The Art of Visual Storytelling
Danièle Archambault, Ph.D. (Linguistics). I am a researcher, author, and educator who is interested in comics as a way to document a society’s cultural and linguistic landscape. I grew up in Montréal, Québec, where I was a tenured professor in the linguistics department at the University of Montreal until 1998. I now live in Palo Alto, where I am an artist in residence at the Cubberley Artist Studio Program, a program of the City of Palo Alto. In the past few years, I have published several full-color comic books, graphic novels, and electronic books. My first comic books series Histoires d’escaliers-Stairway Stories is a collection of three bilingual (French and English) flip-over books featuring two French- speaking children, growing up in Montreal in the late 1950s, during the Great Darkness era. I also published Québec-California, a paper book and a multi-touch e-Book. My latest graphic novel and webcomic La sobriété volontaire Une année sans alcool (A Year Without a Drink) was printed in 2015 and is now going through a second edition, which will be published in a few months.
I am a regular guest speaker on documenting culture and dialects through comics at various educational and cultural institutions. I teach graphic novel and illustration classes at the Palo Alto Art Center and give graphic memoir workshops at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, and at other educational venues.
I usually start my artwork by first penciling my drawings on high quality art paper and then adding black India ink on top of the pencil drawings. It’s in the coloring process that I tend to do the most exploration. While I like experimenting with new types of digital art and digital painting, I often use a simpler and more traditional medium like colored pencils and watercolor pencil to enhance the personal and intimate aspect of a story.