need to have courage. Although Blue is yet to get there, he’s realised what he must do to be happier.

Final Piece


Critical Appraisal

What went well?

I think my group worked well together, using our time efficiently and organising our workload, especially when it came to creating the final piece. We worked quickly and our independent roles fit alongside each other well as we all knew what we had to do and when. Organising our work so that once I had finished lining a page and passed it on to Zing to colour it, I began working on the next pages lining, really helped increase the speed at which we worked. We’d hoped to be finished before the Winter break, and we managed to do that.

I think our choice to use a simple style both helped speed up the process and simplified the piece so that the main thing that people took away from it was the message we were trying to convey, while still keeping it visually pleasing and easily read. Differentiating between the characters through the use of shapes was an easy and simple way to create differentiation in our characters, though the side characters played a very minor part.

Our choice of dull, muted colours worked well for the mood of the piece and I’m glad we decided to rethink them after we made our proof of concept. The previous colour palette didn’t suit the mood of the story, and since the name of the story is ‘Blue’, blue seemed like the obvious colour choice for the majority of the pieces colour palette. The choice to use the complementary colour of orange was a good idea to make the lipstick and the bugs stand out against the dull, desaturated background of blue tones.

I think our choice of character and setting was good to show our story as many of us in the group have had personal experience with figuring out things about ourselves during puberty, and trying to fit in with the teens around us. With our audience being teens and young adults we wanted to depict a character and setting the audience could relate to, while we also felt comfortable and confident presenting the emotions and experiences of a character that age.

Our final piece came out well as it was understandable and produced cleanly. There was consistency throughout the animated graphic novel, as each page’s lineart and colouring is to the same quality the whole way through. Our choice of music really fit the overall mood of the piece, which helps to immerse the audience in the story. We chose jazz and guitar music because they can convey a wide range of emotion. Picking the mellow jazz music assisted us in creating a melancholy atmosphere, and the guitar music created a great feeling of panic and dread in the moment where Blue is panicking over the bugs.

What could have gone better?

From our feedback on our final piece that we received after the Winter break we were told that the link between the lipstick and the bugs needed to be clearer, for example we could have the bugs coming out of the lipstick. Another critique was that there wasn’t an obvious catalyst for Blue gaining the confidence to embrace his true self. So, in some places, the story lacked some coherency and understandability.

Although after our first presentation in which we presented our elevator pitch and proof of concept our scheduling and workflow was smooth and organised, we could have organised ourselves better before then, as we didn’t exactly know what the ending of the story would be before then. Had we thought about the story as a whole we may have been able to refine it more and possibly include more clarity in the story so that it was easier understood.

I also think we could have slowed it down a little bit, as the first two pages feel as though they go a little too fast. When watching it it’s a little hard to keep up with the story, so it takes a few watches to get all the information, which, of course, isn’t good.

On my part, I could have made the lineart more visually appealing with cleaner lines and I could improve the composition of the panels. The borders of the panels feel very heavy and dark in comparison to some of the other lineart, so can be a bit distracting. The brush I used was slightly too rough and made some of the expressions difficult to read.

What would I improve?

If I were to do the project over again I would change and improve upon quite a few things. I would make sure that the first short burst of work was solely focused on what our topic is, what story we want to tell, who we are telling it to, and what we want the audience to gain from it. I’d also want to make sure we knew exactly how the story started, progressed and ended, so we could build off of an easily understood and agreed upon base.

I also think I would use a different brush for the lineart, possibly a cleaner, more precise one to make the characters positions and expressions a little easier to read. Through doing this the story as a whole would be easier to understand and take less effort to read. It would be more pleasing to look at and look overall more clean and professional.

Despite the colours being, in theory, a good choice, I think they could have been improved by keeping the colour palette just a little more uniform and adding some more colour variation in the clothing of Blue and keeping the general tone the same throughout for the blues used in the first two pages. I think the blues could have been just a little closer to those used in the concept piece we chose to work off of in the beginning.

If we were to make this again, or improve upon it, I think we should make the story a little more easily understood, in response to our final feedback. We could create a stronger link between the bugs and the lipstick, and perhaps added some more pages to make an easier to understand bridge between Blue’s experience and the final pages message of needing courage.

Overall, I think the project was successful, and a great learning experience. I learnt how to organise a group and schedule work between different people and go about approaching changing things and finding a happy medium when we had differing opinions. I enjoyed creating something that I care a lot about and being able to tell a story that I have some personal connections to. I’ve learnt a lot about working with other people and being responsible for my time management and knowing that I have to keep to a schedule not just for my own sake, but for the sake of my group members as well. I’ve gained a good understanding of the process of pitching ideas, taking an idea through the beginning phases of development and research, up until the final product, which I think will be very useful in the future.