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Apr 07, 2021

Visual Storytelling

How to build your visual story?

Think like a magazine.

Although I have been working for more than 10 years as a visual storyteller, I still think it's a challenge to translate a message into a drawing. It's not because you bring drawings together that you have a good visual story. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work with Lily. Lily has been working for decades for magazines. When she looks at my drawing, she always asks me “Axelle, where do you want my eyes to go to, what's the one thing that people should remember looking at your drawing?” And that's a perfect question because that's how you should build up your visual story; you should think of a cover of a magazine. So what do you see when you look at the cover of a magazine? You see a title. A title that draws the attention. Below you very often see a subtitle. Then mostly you see drawings or pictures, and then you see smaller caps, smaller information that gives some context and backgrounds. And that's how your eyes go through the cover of the magazine. It might not sound familiar to you, but I bet you very often make PowerPoint presentations and it's more or less the same thing. You start with the title, then you have subtitles on your slides and then you have your bullet points. Except that a visual story is much more attractive and visually compelling than the average PowerPoint. So that's exactly how you should build up a visual story: just use everything you know and bring it to one drawing.

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