Splitting Borders

Wow, I'm feeling a bit embarrassed. Why, you may ask? Only because there's now been over 200 posts of Splitting Borders the web-comic and I'm only now getting around to mentioning it here on this blog. So I'll move swiftly on to talking about it.

Myself and Sadhbh began Splitting Borders on the 10th of April last year and we've posted nearly every week since then, Monday to Friday, which has currently added up to 214 strips. There have been monkeys and cats; cooking fails and wins; wardrobe malfunctions; and honouring of people and places. Most of all, for me, there has been massive learning about collaboration, being open to inspiration and trusting my own creativity. So in the spirit of more learning I thought that I would post some behind the scenes stuff from making the strip and give a small commentary, hopefully boosting my ability to speak eloquently about the work that I do.

So I pick a strip at random and I come up with.....No.153.

And luckily I have pencils scanned in for this one.


This strip was the last in a mini series of observational triptychs which were a bit of a happy accident. When we are approaching a landmark number like number's 100 or 150, which was just a few strips before this one, we like to try and, well, mark them by drawing a strip which honours the achievement. This can be a heavy task conceptually and emotionally. 

And I think there is a build-up in the lead up to these landmarks which can result in a natural low afterwards that can affect the succeeding strips. Like in No.101, where we took a tongue in cheek approach to the fear of having no ideas left. I feel that this low can open us up to inspiration. If we can remember not to push too hard, then I think it leaves space for our initial intentions and goals for the web-comic to come in to support us.

One of those goals for me was to become better at drawing and one way I know of doing that is through observation which I think this strip celebrates. I now know how to draw scarves, drapery, detailing, and body posture in a way I didn't know before drawing this strip. And on another level I got a glimpse of some of the complexities that Sadhbh has to face as a woman trying to negotiate the minefield that can be choosing what and/or how to wear her clothes, the pressure of appearance that goes with being a woman in our society, that I don't have to face, in the same way, as a man. I looked at these everyday and not so everyday items in a new way, looked at them for the sake of looking at them and recording them and that to me feels worthwhile and will stand to me in ways I can't predict.

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