Words: Carla du Toit & Natasha Di Luorio
“Getting published is a lot of hard work, and it’s expensive, but if you really want to your work out there or get experience then DO IT – you learn a lot.” – Matthew Senn
Matthew Senn was a 3rd quarter student in the 2D Animation program when he self-published his first graphic novel “Quiet.” There are a few things that you need to know about Mattew:
1. He loves to write.
2. He is an introvert.
3. He is an artist.
Why should you know these? Well…simply put, Matthew was able to turn his life experience as an introvert, and his love for art and writing, into something really cool – a graphic novel.
The self-published novel, ‘Quiet’, was recently released and has already gained some local attention. With an appearance on CBC Radio Morning Show, and a few local book signings, ‘Quiet’ is here, and it’s getting ‘loud’.
Since Matthew and his work are getting some attention, we felt it was important to catch up with him. We asked him about his journey to the Centre for Arts & Technology, his student experience so far, and his plans for the future.
Here is what Matthew had to say:
C&N: What is ‘Quiet’ about?
M: The story is about a girl named Claire, who goes to college for the first time in a new town. She is an introvert and wants to be left alone, but at the same time, wants friends and doesn’t know how to make them. We follow her journey in trying to fit in, as she adjusts to this big change.
C&N: Why a graphic novel?
M: Initially, it started off as a comic book. I Just started writing and kept going. It was around the 5th issue that I really started to play with the idea of a graphic novel.
C&N: What steps went into creating ‘Quiet’?
M: I would write the story, dialogue, and notes on my computer and phone. Then I would break it down into a 24-page format, figure out what each panel would look like, and sketch out thumbnails. Next, I would draw out the graphics digitally, using the free art program Manga Studio 5. I added the coloring and the shading, and finally combined them with text to get the finished product.
C&N: How did you get ‘Quiet’ published?
M: I first uploaded it online to Comixology. com, to a section for independent authors. Then I found a self-publishing company called Friesen Press, which had a program that was a good fit for me. With them, I was able to publish the novel on my own timeline.
C&N: Do you have plans for a sequel?
M: I have ideas for a sequel, but I am busy right now, and want to focus on getting the most out of school. I have a few other cool ideas I am working on.
C&N: How has your Centre for Arts & Technology experience been?
M: It is the best thing that has happened to me in years. I feel like I have found people with the same interests as me. I feel like I can finally be myself here.
C&N: What are your future plans?
M: I plan to go through school, and then get into the animation industry. I would like to work for a company like Bardell, or Yeti Farm. They both seem to have a fun atmosphere. Once I get more experience, I would like to revisit graphic novels.
C&N: What is your favorite comic series?
M: Right now ‘Fables’ (by Bill Willingham) – it is so smartly written.
If you want to read ‘Quiet’ for yourself, you can pick up a copy from Matthew himself through his Facebook page (facebook.com/ quietcomicbook), or from either Mosaic Books or Okanagan Sports Cards & Comics ($25).