I had the pleasure of attending a 6-session workshop organised by National Library Board (isn’t our library amazing!) led by accomplished comic artist Koh Hong Teng.
It started with the submission of a food-theme idea and a sample of my drawing. The idea I had was really vague as I wanted to flesh it out at the workshop if I were selected for it. Besides getting some basics of comics creation, we each also had personal guidance and feedback from Hong Teng. And so the exploration began for me.
The food memory I had in mind was my grandmother’s Western meal. Those who know me would know how “forgetful” I am and recalling details even about the recent past is often a challenge for me. So, I thought this could be good for me.
Getting to chat with my family to hear what they remembered, looking at old photos they sent and digging out old cutlery and other stuff we still had were marvellous experiences. I drew sketches along the way which I liked.
I thought drawing a parallel between my piecing together a memory with the cooking process would be interesting. After all, the current understanding of memory is not so much like retrieving a computer record or video tape but rather a reconstruction each time we recall a memory. So the flavour and presentation each time and for each person could be unique and bear a personal stamp.
The challenge was translating that concept into a graphic story as a comic. My fellow participants made much steadier progress than me, and I really enjoyed the occasional fantastic interaction we had and wish there was more.
Ultimately, I just had to create a comic to put into practice what I was learning and certainly to have a sort of closure to this process. Here’s the very raw, rough and simple piece I drew.
(We were taught and given help to do the drawing and inking by hand but I did this using the MediBang app on my iPad.)
Update [17 May 2017] – The comics by some of the others are up online! https://readingnationsg.tumblr.com/post/160679554543/eat-write-draw-capturing-your-food-memories-in