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Welcome to the Made Collaborative Studio!

Our project’s primary mission is to collaborate with participating urban youth to develop collaborative comics stories and other creative content based on their own interests and ideas.  And by doing so, we hope to foster creative thought and provide a truly positive collaborative experience for participating youth, artists and you!  

First, a Little Background

The backdrop of this virtual studio framework is our first comic series, The Back of the Yards, which was created as a result of our initial in-person collaborations with participating youth in the West Side of Chicago. Now, as you may or may not know, this project didn’t even start out as a comic project, much less a “virtual studio.”  No, in fact, this project started as a modest community project intended to connect artists with youth to generally collaborate with one another on independent creative projects.  That simple premise then evolved into a broader comic-based project based on those initial collaborations with participating youth in the West Side of Chicago.

Overview of the Comic

It doesn’t get more real than Back of the Yards, on the South Side of Chicago, when you’re growing up as a teen. It’s where fantasy and the power of story can build resilience, foster healing and lead to greater understanding. Based on the stories and experiences of real urban youth, the Made Collaborative Studio presents Back of the Yards.  A fictionalized version of the real Back of the Yards neighborhood serves as setting for the eponymous comic book series. Likewise, the stories and the characters themselves are based on the real lives and musings of Chicago youth. These stories were first conceived by students attending an after school arts program. They were facilitated by the project’s founder, Jimmy Briseno, during Made Collaborative’s first round of urban outreach to inner-city schools. Jimmy then had an inspired idea to elevate these kids’ ideas by bringing professional comics artists and writers into the creative process to validate the kids’ stories and experiences, weaving them together as the narrative threads of a real comic book series – and with that, the Back of the Yards comic series was born.  You can learn more about the comic by visiting our Comic Overview page.

So, what next?

We were, of course, thrilled that we were able to ultimately develop a comic based on these initial collaborative youth sessions and ideas, but on the flip side, those in-person collaborations took time.  A lot of time.  And a high degree of coordination between after school programs, youth and our own adulting lives.  With that in mind, we wondered how might be able to scale this modest grass roots project up so that we could more effectively enable collaborations with other after school programs and interested youth, and even potentially bring others (like you) into this new collaborative process.  Our solution? …. Why not try to bring some of these basic collaborative concepts from the classroom into the virtual realm? 

The Virtual Studio Framework

With this website, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunities that started in the classrooms of west-side of Chicago, to others virtually.

It's All In the Cards!

Behind the comic scenes, Made Collaborative is an immersive virtual studio experience. Our Studio Cards facilitate collaboration with you by providing you with context for topics and concepts used to develop our comic. You can begin your own collaborative journey by clicking on the back of any of the Studio Cards presented here or by visiting our Explore the Studio Page!

And Action!
Create an Illustration!

Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!

QR Code for Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!
Collaboration Summary
With this collaboration series, we will work with aspiring illustrators that may be interested in developing new illustrations that could ultimately be incorporated into our Back of the Yards comic series!
Collaboration Background
When we began this project, it was based on a simple premise that all of us have the ability to be creative. However, we also recognize that this creativity can come in many different forms and with that, some of you may actually be talented illustrators. So it is that with this Action Card collaboration series, we will present you with opportunities to submit your illustrations by providing you with possible comic scenes, newly developed characters and/or other comic settings to choose from, all updated regularly!
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
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Who is…
Eric Nyamor?

Who is Eric Nyamor?

QR Code for Who is Eric Nyamor?
Summary Traits
TBD
Core Personality Traits & Values
TBD
Archetype
The Magician
Motto
TBD
Collaboration Background
TBD
Debut
Eric started working with Jimmy Briseno and Manny Dominguez in the very early days of this Made Collaborative project back in 2014, during initial meetings with youth in the after school programs of Chicago.
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A Call to Action
Join the Hero’s Journey

Studio Card #7b: The Hero’s Journey Pt II

QR Code for Studio Card #7b: The Hero’s Journey Pt II
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you to develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Draymond Carter

QR Code for Draymond Carter
Summary
Draymond Carter is a comic character developed as part of the Back of the Yards comic series, a Creative Commons project produced by the Made Collaborative Studio. Draymond is Russell Patterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Studio Card #9

QR Code for Studio Card #9
What
With this Source Card collaborative production, we examine the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, including their unique histories, events and residents.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more

And Action!
Create a Character!

Castaneda's Red Book: Part I, pg. 6

Action Card #2: Create A Character!

QR Code for Action Card #2: Create A Character!
Collaboration Summary
With this first collaboration, we will help you develop your own characters which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your newly created characters to us if you would like us to help further develop your character ideas, and in some instances, include these new characters as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of new fictional characters. This all started in 2013 as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Russell Patterson

QR Code for Russell Patterson
Summary
Russell Patterson is a comic character developed as part of the Back of the Yards comic series, a Creative Commons project produced by the Made Collaborative Studio. Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype
The Dreamer
Motto
“It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background
Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Introducing
Back of the Yards!

The Back of the Yards! – A Made Collaborative Comic Series

QR Code for The Back of the Yards! – A Made Collaborative Comic Series
Summary
With this Studio Card production, we introduce you to the Back of the Yards!, a Creative Commons comic project produced by the Made Collaborative Studio. Back of the Yards is a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more

Participating Artists

This is a grass roots project in the truest sense. Started with a summer spent volunteering at a local Chicago after school program and evolved into today’s current incarnation. Just a rag tag group of artists trying to do something they thought was cool in their spare time. And if you’d like to learn about any us, just click on any of the mugs below.

Submit Your Artwork

Collaborate with professional artists by contributing some artwork of your own! Some special pieces may be selected to appear in the Back of the Yards comic book.

UPLOAD YOUR IMAGES BELOW