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021: The Storyteller
Wherein we discuss why Visual Storytelling is the most powerful of all. Don't forget it.
Some artists don’t consider themselves “storytellers”. They’re wrong. The minute you draw something, anything really, it’s telling a story. Whether you believe it or not, YOU are a storyteller.
I love to explore and study the art of storytelling anywhere I see it happening. Which is everywhere. Yes of course books, movies, but also in real life. I see the stories in advertising, history, politics and even our daily lives.
I’ve always been naturally curious, and love to use my imagination. I sometimes will just randomly play a game where I make up back stories for objects or people. (It’s fun, you should try it.)
You ever hear the saying “money makes the world go round”?
That’s not true.
It’s “Story” that makes the world go round.
On all levels.
This is why I don’t outright discount or laugh at conspiracy theories or supernatural tales.
I want to believe…
I look for a reason to believe in the story, and if I don’t believe it, I look for the reason this story is being told to me. What is this story trying to evoke in me?
It wasn’t very long ago that the majority of people believed the world was flat (some still do!) Or what about the cosmic turtle that is carrying the world on it’s shell, held up by elephants? Yeah, that was a thing too.
I used to believe, (or so we are taught), that stories can only be non-fiction or fiction.
Truth or lies.
Black or white.
A deeper dive into the topic of “story”, you find there is another variation, the wild card that really makes the world spin.
When a story is a mix of fabrication and truths, steering you toward some “call to action”, or “call to feeling.” Or a lesson.
This type of story was known widely in the 20th century as FRACTION. Until certain schools of writing decided it was all just “Fiction” and don’t complicate it with a 3rd category. The human brain likes to think binary, after all. So, they changed the story…
Writers vs Artists vs “Storytellers”
The two are not mutually exclusive. But many artists are made to believe that writers are superior storytellers. You must be a writer to tell the best stories! Guess who is perpetrating that story? Writers.
And no offense to all of my great writer friends when I say this, but visual storytelling actually is the most powerful of all. Unlike the idea that our world is floating on the back of a turtle, it’s been proven by science.
“We’re wired for visual processing! Neuroscientists at MIT found that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. The study highlighted our brain’s ability to make sense of even briefly presented images, which makes sense when you consider that more than 50% of the cortex is devoted to processing visual information.”
This means that YOU, as an artist, can convey an entire story, trigger emotional responses and more with just one small drawing.
Imagine what a group of images would do when put together? Like a comic.
Remember the power you possess here. This is why I call “Draw or Die” a newsletter for “visual storytellers”. It’s a reminder to you, that YOU are more than just an artist. You possess the ulitmate
You are a storyteller. So what stories are you going to tell?
I thought a “storybook” would be fitting for the weekly prompt. Drawn as you wish. Share it on social if you like, tag it #drawordieclub 🤘🏻
I recently made a set of the daily drawing prompts that tell a little story along the way. I like this idea even more than just a regular “draw this today” kind of challenge. Here’s what i ended up with. And here’s a Youtube playlist of the shorts from each day.
Special thanks to the daily subscribers for supporting this e-mail. I take all profits and put it back into the “business” with instagram ads or helps pay for some of the recuring costs like Shopify monthly (merch!) The Daily Drawing Prompts are designed to keep your pencil AND mind moving every damn day. You can try it for free. 🤘🏻
Thanks for reading! Stay encouraged out there, and draw every day!!!