"V" | It's Kind Of A Funny Story - Ned Vazzini | Skillshare Projects

Clarence Kitt




"V" | It's Kind Of A Funny Story - Ned Vazzini

Words cannot describe how excited I am to take this class!

1.0 - Brainstorm

Now I'm going to admit - I'm not much of an avid fiction reader so it was difficult to choose something with a lot of thematic substance, characters and history to pull inspiration from. However, one of the books that really made an impact on my life is "It's Kind of A Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini. Approaching the topic of depression, anxiety and fear through a very candid, humororous and somewhat deadpan way, he writes about his five day experience in an adult psychiatric ward and subsequent changes he found in himself and his view of the world. 

I will be doing the letter "V" for Vizzini. Although a bit of me is tempted to just brainstorm for the "N" too. 

1.1 - Keywords

I quickly jotted down the first things that came to mind when I recalled the plot. There were mostly very vague concepts but there were also some very specific items mentioned in specific quotes that were inspiring, such as "drill sergeant" and "Tootsie roll". 

But because the book deals more with introspection and state of minds, I wanted to look more at the themes at play, rather than certain keywords. 

The notions I took away from the book revolved around:

  • Finding connection through craziness. We may feel pain because of lack of connection in life, but we can connect through pain.
  • Even though we may feel very distant, we are in fact very close due to the similarities we may share.
  • Reclaiming your mind.
  • Allowing your mind to wander and stroll to find the answers you may seek. 

Below are my first sketches! 

1.2 Sketches

I have sketched out six images so far. These are the most spontaneous drawings I did, and it's really based on the imagery I instantly feel when I think about the themes that I just mentioned. I'm thinking of something very architectural, but also very psychedelic. Sort of this mish-mash of control and losing control. It's important to have both. 

1. Inspired by Escher's imagery, this V shows stairwells connecting two floors of the hospital. The ends of each hallway are deadends (they fall off) - making it appear that the struggles of two people will eventually bring them together.

2. This V is a different interpretation of the hospital. A play of symmetricality and asymmetricality, I wanted to express that - even though hospitals can feel very clinical and isolating, the symmetric aspect implies that we are all going through similar experiences and feelings.

3. This was more of something based on the film that I also watched. It was one of the most touching scenes (The main character tries to wake up his roomate to come and join him for a dance" and I thought - "Hey why not!". This portrays the "push and pull" between taking control of your life and settling for complacency. 

4. A more conceptual route. I took inspiration from firing synapses in the brain and neurological imagery to create this meandering road (reflecting the journey of depression being a series of unpredictable undulations) but I've added a boy on his bicycle too to add a sense of whimsy and adventure.

5. The Brooklyn Bridge is quite a big part of the book as it's the location of where the main character wishes to jump off of. Taking the bigger theme of 'bridge', this would be very a very architectural design and I want to convey the idea that bridges take you to places. They should never be an ending point.

6. Last but not least, the last design is based on the idea of "reclaiming your mind". The shape of the V will be hollow and the garbage bins outside show all these hollow pill cases. There are mounds of sand being placed into the V space. I want to project the idea that Craig doesn't recover from pills, he recovers from things that are more substantial - feelings, optimism, love, hope. 

I'd love to hear some feedback right now from these sketches - which message resonates with you all most - both from a literal and a visual standpoint! I'm having a hard time deciding which direction to go. 

Thank you!


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