Discover and build the worlds inside of you in this workshop hosted by Tillie Walden. You can pick up a copy of Tillie’s upcoming collection Alone in Space from our friends at Bookshop, where proceeds will help benefit The Believer and independent bookstores.

For this workshop, you will need paper, something to draw with, and something to color with if you’d like. Watch the video of the live stream below, and follow the steps to build your own world.

To start, consult Tillie’s beliefs on world-duilding:

  1. You can’t world-build in comics unless you actually draw the world in your imagination
  2. Learning to draw people really small is key to drawing worlds
  3. There’s no right way to draw worlds. Emotion, energy, and atmosphere always come before learning perspective
  4. Environment is a character and deserves our intentions
  5. World-building does not equal drawing a perfect castle or skyscraper. World-building should reveal something about your character
  6. Take inspiration from places that are meaningful to you 
  7. Don’t be held back by a need to be original
  8. Repetition is your best friend
  9. Find your hack! Find a way of drawing a world that is easy and fun for you

Sketch out four panels to begin your comic. You should take around five minutes to complete each panel.

Each panel should focus on different aspects of a single world. This world only exists in one place and that is inside of you. Imagine a place that only you have a key to. It is a place that is entirely shaped by who you are and what you feel. You can be as abstract or as realistic as you can but try not to draw any people.

If you’re not sure where to start or if that’s overwhelming, you can try two different cheats:

Cheat 1: draw the four angles of your bedroom
Cheat 2: Copy what Tillie is drawing!

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