A Streetcar Named Desire Final Project

On the 2nd of November (2015) I was presented with a new and final brief based on the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” written by American playwright Tennessee Williams.
For this project I was advised to use my work from the previous Streetcar project as a starting point for this project. My previous project was my 16 images I captured of my 3D piece that I based on my chosen frozen moment in time within the movie version of the play produced by Eliza Kazan. This worked showed a single moment in time from multiple points of view.

In response to that work I completed I had to for this final brief create a series of sketches on separate pieces of paper that imagine a moment. I could pick any of the following to work with:

  • 10 seconds before/10 seconds after.
  • 1 hour before/1 hour after.
  • 1 year before/1 year after.
  • 10 years before/10 years after.

I chose to set my work based on ’10 years before” in the narrative with a focus on the past life of Blanche that wasn’t presented to us in the film. I desired to focus on her past and the missing character Allan Grey (Blanches diseased husband). The only information that we got from the play about Blanche’s past was revealed during a meeting between the two characters Blanche and Mitch. Blanche confesses to Mitch that once she was married to a young man, Allan Grey, whom she later discovered in a sexual encounter with an older man. Grey later committed suicide when Blanche told him she was disgusted with him.

Based on the sequence that I have started to generate from my previous Streetcar project I was expected to extend this work into a more developed visual narrative with this fresh brief.

This narrative should comprise of between 9 and 24 images. The images could be of any size or format but I had to consider how they would work together as a whole. As a suggestion I could consider binding them into a book format.

I will be working imaginatively exploring the missing narratives, missing scenes, missing past that will give a fresh perspective to the characters and play.

The final outcome is a visual narrative based on a re-imagining of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ using personification. The work is a response to the text/play/film but also beyond it. This work reflects my own individual interpretation and response.

Project Rules:

  • Compile project on my own terms.

Notes from Monday morning’s briefing:

  • It’s a creation of your own imaginative journey – your interpretation.
  • Use colour.
  • How would you like people to interpret my work?
  • Think about context.
  • A scene without characters in the room – view- characters gone = powerful.
  • One characters point of view – Blanche’s moments of being vulnerable to empowered – SHIFTING (Interesting).
  • It can be bizarre.
  • The breaking down of fragments of time.
  • Remember fantasist Blanche – she is always trying to escape the bleakness of reality.
  • Memory flashback – a view within the mind of a character.
  • Use narrative devices and elements – frames – breaking – sequence.
  • Zoom in and Zoom out.
  • An idea of presenting different narrative moments within the same frame – multiple moments.
  • Symmetrical composition, paced narrative.

My Research:

Chris Ware Illustration (a highly recommended illustrator to research for this particular project). Chris Ware particularly works with sequence and the breaking down of a narrative presenting time passing with an enticing flow within his work with a vast and impressive amount of perspectives and tactile viewpoints.

Source: http://charliegower.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c013b53ef010536505158970b-pi
Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/80/6f/c8/806fc806f79ba3e46e728b09f781421c.jpg
Source: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ware-sequence.jpg
Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jYX3cdtpZso/TT_9Hbct-FI/AAAAAAAAMSs/9l8_akzMIvU/s1600/Chris-Ware-Jimmy-Corrigan-bird-on-branch.jpg
Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EnhocSuATb0/T00C3TkbPrI/AAAAAAAAD0o/LIvrgGSLofI/s640/Superman+falls,+by+Chris+Ware.jpg
Source: http://www.propellermag.com/2013images/ware_repetitionX1.jpg
























Nobrow – Nobrow Press is a British publishing company and book shop based in Shoreditch, London, England. Nobrow is known for its bi-annual eponymous anthology, for publishing the works of Blexbolex, Luke Pearson, Jon McNaught, Jesse Moynihan, and Jack Teagle, and for exposing the English-speaking world to works by European artists. The publisher is seen as a champion of DIY culture. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobrow_Press)

Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659956/
A good example of one piece presenting multiple narratives within the same image. This illustration also has a beautiful colour palette. Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659956/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659958/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659958/











Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659962/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659962/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659961/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659961/









Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659968/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659968/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659970/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659970/








Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659971/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598659971/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/elle7596/streetcar/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/elle7596/streetcar/


























Robert Crumb: 

Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660057/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660057/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660054/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660054/












Tom Gauld: 

Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660078/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660078/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660077/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660077/









Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660070/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660070/











Catell Ronca: 

Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660109/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660109/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660124/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660124/









Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660127/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660127/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660128/
Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/321866704598660128/


My initial work for this project completed before the critique meeting with tutors and fellow students who provided me with the feedback I needed to improve my work:

Initial planning – character designing/ideas/proposals.
This is my draft A1 piece I created in a comic/story board style influenced by the work of CHRIS WARE. In this production of work I shared my imagined moments in time with a breaking up of my interpretation of Blanche’s past life 10 years before the broken Blanche I saw in the movie presented to me. Within this project I’m particularly working into illustrating an emotional perspective of Allan as a character hiding away a painful and crippling secret of his homosexuality in a difficult time when it was not accepted in society where it would have been a social suicide to reveal yourself as a homosexual. There is a mix of love stories and strong feelings going on within my storyboard between Blanche and Allan and Allan and his gay lover and what both of these relationships felt like as an experience for all the three characters involved. Further inspired by illustrator Chris Ware I knew that I preferred Wares narrative work without the element of text with the image as I love and thoroughly enjoy being able to read a story through images alone without the element of text that typically provides hints and clues. I desired my work to successfully speak for itself so that it can be understood through the way I as the artist wanted it to be interpreted to my viewers.
One of my illustrations from my final piece. My Allan character coming home depressed tirelessly dragging his anchor behind him, a metaphor for his painful secret of his sexuality as a gay man. Society resembled as those tall buildings towering over him in the background watching Allan intensely and smothering him.
Detailed work – my final piece progress picture.
One of my narrative moments illustrated on my final piece. This illustration presents Blanche and Allan on a date, notice Allan’s thought bubble showing him thinking of men kissing in contrast to the depiction on the cinema screen and what is accepted and expected of him as man in society.
An illustration from my final piece. This illustration depicts Allan’s feelings of closed doors meaning his feeling of no way of being his true self happily in this conditional society in which he was trapped in. His anchor of a secret chained to him becoming a greater burden. A nightmare of Allan’s. A perspective of what was happening inside Allan’s mind.
A caption of one of my narrative moments illustrated as a part of my final piece. A romantic scene of the sweet first meeting of Allan and a stranger who turned out to be his gay lover soon after.
My final piece. The colour stopped where it did because that’s the moment when reality turned bleak for Blanche.

Critique feedback:

When I presented my piece to the group (fellow students and tutors) I learnt quickly that there were sections of my visual narrative where I lost the viewers understanding that I wanted to achieve with my work. The viewers were a little lost in my work and their understanding of the story went off course and led to them and me being confused. I simply noted down the stills that worked with a tick and the stills that weren’t correctly understood marked with a cross which I plan on cutting out of my story board to improve my piece. From the critique session I gathered that the layout/presentation of them all together was too much visually to take in and to effectively get a feeling from the illustrations as individual moments to the story (they needed breathing space). My illustrations needed to be spaced out and not close together and cramped. So instead we all agreed that I should take the best stills and transfer them into some kind of book format with one illustration on each page to give it that individual and separate space for each moment for the viewers to take in each of the illustrations as an important role in my visual story. I also learnt and realised that I need to be careful of over personifying my characters and scenes through metaphors as too much of this only makes it too much and sometimes difficult to grasp. By simplifying my metaphorical ideas it can be powerful and more obvious which would make my storyboard positively readable without the help of text with the image.

My Final Outcome:

I went with a landscape calendar like book format instead of the typical portrait book format to be a different.

Front page.
Some of my favourite quotes from the play which links with my work. I realised here that I had used this text to cover my intentions of basis for my illustrated story that I worked with. However I placed the text as an introduction part to my project separately and apart from all the illustrations.
The entrance of Allan into Blanche’s life. Happiness and bliss.
The entrance of Allan into Blanche’s life. Love is in the air. Young love. Happiness.
The entrance of Allan into Blanche’s life. Love is in the air. Young love. Happiness.
The entrance of Allan into Blanche’s life. Love is in the air. Young love. Happiness. In contrast the black and white showing the relationship falling apart.
The bleak black and white showing the relationship falling apart. No colour – no love. No feelings. Love is gone. Dysfunctioning relationship. Problematic.
The bleak black and white showing the relationship falling apart. No colour – no love. No feelings. Love is gone. Dysfunctioning relationship. Problematic. The effect on Allan.
Allan getting swept into a stranger – future homosexual relationship fling/romance, dangerous affair.
Allan getting swept into a stranger – future homosexual relationship fling/romance, dangerous affair.
Allan’s naughty homosexual relationship fling/romance, dangerous affair. Blanche’s discovery of this.
Blanche pretending as if nothing happened then leading to her angrily and disgustedly confronted her husband about what she had seen.
Blanche hurting Allan’s feelings. Breaking him.
Allan leaving the casino.
Allan shooting himself and Blanche’s discovery of this and sense of her guilt and self-blame over this.
Blanche falling apart over the suicide of her husband. Her tremendous guilt and sorrow.
Blanche falling apart over the suicide of her husband. Her tremendous guilt and sorrow.

Close ups:


























My thoughts of this project:

I really enjoyed, challenged and felt myself really get into this project. I loved utilising all the brilliant and effective tools that I had learnt from my experience so far in year one such as personification, metaphor, colour palettes and the use of text within my work to powerful convey characters and their situations/feelings. I feel my final piece is a successfully readable piece of illustration to those that have read the play and to maybe be even grasped by those who have not read the play. I do need to be careful with over using too many ideas for each moment in time illustrated as it needs to be straight to the point with a focus on a few of my best ideas to get across a metaphor most persuasively and effectively. Attending a critique session is very important as it gave me an insight to the response from viewers that I needed to improve my work.

The only aspect of my final outcome process that I would like to of changed is the final presentation of my work. I should have looked into book binding as I feel my piece needs to be more professional looking as it currently looks flimsy and insubstantial which doesn’t showcase and empower my enjoyment and passion I had within me that felt so great through the making of this piece.


Author: ellosweetmellon

I am 21 years old and I live in Cardif. My dream is to be a great illustrator that can sell and exhibit my work with pride.

One thought on “A Streetcar Named Desire Final Project”

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