Hi Art friends. Today’s post introduces a new bi-weekly series starting next Wednesday, called “The Takashima Process.”

Let’s be honest: over the years, I have not been terribly consistent with posting. Previous blog editorial calendars haven’t taken hold because I was still looking for My Thing. The pace has picked up since I started really developing Takashima and exploring creative photography. It seems I’ve finally found My Thing and I have a new plan.

I created a new editorial calendar in Numbers, using a monthly calendar template in the program to plot out the posting schedule. On alternate weeks, I’ll provide updates on my other creative projects. The posting schedule will closely align to the planned due date for completion of the first draft of the Takashima graphic novel while allowing me to explore my other creative projects.

“Keaton and Starfall” conceptual image by L. Anne Thompson, for Tenukihandcrafts

Why I created this series

My previous two themed solo projects were mixed media works created for month-long gallery showing of “Zeus’ Women” and “Krampus.” Each show has a dozen pieces. I had a very basic plan for these shows. Working backwards from the deadline for installing the show, I figured out how many pieces I wanted and estimated how much time was needed to complete the works. The basic plan worked: I finished all the planned pieces in time for the installation of each show.

There is no external deadline for Takashima. I’m working on this because I started the story several years ago and I wanted to stretch my photography and Photoshop skills to create a graphic novel.

While a graphic novel is the final product, I have no idea how it will be received. And, frankly, that’s not my end game. Yeah, it’d be great if other people like it, but like my protagonist, Al Keaton, I’m compelled to see this project to the end, regardless of the outcome. The story has grown and evolved in unexpected ways and that is keeping me hooked on Takashima.

Apart from comments and feedback, “The Takashima Extraction” is the largest solo project I’ve tackled to date. I’ve created documents, lists and systems to keep this baby going. In this series, I’ll share what I’ve learned along the way as well as the tools, tips and techniques used to bring Takashima to life.

While I’ve been posting random Takashima updates, this 10 part series will systematically cover “The Takashima Extraction.” Posts will cover: story outline, conceptual art, storyboarding, shooting the characters, creating backgrounds, compositing images, applying Photoshop actions, testing the images, tracking the completed images and putting it together.

If you want the full experience, listen to the Takashima playlist as you read the posts.

My hope with this series that you come away with an understanding of the time involved with a large creative project as well as provide tools and the thought process to create the masterpiece you’ve got in your mind.

Let me know what you think: of the new series, of the process and share your projects. I’d love to know what you’re working on.

Happy creating!