↖ Werkwoche

A Moment out of life

Alina Gorban

Focus: Graphic Novel/Comic/Visual Storytelling/Illustration

Storytelling is the most basic human form of passing information, with a hint of bias while choosing the angle and a sea of emotion this can become a work of art. Unlike in cinema the work of the visual narrator is a solo act of their own imagination and skillset. A good sequence of images can grant an imaginary Oscar for acting, directing, cinematography, and stage design, while deliciously walking you through an interesting story.

As you can tell my passion for the art of comics is alive and burning, I feel - therefore I draw.

In this 4 day workshop, I will invite you to join me on an emotional rollercoaster, spilling your guts all over the pages. To clarify - this does not have to mean all feelings must be sad ones. Extreme happiness, mellow contemplative vibes, and small moments of joy are more than welcome here.
My intention is to emphasize on evoking the right emotions in the readers through a sequence of images with the intended atmosphere, carefully thought out compositions, and using the layout as the pace-maker. All while following our best compass - ourselves. As the famous sentence says: “What is most personal is most universal.” (Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy).

I feel that as artists, we are valid or current as long as we are true and have our minds open to think as well as rethink and not be afraid to use our imagination to bend the (imaginary) "rules". Our final destination will be a four-page long moment out of life. No beginning, no visible end. This passing moment will be complete within itself and packed with its impression on us. Imagine a snippet of an important conversation, a sudden event that triggers another one, maybe just the silence of the streets as you walk home after an eventful night, and so on. These will be an intense three days where you will be asked to create while I will be there to help you make this a moment out of life - the readers won’t forget.

I will happily join to draw with you, answer any questions about my own process, comics and illustration, share my inspirations and conduct an end-of-day class critic so we can help each other make our best work.

The requirement to take this course
is an essay (no more than one A4 page) that includes the following information:

  1. A short description of the story you’d like to illustrate.
  2. A short description of what happened right before it- to set up the stage, and right after it - to set up the end of this 3-page story.
  3. The emotion, or the list of emotions that are felt throughout the story.
    To find this out, after writing the description, simply ask yourself:
    How does this make me feel?

Materials to be used in the workshop:
You are free to choose to work either digitally or traditionally. For traditional media, I recommend tools for fast production: paper, pencils, an eraser, a ruler and brush pens. I suggest not to use more than two colors or no color at all so we can finish the project in time.

CV of the lecturer:
Born in the mid 80’s in the late USSR Alina Gorban was an immigrant by the age of 6. From communism’s ruins, she arrived in Israel - a new world that introduced her family new possibilities as well as the country’s political baggage and a new economic reality. Luckily enough Alina was born to a working artist father - which means she had nothing but praise and encouragement to take this bumpy ride that’s called - the artist life. Armed with her dad’s talent and determination and her mom’s sensitivity she was ready to face a culture that had no sentiments for any of the things she brought with her.

And maybe, for this exact reason, and the mixed cultural messages from home and school, is what gave birth to the need to rebel and make up her own mind about things. That ‘different’ stamp that was put on her, expanded to ‘weird’ and ‘a freak’- terms that she indulged in. Nothing is more delightful than taking society’s critique, owning it, taking pride in it, and then gaining power over it.

And this is what art-making means to her. The great, ultimate process of recycling the bad experience to become a beautiful drawing. Alina has studied illustration in Shenkar college of art and design in Israel, and then gained her Master’s degree at the School of Visual Arts in NY. She has been a freelance illustrator since 2011 illustrating 22 published kid’s books, 4 self-published short comics, informative educational comics, and weekly kids’ comics stripes. She is currently working on an autobio full-length graphic novel with Street Noise Books, and a celebrity chefs’ autobio graphic novel with Ten Speed Press. Alina is also teaching illustration and drawing at st. John’s University in Queens, NY. In her free time, she loves to collapse.

A Moment out of life
A Moment out of life
A Moment out of life
A Moment out of life
A Moment out of life
A Moment out of life


(max. 15 Participants)


Room M 2.10

Tuesday, 09:30 – 18:00
Wednesday, 09:00 – 18:00
Thursday, 09:00 – 18:00
Friday, 11:00 – 14:00


→ Prof. Mike Loos


→ karinashor.com