Visual Storytelling – Becky Lin

Visuals are powerful. Many people believe that we see with our eyes but the truth is that we see with our brains. That means that the apple we see is actually different than the same apple the person next to us sees. What we see is ruled by our memories, our interests, our past experiences and our expectations. When we are presented a visual, the denotation is present and we perceive it but the connotation is where the true power stands because that’s how we really see things, pulling from connotation to try and interpret what the author/ artist is trying to make us feel.

The first thing that happens when we see something is we make associations with our past experiences and establish a first impression based on previously established impressions of similar things. What makes visuals so powerful is that while it can be interpreted many ways, it is also universal. Cultural differences and personal experiences influence how an individual interprets it and the details of what he gets out of a visual but the big picture will always emerge, triumphant. We see red, orange, yellow and it evokes a feeling of warmth while blue, purple and green we associate with cold things. Folded bed sheets, a sun soaked patio, chairs at a dinning room table that are a little out of place, a pair of shoes lazily scattered near the doorway, each of these have different meanings to everyone but overall there’s a sense of a lived-in home and a sense of comfort and ease. Visuals are powerful because they’re not just images shoved in front of our face but things that we have to first connect to on multiple levels in order to actually see it.

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One thought on “Visual Storytelling – Becky Lin

  1. meaganmthornton April 19, 2015 / 5:08 am

    I think you brought up a very important point. The same image is not going to mean the same thing to everyone, especially in different cultures. This is something to keep in mind when using images in any context. -Cassie Goff

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