How do I choose materials and color schemes?

It is important to know why, or have a reason for choosing a material. Like the previous exercise, we observe and choose material for our particular graphic poems, which will add layers to the final composition.

Art and poetry should have creative freedom; however, too much randomness may confuse audiences and dilute the art.

Materials should support its own theme and project. The smoothness or roughness of a particular fabric may change the way you present certain emotions with it. It is the same with everything from paint type, brush tips, pencils, plastics, photos, pictures, and anything else you use in the creation process.

Some people tell me that I am lucky because I can visit Japan to purchase these fabulous papers, which is true. But I use many papers and almost any material available to me, including the color printed coupons in grocery store receipts, bits of an old towel, and shredded Sallie Mae letters.

You may like reviewing “The Sallie” in the Jet Fuel Review e-book. For the piece, I used the real bill-collecting letters (they are scattered around the graphic poem), melting ice-cream (water color & crayon), gift-wrapping paper, and pen & colored pencils.

This is the original written poem. "The Sallie" was written after reading "The Dictators" by Pablo Neruda.


No particular odor stayed in their living rooms:
cold plates, half empty bottles, and stomach aches.
Between Moll Flanders lay the carpet, in their frozen
bank accounts, their soiled orange aprons.
Their bosses said, “Before I became manager…”, and griped.
In their places, all the bills are like suicide notes.
The silent letters redoubled, a moment
spanning after graduations, sucking
these millennials’ next thousand months. Slaves of
………….the top 1%,
their loans were perpetual, and added, like puddles on ice-cream,
forcing their bodies on August 3rd, the mirage on asphalt,
and forklift by forklift in the warehouse,
five hours’ work,
their lunch boxes filled with concrete
and near American dreams. 


I use old greeting cards, magazines, candy wrappers, toilet papers, basically anything around me I can modify to fit my work. I also use my respected poet’s cover-art.

You may like to see the Gallery of Graphic Poems.

Choosing materials can be a lot fun. Probably, this is my favorite part of the process. Creating graphic poems are always a pleasure to me because it can create very festive and colorful experiences in my brain.