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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 the comic scenes, Made Collaborative is an immersive virtual studio experience. Our Studio Cards facilitate collaboration with you by providing: (i) context for topics and concepts used to develop our comic  (“Source Cards”), (ii) context for the comic characters that we develop collaboratively with you (“Character Cards”) and finally, (iii) comprehensive opportunities for you to collaborate on the comic (“Action Cards”). With this Action Card collaboration set, we will provide an overview of each of these cards, and you can also 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!

Source
Cards

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

QR Code for Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!
What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, 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 - the Back of the Yards!
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
Character
Cards

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson

QR Code for Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson
Summary Traits
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
Read more
Source
Cards

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

QR Code for Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes
What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Big Earl?

Studio Card #10 – “Big” Earl Perkins

QR Code for Studio Card #10 – “Big” Earl Perkins
Summary Traits
Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype
The Everyman
Motto
“If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background
Big Earl 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
Read more
Source
Cards

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

QR Code for Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations
What
This collaborative series is a peek into the issues facing law enforcement and community relations within our urban communities.
When
We will begin Part I of this collaborative series with a snapshot of the early origins of modern day policing, setting the stage for a deeper dive into the present day issues in Part II of this series.
Who
This Source Card overview begins with a look at a man named Robert Peel who may not be a household name to many of us, but as it turns out, in many ways he may well be the founding father of today’s modern day police force as we know it.
Why
To facilitate a collaborative process that promotes just a little more understanding from all sides on a complicated set of issues facing our country’s urban centers. And along the way, with your help and input, incorporate some of these themes and issues into our Back of the Yards comic series.
Read more
Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!

QR Code for Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you 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
Action
Cards

A Call to Action
Join the Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)

QR Code for Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)
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
Character
Cards

Who is…
Peaches?

Studio Card #11 – Peaches

QR Code for Studio Card #11 – Peaches
Summary Traits
For now, known only by his nickname, “Peaches,” he is one of the neighborhood’s “Elders” who observe and comment upon the activities of the younger folks. Peaches backstory is rich, deep and yet-to-be revealed!
Core Personality Traits & Values
Peaches is the dignified moral compass the Elders. Even though he is very much a realist, Peaches tends to see the best in people and he encourages them toward a righteous path.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Though our destiny is now our own, our search for that destiny has only just begun.”
Collaboration Background
Peaches was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

QR Code for Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda
Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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