Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget)

Valerie Michele Oliver (The Healing Artist Studio Project) explores the art and architecture of creativity and storytelling in imaginative, innovative, playful and award-winning ways. Tisch School of the Arts (New York University) and The Mystery School (Sacred Center for the Healing Arts) graduate. | Imagine, innovate, create and love this life.

AS A VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS FACULTY MEMBER, I had the pleasure and privilege to help motivate senior undergraduate students and gain content for their portfolios by giving them concrete business experience through attracting, arranging, and art directing business-education partnerships with arts entrepreneurs, solopreneurs (filmmakers, musicians) and other business entities who had either no or low budgets to create and market their projects, products or services in tangible ways.

I CREATED AND SENT OUT BUSINESS-EDUCATION PROPOSALS TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS. The classes and I met with respondents either in person or via teleconference, worked out a contract, and then began the client’s project as an in-class design competition with an agreed upon reward for the winning design (e.g., attendance at the film premiere, letter of recommendation, appropriate credit, etc.). All of this in service to helping an individual or business to attract and reach somebody (or many bodies) to respond in some way, shape or form.

Column Inspiration:

IN OUR WORLD IN WHICH CONTENT IS QUEEN/KING AND WE MUST USE VITAL CREATIVITY AND STORYTELLING mojo and provide it in ways that engage, inspire and energize our fellow humans, what can we do to achieve quality in a timely, expeditious fashion? How can we get it done on a no to low budget if lacking the necessary financial resources to hire experts or take courses? What are some reliable solutions?


AS GLENDA SAYS TO DOROTHY IN THE WIZARD OF OZ, “YOU ALWAYS HAD THE POWER TO GO HOME.” You can do it yourself. You can do it with a small group of family, friends, co-workers, employees, who want to have a creative and unique experience by telling a story. Remember that we are living in the age of sharing our personal perspectives, visions, images, opinions in raw (unpolished) forms with others who are ready and willing to read, listen, view, engage, and often respond in harmony with our intention.

Column Inspiration:

BE AUTHENTIC, EXPERIMENT, KEEP IT SHORT, AND HAVE FUN. You or your posse only need to make it happen. Tell your individual or collective stories, and start with what’s happening in your world in ways in which others can identify, relate, be educated, or react (Read Creator’s Corner column titled Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life). If you decide there’s something missing and it’s not quite ready for prime time, you can use your creation as concept material to pass along to someone who can realize it for you.

Column Inspiration:


Wait, what. from Photon Harvest on Vimeo.

“Leaning In”

(Writing Prompt)

USE WRITING PROMPTS AND GIVE YOURSELF 15-MINUTES TO CREATE THE STORY. This will work for anything that is on your work plate. Mainly because you won’t be using your analytical, “I-have-to-be-in-control-and-do-this-perfectly” left-brain that can sabotage your intuitive, creative flow channel. Besides, you’ve already done that part with whatever you have before you that requires the creativity solution.

YOU CAN CHOOSE A WRITING PROMPT THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, or use words that have nothing to do with it at all and see what magic (meaning something wonderful appearing that wasn’t there before) transpires. You can create a few prompts for the same project or service as well. If you’re happy with the result(s): great! If not, pass what you have along as concepts to someone else to produce the final product. (For inspiration, read Leaning In and Back Up the Truck.)

Don’t make it a full story. Make it a taste of a story leaving the audience wanting more.Shant Hamassian

GIVE SENIOR TALENTED STUDENTS FROM YOUR ALMA MATER (OR ANOTHER UNIVERSITY) THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP YOU SUCCEED AND VICE VERSA. Reach out to the appropriate department chair–creative writing, filmmaking, digital media, visual communications, music, art–and let them know that you would like to work with a faculty member to collaborate on a business-education project. If you prefer, you can request that the chair recommend a talented student for an independent study on your project for which she/he will get a review and college credits (in addition to any other rewards you want to offer). It’s a win-win relationship.

THESE ARE A FEW SUGGESTED IDEAS TO GET YOU ON YOUR WAY. I hope you find value in this column (and the new focus of the ‘Zine from spirituality TO storytelling in response to your interests), and will visit the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine for much more content I’ve curated to help you succeed in your new (or continuing role) as a creator and storyteller for your product, project, business or service.

Creator’s Corner is a regular column in the ‘Zine. Subscribe to receive the full issue of each publication direct by email at the magazine.

1) Content Inspiration:
What are the Keys to Writing a Good Short Film Script?

2) Content Inspiration: Struggling with Your Content Marketing? Create Because You Care

3) Content Inspiration: How to Shoot a Short in One-Hour

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine, and previous Creator’s Corner columns: How To Work (And Play) Well With “The Others” To SucceedBest Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E ProfessionalsLies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray; Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It’s Important to Engage the Senses)Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low BudgetBest Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin)The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible)Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current LifeConflict Has Creative Value, Learn How To Use ItCard Decks & the Mystic or Visionary PersonaHere Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry–Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.




CREATOR’S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.