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Visual Storytelling: A Collaborative, Interactive Workshop with Debbie Millman

March 18, 2017 @ 8:30 am - March 19, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

Visual Storytelling is the art of using language and images to convey a narrative account of real or imagined events. Historically, humans have used this sharing of experience to pass on knowledge, beliefs, values, secrets and information. Through stories we explain how things are, why they are, and our role and purpose. Stories are the building blocks of knowledge and the foundation of memory and learning. Stories connect us with our humanness and link past, present, and future by sharing all of the possible consequences and outcomes of our behavior and actions.

Visual Storytelling combines the narrative text of a story with creative elements to augment and enhance the traditional storytelling process. By design, it is a co-creative process resulting in an intimate, interpretive expressive technique. Visual Storytelling passes on the essence of who we are and utilizes both language and art. Stories are a prime vehicle for assessing and interpreting events, experiences, and concepts from minor moments of daily life to the grand nature of the human condition. It is an intrinsic and basic form of human communication. Our ancestors as far back as the cave man have been using visual stories to document and record experiences. Today, the visualization of our personal stories is an integral and essential part of the human experience.

Effective visual storytelling is a remarkable art form. In this two-day workshop, artist and writer Debbie Millman will work with a group of students interested in exploring the art of telling a story through a unique combination of images and words. In this workshop, we will investigate the ability stories have to honor the diversity and commonality of our collective human experience.

In this workshop, we will do the following:

• Work to define and refine the basic narrative structure of a story

• Plot the visual arc of a story

• Create the visual language of the story

The workshop will result in the creation of a visual story for each participant.

Requirements of participants:

Each participant of this workshop should come to the workshop with a first draft of a story or essay of approximately 500-900 words. In addition, the participants should come with creative tools they would like to use to visually express their story, i.e., paint, canvases, boards, colored pencils, crayons, chalk, chalkboard, yarn, thread, fabric, paper, journals, photographs, etc. For examples, please look at Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design, by Debbie Millman.

Named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, brand strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters. As the founder and host of Design Matters, the first and longest running podcast about design, Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators. In the 11 years since its inception, the show has garnered over a million download per year, a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and—most recently—iTunes designated it one of the best podcasts of 2015.

Debbie’s written and visual essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company. She is the author of two books of illustrated essays: Look Both Ways and Self-Portrait As Your Traitor; the later of which has been awarded a Gold Mobius, a Print Typography Award, and a medal from the Art Directors Club. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Boston Biennale, Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University, The Wolfsonion Museum and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art. She has been artist-in-residence at Cranbrook University, Old Dominion University and Notre Dame University, and has conducted visual storytelling workshops at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the University of Utah, Hartford University, Albuquerque Academy and the High School of Art and Design in New York.

Debbie is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits.

Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel, please notify us via e-mail at by Thursday, March 2, 2017. Your registration fee will be refunded less $50 processing fee. No refunds will be made after this date.

Seating is limited. Reservations will be accepted with payment only.


March 18, 2017 @ 8:30 am
March 19, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
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Type Directors Club
347 W 36th St Suite 603
New York, NY 10018 United States
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