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The Power of Visual Storytelling

As the guest speaker at a DevFaction Meetup Group, I presented this talk on the power of visual storytelling. I also shared strategies for creating content that is meaningful and culturally relevant through embracing ancient archetypal patterns and universal human emotions. Inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung.

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T H E P O W E R O F V I S U A L
S T O RY T E L L I N G
M I C H E L L E C O U T I N H O
I N T H I S D A Y A N D A G E , A
P I C T U R E I S W O R T H M O R E T H A N
J U S T A T H O U S A N D W O R D S .
W H E N I T ’ S G E N U I N E , W H E N I T ’ S
R E L E VA N T Y E T E T E R N A L , W H E N
I T ’ S S O P O W E R F U L T H A T I T G O E S
B E Y O N D S I G H T A N D D E LV E S I N T O
Y O U R S E N S E S — T H A T ’ S T H E
K I N D O F I M A G E T H A T ’ S W O R T H A
M I L L I O N .
A N D I T O N LY TA K E S A N I N S TA N T
T O R E A D .
H O W W I L L Y O U R V I S U A L S C R E A T E
A N E P I C S T O RY ?
— G E T T Y I M A G E S
The Power of Visual Storytelling
H A N D O U T L I N E S F O U N D O N A C A V E WA L L I N I N D O N E S I A 3 9 , 9 0 0
8 P R I M A L D E S I R E S I N E V E RY O N E :
1. S U R V I VA L : L I V E A L O N G A N D H E A LT H Y L I F E
2. P R O T E C T I O N : S A F E T Y, C A R E A N D P R O T E C T I O N F O R Y O U R S E L F A N D
L O V E D O N E S
3. F R E E D O M : F R E E D O M F R O M D A N G E R , F E A R A N D PA I N
4. C O M F O R T: C O M F O R TA B L E L I V I N G C O N D I T I O N S
5. P L E A S U R E : E N J O Y F O O D , B E V E R A G E S A N D E X P E R I E N C E S
6. R E L AT I O N S H I P S : S E X U A L R E L AT I O N S , C O M PA N I O N S H I P A N D
C O M PAT I B I L I T Y
7. S U C C E S S : T O B E S U P E R I O R , W I N N I N G , K E E P I N G U P W I T H T H E J O N E S E S
8. L I K A B I L I T Y: S O C I A L A P P R O VA L , B E I N G PA R T O F T H E “ I N ” C R O W D
— D R E W E R I C W H I T M A N / E M I LY W O R D E N
S T O R I E S F U L F I L L O U R N E E D F O R
C O N N E C T I O N A N D M E A N I N G
W E A R E E M O T I O N A L C R E A T U R E S ,
D R I V E N T O F U L F I L L T H E N E E D S
E M B E D D E D I N O U R H U M A N P S Y C H E .
S I N C E T H E D A W N O F M A N W E H A V E
B E E N C R E A T I N G S T O R I E S T O E X P L A I N
T H E M A G I C A N D G R E A T M Y S T E RY O F
O U R U N I V E R S E I N A N A T T E M P T T O
U N D E R S TA N D T H E F O R C E S O F T H E
N A T U R A L W O R L D A N D W H A T O U R
R O L E I S W I T H I N I T.
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The Power of Visual Storytelling

  • 1. T H E P O W E R O F V I S U A L S T O RY T E L L I N G M I C H E L L E C O U T I N H O
  • 2. I N T H I S D A Y A N D A G E , A P I C T U R E I S W O R T H M O R E T H A N J U S T A T H O U S A N D W O R D S . W H E N I T ’ S G E N U I N E , W H E N I T ’ S R E L E VA N T Y E T E T E R N A L , W H E N I T ’ S S O P O W E R F U L T H A T I T G O E S B E Y O N D S I G H T A N D D E LV E S I N T O Y O U R S E N S E S — T H A T ’ S T H E K I N D O F I M A G E T H A T ’ S W O R T H A M I L L I O N . A N D I T O N LY TA K E S A N I N S TA N T T O R E A D . H O W W I L L Y O U R V I S U A L S C R E A T E A N E P I C S T O RY ? — G E T T Y I M A G E S
  • 4. H A N D O U T L I N E S F O U N D O N A C A V E WA L L I N I N D O N E S I A 3 9 , 9 0 0
  • 5. 8 P R I M A L D E S I R E S I N E V E RY O N E : 1. S U R V I VA L : L I V E A L O N G A N D H E A LT H Y L I F E 2. P R O T E C T I O N : S A F E T Y, C A R E A N D P R O T E C T I O N F O R Y O U R S E L F A N D L O V E D O N E S 3. F R E E D O M : F R E E D O M F R O M D A N G E R , F E A R A N D PA I N 4. C O M F O R T: C O M F O R TA B L E L I V I N G C O N D I T I O N S 5. P L E A S U R E : E N J O Y F O O D , B E V E R A G E S A N D E X P E R I E N C E S 6. R E L AT I O N S H I P S : S E X U A L R E L AT I O N S , C O M PA N I O N S H I P A N D C O M PAT I B I L I T Y 7. S U C C E S S : T O B E S U P E R I O R , W I N N I N G , K E E P I N G U P W I T H T H E J O N E S E S 8. L I K A B I L I T Y: S O C I A L A P P R O VA L , B E I N G PA R T O F T H E “ I N ” C R O W D — D R E W E R I C W H I T M A N / E M I LY W O R D E N
  • 6. S T O R I E S F U L F I L L O U R N E E D F O R C O N N E C T I O N A N D M E A N I N G W E A R E E M O T I O N A L C R E A T U R E S , D R I V E N T O F U L F I L L T H E N E E D S E M B E D D E D I N O U R H U M A N P S Y C H E . S I N C E T H E D A W N O F M A N W E H A V E B E E N C R E A T I N G S T O R I E S T O E X P L A I N T H E M A G I C A N D G R E A T M Y S T E RY O F O U R U N I V E R S E I N A N A T T E M P T T O U N D E R S TA N D T H E F O R C E S O F T H E N A T U R A L W O R L D A N D W H A T O U R R O L E I S W I T H I N I T.
  • 7. J O S E P H C A M P B E L L The Stories that Guide Us
  • 8. A R T B Y W I L L I A M B L A K E There are themes we endure just by existing on the Earth. The theme of polarity, light and dark, masculine and feminine. Birth and death, and then from death, rebirth. These are primal forces just as much the elemental forces like wind, water, and fire. These forces are universally relatable and can be archetypically depicted in the visual imagery that we use as storytellers.
  • 9. In modern society, we are the media. We are the storytellers and we are the creators, directors and actors in our stories. We share on social media, bite- sized micro-moments of expression of how we live our lives, from what we eat to our identity of who we are, what we love and value, who we are in love with, and where we are in the world. A U T H E N T I C A L LY S O C I A L
  • 10. – N E W S C R E D “User-generated content (UGC) reveals real  people and places, meaning real moments  and emotions that establish a new kind of  heightened digital intimacy.”
  • 11. T H E S E PA R AT I O N & C O N N E C T I O N O F S O C I A L M E D I A
  • 13. T H E 4 P R I N C I P L E S O F V I S U A L S T O RY T E L L I N G • Authenticity • Sensory • Archetype • Relevancy
  • 14. S E N S O RY
  • 15. A R C H E T Y P E - A R J U N , T H E H E R O • What makes us all relatable? Emotion. Passion. • We connect when emotions we have experienced are evoked. • Elephant Journal example on social media • Use Real people in your brand to connect to your audience • Perfection doesn’t sell • Facebook live videos
  • 16. A R C H E T Y P E • The Hero’s Journey • Initiation Story • Receive a call • Go on a quest • Fulfill our Destiny There is a core universal story that is embedded within the human psyche and in our collective unconscious.
  • 17. A R C H E T Y P E Birth and death, Sunrise and sunset, and then Rebirth and Renewal. Much like the seasons, day after day we have the the opportunity to rise again. These unified, but polar opposites are ingrained in our selves and our emotions. But we all understand points of initiation on our journey. We know the archetype of The Dark Night of the Soul, what it feels like to be alone, abandoned. Religious scripture and mythology is filled with these stories and good overcoming evil.
  • 19. A R C H E T Y P E There are also character archetypes and we can base our brand’s identity on these archetypes like, The Sage and The Jester, and then create themed imagery that revolves around our brand archetype and gear ourselves toward the archetype of our audience to draw them in.
  • 21. U N I V E R S A L T H E M E S • G O I N G O N A N A D V E N T U R E • W I N N I N G , B E I N G T H E V I C T O R • L O S I N G , H U M I L I A T I O N / FA I L U R E • O V E R C O M I N G C H A L L E N G E S C O M I N G I N T O P O W E R • F I N D I N G I N N E R P E A C E
  • 23. R E L E VA N C Y Connecting through cultural relevancy is also connecting to global global human values. We all believe as humans in life, love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • 24. R E L E VA N C Y Remember art introduces new ideas and pushes the boundaries of what is culturally accepted. If you're creating a movement or being an activist for a cause then the visual imagery you choose should push the boundaries of what's culturally accepted and if introduced into the collective society it would then becomes the norm.
  • 25. R E L E VA N C Y The collective consciousness of Boulder is a healthy and affluent lifestyle.
  • 26. R E L E VA N C Y - A N C I E N T M E A N I N G Another way we can evoke emotion or connect with people through visual storytelling is to stir memories from our ancient way of being.
  • 27. R E L E VA N C Y - A N C I E N T M E A N I N G True community
  • 28. T H A N K Y O U Michelle Coutinho
 Instructor of Visual Art & Design IECREATIVE.NET