Telling A Story With Images – Ben Holland

Storytelling through images

Storytelling is one of the most inherent parts of being human. Since the beginning of time, ancient civilizations have been telling stories with pictures. Some use a form of hieroglyphs, while others use images as illustrations. As a storytelling race, we have continually evolved from cave paintings to web pages, hieroglyphics to comic strips.

It’s imperative to remember that we wouldn’t know anything of our past without storytelling. We would have no context for our existence without nonfiction. We would have no idea how our ancestors migrated from here to there, how they learned to hunt, or how to drive a car. There are countless things in our lives–arguably everything in our lives–that we could not do, say, or learn without some sort of storytelling mechanism.

Without the storytelling desires deep inside of us, it would be rather difficult to rely on purely the written or spoken word. If you had someone explain how an automobile engine worked without moving their hands or drawing any pictures or pointing to any diagrams, how long would it take you to truly understand? And on top of that, how difficult would it be to then apply what you’ve learned (by pure abstract spoken or written language) on an actual engine repair? It would be virtually impossible, or it would at least take a very long time.

The phrase, “a picture tells a thousand words” could not be truer. We rely on images to explain things that simply could not be explained in words. The language of Emojis brings up an entirely new way to communicate as well. It brings emotion to our textual conversations, by virtually sending small hieroglyphs or icons to one another. Each Emoji acts as a letter in the alphabet of emotion. As we develop better understanding for the language that these small images portray, we’ll inevitably learn how to enhance our textual and interpersonal storytelling skills.


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