It’s so visually jarring for me when the art (illustrations, photos, any image) doesn’t match the words it’s paired with. Have you noticed this too? I stop listening to the story and instead unconsciously begin to focus on the trainwreck of the art. Ugh.
Older versions of classic children’s books are prime examples of this fail. Wondering what I was looking at when I thought of this post? Here it is: _The Velveteen Rabbit_ board book c .2003. It’s just…ugh. And that story is so wonderful. It was one of my absolute favorites as a little girl.
This is such an important lesson to be aware of: your story doesn’t connect with its intended audience (even if they’re just “kids”) if the images are unappealing. Or absent. That’s a huge miss. Your story should always have an image. True for everyone but especially true if you are a solopreneur, small business wunderkind or other indy worker. [Side note: these folks should also always have a blog and each post should always, always, have an image embedded in it.] Unless you are someone like Seth Godin, so respected and in such demand, that it doesn’t matter what you do. (All the more incredible that Seth always walks his talk, isn’t it?) Look to online storytellers marvels like Catherine McCord & Allie Brosh. Their posts always have accompanying images, whether video or “art”, which absolutely MAKE the story.
Telling your story without complementary images is akin to teaching by lecture only. Add in visuals, guest speakers, small group discission and all of a sudden the lesson becomes rich, interesting and memorable. Better yet, you’ve given the audience a gift that they’re more likely to remember. And that’s the whole point anyway isn’t it?