Find Inspiration in the Everyday


Maya Shaffer

Junior Gabrielle Dean Williams has wanted to do a webcomic for as long as she could remember. She has been in love with art for just as long, first getting serious about it in the sixth grade, when she would try to recreate characters from the cartoons she watched. She drew her favorite characters from The Fairly Odd Parents, Scooby Doo and Gravity Falls. Since then, she has tried many different styles and mediums, but she always came back to the fun, cartoon-y style she started out with. Still, with all her artistic experience, Williams never felt ready to start that comic. She always put it off, thinking it had to be perfect, thinking she was not ready. One day, a friend helped her realize she would never be truly ready, and her first comic, “How Am I Getting By,” was born.

“I guess my big inspiration came from a girl, Sunny, who was a senior when I was a freshman. She told me that I had to start somewhere and the first comic I draw doesn’t have to be my best or favorite, all it has to be is my first. Since then, I have been brainstorming a lot of comic ideas,” said Williams.

“How Am I Getting By” is a compilation of Williams’ life. It is short snippets of the day-to-day- funny moments, life realizations, the works. While she has not published her first issue yet, Williams  is hard at work. Her comic-making process starts with an idea, which evolves into exact dialogue. Then, she starts sketching on an app called Procreate. She finishes the lineart, colors the comic and then it is done. Currently, she is accumulating pages so she can have a regular schedule when she begins to publish it on her art Instagram (@dean.w.draws).

“I was drawn into art just for fun, but it’s become an outlet for my thoughts and feelings during dark periods of my life,” said Williams.

Outside of her comic, Williams still surrounds herself with art. She takes painting and AP Digital Art and Animation here at school. Her favorite things to draw are still her homemade characters she has spent years perfecting, and she draws lots of inspiration from various art accounts on Instagram. In the future, Williams intends to use her one-of-a-kind characters and background in art to help her get into college for graphic design. Right now, her focus is on the present, and she is looking to improve her artistics skills through “How am I Getting By.” Whatever she has in store next, she is thrilled to have finally started to achieve one of her lifelong dreams.

Photo by: Contributed