Paloma is an illustrator and experience designer originally from Oakland, California, and currently based in West Yorkshire, where she has called home for the past five years. She received a BA (Hons) in Graphic Arts and Design at Leeds Beckett University where she honed her interests in comics, graphic design, 2D animation, risograph printing, and experiential narrative, graduating in 2019 with first class honours and the GAD Illustration Award. She has worked in museums since the age of 15 and is passionate about designing narrative experiences – whether digital or physical, empathy and storytelling are central to her practice.
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In a hostile and unfeeling climate of austerity, we feel powerless. What actions do we take that are within our minimal scope of power to feel agency and control? Scraps Left Behind is an interactive webcomic that examines autonomy during a time of sociopolitical chaos. Set in a fictional Yorkshire market town in Thatcher’s England, the residents begin to imagine alternative lifestyles to the proposed institutional norm, asking the reader to consider freedom of choice and personal rebellion.
Through the exploration of clickable objects and environments throughout the webcomic, as well as multiple endings for the reader to choose from, it is up to the reader to decide: is there a ‘good ending’? What does bravery or cowardice look like? What constitutes autonomy? These questions arise over and over throughout history’s most socially divisive periods, especially in our current era. These events are remembered by history, and this project seeks to emotionally resonate with how these large-scale global happenings affect individuals on a personal level.
Scraps Left Behind is inspired by gathered testimony of Northerners who experienced the bleakness of the early eighties, and films such as Ken Loach’s Looks and Smiles. The project evokes what author Kathryn Lasky defines as ‘keyhole history’: what are we doing about it for ourselves – how are we reacting?
Shaun Keegan, who created the website and coded the interactive elements of the project, worked with me to create a webcomic that pushes the pre-existing boundaries of the medium. Scraps Left Behind treads the line between the classic webcomic form, and a more ‘gamified’ approach, much in a similar fashion to point-and-click video games, in order to deepen the immersion of the narrative.
Special thanks to Debbie Anzalone, Kristina Cranfeld, Lewis Wood, Shaun Keegan, Boff Whalley, and Aidan Winterburn for the feedback, support, and development of the project.
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Teaser video for Scraps Left Behind.
Preview of the characters in Scraps Left Behind.