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Interview with Davide Pighin (LET’S MAKE COMICS)

14. June 2018

Hey Davide. You are planning on doing a workshop in cooperation with Jugend im Museum e.V. from July 5 to July 7 in Schwules Museum. First of all, tell me something about yourself, who are you as a person and artist, what brings you here?

I come from Udine, between Venice and Trieste. I have done my comic studies in Bologna, in the fine arts school, and beyond that studied foreign languages and literature between Udine, Padua, Florence and Clermont-Ferrand. Let’s say I’m a comic artist, a drawer, a Zeichner, as well as an author. I normally make both text and images, I am involved in the whole process of creative storytelling.

Do you learn about those two parts of storytelling in the workshop you are organizing? What are you planning on doing there?

It’s a three-day workshop, 12 hours in total. We are going to learn a lot about what a comic art is, how it is structured and how they it is made. Also, we want to look at which elements constitute comics, how they can be analyzed and how stories are built. We take a series of examples, visual and narrative, to do that. All the material we are analyzing will be queer art in a wider sense, that means stories and comics where at least one of the characters could be identified as queer. At the same time, we are going to visit the exhibition of the Schwules Museum and analyze how gay and lesbian people represent themselves and tell their stories. Behind any picture or painting, there is a story about how people want to represent themselves and we want to learn more about that.

So, is the workshop exclusively directed at queer people?

No, it’s not. It’s open to everyone who want to learn how to draw and create. And every participant is going to make their own comics and their own story. And that story can also talk about a non-queer character, nobody is forced to tell a queer story. At the same time, I believe that it can be interesting to try to empathize with a character that may be different from oneself. For example, to empathize with a different gender than one’s own. And I think that that is what literature and comics can do better than other forms of art, it makes you identify with the characters.

So, are the participants going to come up with their own stories and characters?

In general, yes. But it doesn’t have to be personal stories. They could add as much as they want about their personal background. We are going to explore mostly stories that talk about everyday life and feelings and how to deal with all kinds of emotions, from friendship to love. We invite them to develop these topics, as far as they want.

In order to develop these stories, do you need to have prior experience with drawing or illustration? Can you participate as an amateur?

The more important part is that you come with passion and an interest in the topic. We are going to look at different styles of comics, and if you have good ideas and you want to do comics, you don’t have to be a great artist. You can do amazing, more naïve comics without having the greatest skills. It’s about the message and if it’s well constructed, it can be powerful and direct.

So, language and storytelling are going to play a major role, and the workshop is going to be in English. What about people who don’t speak English so well?

Because I can just speak fluent English, French and Italian – and not German – we decided to hold the workshop in English. Participants should be able to deal quite well with English. But we are not looking for only native speakers. I can speak a bit of German and a lot of the workshop is practical activity. In the theoretical part, it’s a lot of images that we are going to analyze. So, it’s not a university lecture in English – if you have a good school level in English, you can really enjoy the workshop.

Who can participate? Is it limited?

It’s limited to 10 people. Unfortunately, we have limited space and we want to work in small groups. But we are happy about whoever wants to participate!


Interviewer: Bastian Neuhauser