This collaboration of writing and illustration came from a very simple place. We struggled with defining “commitment” and so we turned to the dictionary. From the list of nouns, verbs and adjectives, we found an easier way to tackle this theme. Commitment is a responsibility, an obligation, a duty. It can be an oath, a vow, a pledge. It can be a physical or moral undertaking. Commitment is to commit, at the base of it all. You can commit murder. You can commit someone to an asylum. You can commit noble acts as well as travesties.
We broke up the word into four “themes”, and like pieces of bread spread it round between us. I wrote a selection of vignettes for three of the themes, and passed it on to Dhiyanah, who then chose the ones she had visual ideas for. From there she made a series of panels for each theme, based on the text I wrote (save for Obligation, which she wrote and illustrated, with input from me).
This collaboration has been intensive and an amazing opportunity to learn from another creative mind. We strove to flesh out the nuances of something as complex as “commitment” in ways that were interesting and new to us, which we hope shows through in our writing and our visual direction.
(click to enlarge)