Original Creativity & Storytelling Content Roundup

IT’S TIME FOR A ROUND-UP OF  CREATOR’S CORNER FOR EASIER ACCESS TO THE CREATIVITY COACHING CONTENT HERE with a brief excerpt and link to each one–in the spirit of “Everything we need for creativity & storytelling success is within our grasp.” Of course it may not be everything we need, however; between Creator’s Corner and the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine, there is a hearty helping.

I BEGAN WRITING CREATOR’S CORNER IN AN INFLUENCER, COACHING, INSPIRATIONAL CAPACITY to share original ideas and solutions for you to consider based on my own thoughts and experiences inspired by the curated content in the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine.

Creator’s Corner Round-up

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How To Work (and Play) Well With “The Others” To Succeed | I attended a graduate school where arts and business students were brought together–on purpose–to propose, create and apply . . .

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Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals | Stage32 (One of my favorite websites) invites its members to select 10 films that we would take with us if we knew we were going to be stranded on a desert island.

Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray | Liar! Who hasn’t had to enter into an almost daily relationship with lies in our political climate today as we countdown to choosing our next president of the United States of America (#45) . . .

Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It’s Important To Engage the Senses) | I had the responsibility of creating visual content (publications, packaging, and safer sex advertising campaings) to help save the lives of men, women, and children at-risk for HIV/AIDS during the fours years that I worked at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Inc. in
New York City . . .

The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible) | What really kept me on the edge of my seat wasn’t the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.

Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget) | In our world in which content is king/queen 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 . . .

Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin) | Breakout from traditional approaches and models despite potential flack that you might receive from doubters or critics who aren’t as courageous, and/or fear conflict or change.

Conflict Has Creative Value, Learn How To Use It | Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we. . .

Here Comes Play-Doh | Certainly it’s easy to see that Play-Doh can be used as content to attract and communicate with children in your particular business, project or service, but what about with adults? Many of us are familiar with Play-Doh because . . .

Sacred Geometry, Visual Storytelling Content: One of Top Four Creative Trends 2016 | Sigils are sacred geometry symbol forms that the ancients considered to be the marks of angels, deities, and other powerful entities; they are archetype conduits that merge science, creativity and spirituality.

Card Decks and The Mystic or Visionary Persona | Create a card deck as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future).  

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
~ Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver 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, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

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Tom Comerford: Best Content Uses Current & Past Life Stories

6c13f-valerie2bheadshotTOM COMERFORD. I was in shock, depressed, and lost after the death of my mother. Tom was a District Manager for the State of New Jersey’s Division of Youth & Family Services. He hired me to provide payments to all the foster care parents in the huge district. He helped me get back on my feet mentally, emotionally, and financially; and that job led to meeting my best friend who has been in my life for 37 years.

Years later, I learned that he fell in love with my mother and asked her to marry him when he was a Catholic priest working beside her on an innovative community project. They were pioneers in race relations through Operation Understanding: a program that worked with churches to place inner city kids in suburban family homes and vice versa. It fostered some really amazing life-long friendships, and more!

Richard Chamberlain Thorn Birds

Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain in “The Thorn Birds” (Credit: ABC)

Her answer was “No”, and eventually, he left the priesthood, married a former nun, and had his own family. Tom passed away a number of years ago. Funny thing is, he was always my favorite priest, and if things had gone his way, he would have been my stepfather. As it turned out, mom married an Episcopal minister.

This is a short story that could lead to multiple stories from different perspectives about these relationships. And so it goes. Cheers!

Read more about this best practice of using past and current life experiences as storytelling content to attract and engage your audience, readers, clients, and customers.

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
~ Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver 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, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

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How to Work (and Play) Well With “The Others” to Succeed

I ATTENDED A GRADUATE SCHOOL WHERE ARTS & BUSINESS STUDENTS WERE BROUGHT TOGETHER–on purpose–to propose, create and apply communications technology solutions as a team to problems. As graduate students of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), we were encouraged to face our distrust of “the others'” approaches to problem-solving (creative arts vs. business) and collaborate in playful and experimental ways to meet the needs of individuals, groups; local, national, and global communities–artistic, nonprofit and commercial–who we were learning to serve as a workforce. Otherwise, we could not succeed in our studies, projects, or current and future employment.

How Can I Trust You?

WE HAD TO FIND WAYS TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND, TRUST, AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER (even if one’s primary incentive might only be to get a good grade). Sometimes trusting simply meant investing in the belief that we would do whatever we could to help each other succeed for the sake of that project. Those who couldn’t or wouldn’t commit, who gave up, failed: they either left the program or flunked out. For those of us who did commit, paths always eventually opened, and some of those solutions we accomplished together were simply astounding. Those collaborations and solutions led to our Information Age and what’s coming beyond it.

NOTE: The Interactive Telecommunications Masters Program in Tisch School of the Arts at New York University is going strong. Check out some of the pioneering and innovative courses.

Artwork © Gavin Aung Than 2017

Column Inspiration:
Akira Jurosawa: The Note Taker

 

How Not To Give Up Before The Miracle Happens

I READ SOME LITERATURE TODAY TO HELP INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE ME NOT TO GIVE UP in areas that I want and need to change in my life (personal and professional). I get tired and discouraged at times. I can’t afford “keeping up appearances” (like Hyacinth, the character in the British BBC program) because I’ve learned the hard way that doing so is incredibly stressful and hurts my health. One quote I read is from an article (AKIRA KUROSAWA: The Note Taker) included in the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine, Sunday, February 12, 2017 edition is just the right medicine:

“Kurosawa was determined to become a better screenwriter and set about writing one page a day, despite how busy he was as an AD, ‘There was nothing I could do about the nights I had to work till dawn, but when I had time to sleep, even after crawling into bed I would turn out two or three pages.’ Writing didn’t come easy, but over time the daily struggle became a habit and Kurosawa found that like most creative endeavors, just showing up was the key.At some point in the writing of every script I feel like giving the whole thing up. From my many experiences of writing screenplays however, I have learned something: If I hold fast in the face of this blankness and despair, adopting the tactic of Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect, who glared at the wall that stood in his way until his legs became useless, a path will open up.'”

      

Column Inspiration:
“Keeping Up Appearances”

SOMETIMES I THINK THAT WE HUMANS SUFFER FROM CHRONIC FORGETFULNESS: we work hard on something, complete it, and then lose our confidence in what we’ve learned and know: we start from the beginning again–over and over–in uncertainty (a creative-specific conflict forgetting like in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–though they choose to forget!). We stick to our endeavors, come through again, and hope we will remember in the future.

THE HEALING ARTIST STUDIO PROJECT BLOG, THE CREATIVITY & STORYTELLING ‘ZINE, and all the writing, content curating, posting and tweeting I do is my way of remembering, of continuing the open-mindedness, trust, and collaboration I learned as a high school student at The Team School, and as a graduate student at ITP.

WE ARE NOT IN A PHYSICAL CLASS TOGETHER, AND MAY NEVER MEET, but I choose to believe that I am investing in our creative and business problem-solving success to benefit our world through the practical and miraculous solution we are every day.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future).

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver 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, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals

STAGE 32 (ONE OF MY FAVORITE WEBSITES) INVITES IT’S MEMBERS TO SELECT 10 FILMS THAT WE WOULD TAKE WITH US IF WE KNEW WE WERE GOING TO BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND. I don’t know what criteria you would use to select the stories to watch over and over and over again, but the ones I chose impacted me on an emotional, mental or spiritual basis; introduced me to a new world or perspective; or simply fueled my imagination into high gear.

THE DESERT ISLAND MOVIES. The movies I picked are: The Red Balloon (My Top Pick is the original 1956 version), and the rest in no particular order: Harvey, Being There, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ingmar Bergman’s Trilogy (Through A Glass Darkly, Winter Light & The Silence), Topper, Life is Beautiful, West Side Story, Chocolat & A Christmas Carol.

A red balloon with a life of it’s own follows a little boy
around the streets of Paris.

 

WHO HASN’T BEEN SEDUCED BY A FILM OR TV PROGRAM? Consider one that completely engaged you–and with binge watching original programming content today, how can anyone one of us deny the fact that arts and entertainment professionals (screenwriters, directors, actors, cinematographers, producers, showrunners, etc.) are often masters of storytelling. Therefore, it makes perfect, logical sense for us to listen to what they have to say to help us become much better at it.

Column Inspiration:

 

THE BUSINESS OF STORYTELLING. Now that those of us who provide strategy for and produce content are being challenged to inform, educate, persuade, inspire and entertain our audience (potential clients/customers and current ones) through storytelling, there is pressure to get up to speed FAST!

Storytelling must be respected and evaluated as a valued component of growth hacking and ROI.

STORYTELLING MUST BE RESPECTED AND EVALUATED AS A VALUED COMPONENT OF GROWTH HACKING AND ROI. This is similar to filmmakers and original programming writers, studios, and streaming services who carefully craft what they create to recompense their investors and producers (they are first to get paid from the revenues).

 

Column Inspiration:

 

THE AUDIENCE OR USER AS THE STORYTELLER. What if you’re just not feeling secure as a storyteller, or simply don’t have the time, budget or interest to do-it-yourself? If you’ve been paying close attention, you know that practically every person on this planet is telling stories in a variety of formats and sharing them on the Internet via social media, or there are professional membership online groups like Stage32.

Column Inspiration:

 

ARE YOU A CURATOR OR DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE? People are often extremely eager to share their existing content (in which case you act as a curator of nonprofessional content from the general public), or you can collaborate with professionals who will want to  contribute original content (for which you act more as a development executive) to expand their industry resume and portfolio. Either way, the storytelling solutions are available–and some of the best resources come from those in the storytelling industry itself.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine.

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver 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, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

Best Storytelling Has Empathy & Intimacy (It’s Important to Engage)

 

I HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CREATING VISUAL CONTENT (PUBLICATIONS, PACKAGING, AND SAFER SEX ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS) to help save the lives of men, women, and children at-risk for HIV/AIDS during the four years that I worked at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Inc. in New York City, the oldest HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment organization in the United States.

ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING PROJECTS FOR ME WAS ART-DIRECTING A PHOTO SHOOT that required consulting and collaborating with sex industry workers to create packaging for a video: Prostitutes, Risk and AIDS.

One Image Worth So Many Individual Stories

Photo Source: GMHC

I WAS AN OUTSIDER FULL OF IGNORANCE ABOUT THE VARIETY OF SEX WORKER LIFESTYLES, who feared what I didn’t understand, and was reluctant therefore to empathize because my judgmental sensibility interfered with using my senses (i.e., of or relating to the senses)connecting through the senses–to set the right scene, mood, and tone to tell the story. It was challenging for me to connect to the textual and sound context: the feel of a lacy bra as the sound of the crispness of the dollar bills were being tucked into it, while the other hand holds a limp used latex condom–human visceral reality engaged in a multi-sensory relationship foreign to me.

I HAD TO RELY ON THE WOMEN TO COME UP WITH THAT PERFECT IDEA TO CAPTURE THE STORY in one realistic image, in a sensory fashion, so that the various target audience segments (e.g., adult streetwalkers, high-class agency-based or independent workers, children on-the-street hustling, pornography film actors, etc.) would instantly recognize the safer sex message in a way that would attract, engage and
persuade them to view the video inside the packaging. The video content encouraged them to use condoms to protect themselves and their customers. The stakes were high: lives needed to be saved.

DURING THE PHOTO SHOOT, I LEARNED A GREAT DEAL FROM THE SEX WORKERS ABOUT THE POWER OF VISUAL CONTENT. Today, I’m much more open to empathy as a valuable–and potential vital–path to tell a story that serves a goal, vision, intent, or specific outcome.

See Me, Feel Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Taste Me (or Two Specific Ideas Featuring the Senses As the Main Attraction In Storytelling)

HERE ARE TWO ORIGINAL IDEAS for inspiration that use the sensory factor in creative storytelling:

TEXT, AUDIO, OR VIDEO CONTENT THAT FEATURES SOMEONE DEEPLY INHALING THE SCENT OF PLAY-DOH (or any piece of clay) can be useful as content (Read Creator’s Corner: Here Comes Play-Doh!). This particular sense memory can lead us into an intimate relationship with a story–most likely something related to our childhood.

To put a different twist on it to engage in a different story relationship, consider a person snorting the scent of Play-Doh like it’s cocaine. Different scenarios of the interaction will create entirely different relationships and feelings–comical or serious–depending upon the story direction and desired outcome.

 
(Photo Source: Flickr’s Valerie)
Column Inspiration:
 

SELLING JEWELRY? IMAGINE A STORY ABOUT A WOMAN FROM THE STONE AGE WHO FINDS SOMETHING WITH A VIBRANT SPARKLE ON THE GROUND.  She picks it up, smells it, listens for sound, throws it on the ground, picks it up again and bangs it against a rock; licks it, tries to bite it, rubs it against her skin–engages her senses in trying to understand this spectacular, unusual object. She is spellbound by how it glistens! We know it as a diamond bracelet. Next scene is a grandmother opening up a box of her keepsakes, selecting that bracelet among her precious belongings, and giving it as a gift to her daughter.

 
(Photo Source: Unknown)
Column Inspiration:



LET’S CREATE UNIVERSAL STORIES–OR NICHE ONES–ABOUT HOW WE ARE INTIMATELY BOUND TO SOMETHING, someone, some experience, and ourselves through our sensual relationships. Or perhaps, our story is about disconnection, and offers solutions to connect in ways we haven’t experienced in a long time if ever.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine.

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver 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, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.