Thursday, January 03, 2019

Learn How to Tell Stories Visually With Becca Hillburn

Hey Nashville area Artnerds- I'm at it again with another six week comic course hosted through Nashville Community Ed!  In Making Comics, you'll have the opportunity to flex your writing and drawing muscles in a safe, encouraging environment.


I'm thrilled to be able to offer another six week comic class aimed at anyone 18+ interested in learning more about cartooning, comics, or making zines. 

  • It's $69 for all six classes (so about $10 and some change per class) 
  • Classes is 6-9PM on Thursdays at the Cohn School in Room 112
  • Classes begin January 24th and continue until February 28th.  
  • You can register through Nashville Community Ed here.
  • NCE now has scholarships available! Learn more

Learn how to turn your story ideas into scripts, your scripts into thumbnail sketches, and your thumbnail sketches into finished comic pages in this six week course!  



If you've always wanted to learn how to make your own comics, or are interested in learning more about visual storytelling, Making Comics is a perfect introductory course designed to get you producing comics.  

Over six weeks, you'll learn

  • Scripting
  • Planning and Designing Characters
  • Environments
  • Drawing within the panel
  • The Comic Production Process
  • Traditional Inking Techniques
  • Assembling your printed comic into a mini

For students interested in a deeper dive, there are additional materials for the course from the instructor available online via blog posts and Youtube videos.

Course materials provided by NCE included Strathmore Bristol, Sakura Micron Technical Pens, Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pens, and Color Eno blue lead

Last semester, Nashville Community Ed provided


  • Sketchbooks
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Red and Blue leads
  • Graphite leads
  • Bristol board
  • Technical Pens
  • Brushpens

for students to use to make their own comics and zines. I augmented this by bringing in loads of amazing art resources- zines, comics, how to draw reference books, printing out student bluelines, providing ink, brushes, and nibs during our inking demonstration, as well as laying out and printing minicomics and zines for the zine exchange. For Making Comics, I hope to offer the same range of materials and hope to improve the overall class experience by spending more time on demonstration, less time on explanation. For students interested in a deeper dive, I have resource lists, art books, and tutorials on hand to augment each class.


During this class we’re going to cover:

  • Storytelling and plot pacing
  • Scripting
  • Basic Human Anatomy for cartooning
  • An Introduction to perspective for backgrounds and environments
  • An Exploration of traditional inking materials

Students will have the opportunity to plot, plan, write, draw, ink, and assemble their own mini-comics and zines using materials provided by Nashville Community Ed, myself, or their personal tools of choice.



Even if you're already making comics, this class provides an excellent opportunity to meet other comic artists, create comics in a friendly setting, hone your skills, and seek critique.   Feel free to work at your own pace in a welcoming environment, or work along with the structure of the class.




Not an artist?  Fear not--this class is geared to be useful for beginners as well as more experienced artists.  If you need additional help or resources, I’m available via email during the semester, and there’s a Facebook group to facilitate critique and growth during and even after class. Classes are recorded and uploaded to Youtube, then shared with students after class, in case anyone missed class, or missed some of the material covered.


Class ends with a mini comic exchange--every student will get a copy of their classmates' comics, learn a bit about zine and mini comic culture, and find about about further opportunities for creating comics. We'll read one another's minis, practice our elevator pitches, and discuss further zine and mini comic opportunities in the Greater Nashville Area.

About Me
I hold an MFA in comics from SCAD, have almost a decade of experience teaching comics in classes, workshops, panels, over Youtube, and through my blog, have made comics for over two decades, and have work in nearly a dozen anthologies.  I've self published the first volume of my watercolor comic, self distributed it, released it as a webcomic, and am working on finishing up the second volume for a Kickstarter release, and make new zines every year as part of my Inktober project. You might know me from Nashville-area comic cons such as MTAC, Handmade and Bound, or some of the local library shows.  I've taught comic workshops all over the country, and hope to continue to share my love and enthusiasm for this medium with Nashville.

My work:
7" Kara- my watercolor webcomic

This class is a refinement of Fall 2018's Making Comics and Zines course, also offered through Nashville Community Ed. If you're interested in viewing last semester's class materials, or have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me via email. Registration for Making Comics is still open!

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