Imagine and inhabit creative spaces

image one.png

This week Gainesville’s been eerily quiet, the threat of Hurricane Dorian closing down schools and businesses. The SAW studio also took a brief reprieve, but we’ve been keeping busy online through the Mighty Network. You can join us there or keep up to date with weekly highlights from the network on our SAW blog. Here are the best parts from this last week!



This weeks comics inspiration comes not in the form of a comic, but inspiration for your comics making. Tom shared seven handy story structures, from the heroes journey to rebirth, that can help you clarify what story it is that you’re telling. It all starts with overcoming a monster…

Other great inspiration can be found in this critical reading, ‘Body of work: How the Graphic Novel became an outlet for female shame’, and ‘How to draw yourself out of a creative funk’.


Dig into the free resources available online through our website and enjoy some great content from past instructors like Emily Flake. Here’s her Anyone Can Do it Cheat Sheet.


The ongoing storytelling flow group has been working on drawing maps. It started with a map of the creative past, then a character emerging from the map, this week it was a specific place on the map with specific details scattered throughout.

The map drawing is a handy exercise for imagining and inhabiting the space that we create stories in; the point isn’t to have a perfect, complete work, but to think onto the page.


For anyone looking for more reading on telling personal stories, here is an article about the write of this year’s critically acclaimed film, ‘The Farewell’.

Or if you want something to listen to, try this podcast recommended by Tom.


Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 12.19.31 PM.png

This isn’t the Mighty Network, but it is a good comics resource Tom just made available online. For anyone who has taken a class with Tom before, you might recognize this Abstract Comics and Lyric connections exercise. Read the full description here and try it yourself. Let us know how you go!


We’ve got a few things coming up, both online and in person.

September 12, Justines Depths and Details class launches. Sign up for Barefoot Justines annual journey into a unique kind of visual storytelling, all from the comfort of your pajamas on the couch!

Leela will be teaching illustration this semester, Thursdays 1-3pm, starting September 12. Contact us for more information!

Next week Tom is presenting at SPX. SAW will have a table with a collection of different comics by past and present students and staff. If you’re in Bethesda September 14 and 15, drop by and say hi!

There’s also one-day comics workshop coming up here in Gainesville for anyone looking to make a mini comic from start to finish.

In October we’ll be putting on a 24-hour comics day event in the studio on the 5th, more details to come!

October 14-18, we’ll be hosting our regular low-residency week in Gainesville. There are still places available, find out more here.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing you soon, either online or in the studio!