The Power of Story

We are two days into class and the recurring theme so far is storytelling. I am really excited about this work and the hope of telling a good and compelling story is what brought me to The Brandcenter. I watched a documentary called Chasing Coral - it was an unbelievably compelling presentation of how climate change is affecting coral reefs.  One of the people who helped create the documentary was a former ad exec named Richard Vevers. Looking at the way he incorporated his advertising background into creating a meaningful and persuasive project was very inspiring. After seeing his work I understood how the skill of telling a compelling story is important to affect change in any area.  

Some things that we have looked at so far about storytelling:

  • I have to tell a story about “true happiness” and in my research I watched Sagmeister’s Happiness by Design talk here. From there I started to make a list/collection of things that have instilled that feeling of true happiness and I looked at all of the photos I have of those moments and extracted the colors and there do seem to be some themes. There is definitely a correlation/causation debate to be had over these but nonetheless I clearly love sunsets, sun rises and the outdoors in general.

  • I was also taken back to Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage. I have moments of happiness and joy that are based in exercising a signature strength, a point he makes in the book. When I am being futuristic, or learning, my happiness is high.

  • In Visual Storytelling we watched this great excerpt from Charlie Kaufman’s speech to BAFTA. I just thought this excerpt paired with the video was very poignant and digestible. It synthesizes why any one person is significant, that their point of view is a specific filter on the collection of everything they have ever experienced.

What I have to offer is me, what you have to offer is you, and if you offer yourself with authenticity and generosity I will be moved.
— Charlie Kaufman
Audiences not only want to stumble across great work, but they too long to be part of the creative process. By letting go of the ego and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work...
— Austin Kleon
  • I am reading “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon while I drink my coffee or eat a meal. In the chapter about telling good stories…

There seems to be an interesting dialogue between all of these sources too. Kaufman is saying to show the truth, not a representation of the truth, as is Sagmeister. Kleon is talking about showing the real, honest, process in order to create a story for others to follow. He is still advocating for us to stick to the truth but to practice how it is received by others.