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Communication Design students

Valerie Dajchin

MA Communication Design work by Valerie Dajchin showing 4 graphic novel series with duck and fox
MA Communication Design work by Valerie Dajchin of a fox and a cat
MA Communication Design work by Valerie Dajchin of a gang of foxes in disguise in a yellow coat

My work explores different themes from my own life experiences and that of my friends, showing situations dealing with queer identity, mental health, and culture. The images within my comics are simple and expressive, drawn quickly in ink, with minimal colour to highlight the primary characters. I employ a simple, yet flexible, four panel grid to tell small satirical stories with dry humour.  The fox metaphor within my work represents a creature between categories, both urban and forest animal, dog like but with feline traits, between masculine and feminine. It is an incredibly fun and expressive animal, clever and easy to use to stand in for human behaviour.

Animals can serve as a metaphor for many different things, permitting people to interpret things as they wish. It is, perhaps, easier to laugh with and relate to non human characters, as you already see them as something that isn’t meant to be taken literally. Themes such as mental health and queer issues often be easier to explore through humour and animals, letting the viewer approach the subject without any bias they might previously have had. The viewer is also free to interpret the comic as it might apply to gender, sexuality, or any other identity that might break an existing binary.

Lizzie Starling