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ART 1014 - Narrative in Art & Design

ART 1014 is one of four module-based classes taught at East Carolina University as a part of its Shared Experiences program. In these modules, first year students are taught the principles of art and design through exposure to the twelve different mediums that the School of Art & Design offers, with three mediums per module. In this module, students learn how to develop narrative in their work through film, animation, and illustration.

Over a period of nine classes, students are taught how to craft a narrative through traditional storytelling methods through writing and visual exercises. Inspired by Chris Marker's 1968 film La Jetée, students work in groups and create a story of their own making, craft photographic images to tell their story, and use software to compile them into a final 10-minute long motion picture. Exercises and activities for this course include:

  • Tell Me A Story: students choose a photograph at random, them must write a 2-page story based off of the photograph. This exercise is used to loosen up their storytelling muscles and get them thinking about how we can tell a story based off a singular image while forcing them to study each image for all of its details and nuances in visual clues.

  • Showing Emotion in Our Work: choosing a word from a list generated by the class, each student must create two images to convey the emotion that they have chosen. One image can contain people, the other cannot. This exercise forces the students to think about how we show emotion when people are not available, and what objects, settings, and lighting can be used to convey this instead.

  • Storyboards: after working in groups to create their story, students create storyboards to visualize their stories with each student taking a different segment of the story. They isolate the key points in their portion and sketch, draw, or compile imagery to show these key points. They are also taught about using notes to describe the key plot points, moments of action, etc.

  • Visual Storytelling: students compile a list of objects that they interact with on a daily basis, with each group choosing one object from the list. From here, working with their group members, each student creates their own story centered around the object and must visualize the story in ten photographs. This exercise teaches them how to isolate and visualize the key points of their story to get the point across and see through the filler. After taking their pictures, students are shown how to compile them in Lightroom to create a motion picture.

Tell Me A Story

Click on any of the names below to read each student's story, along with their accompanying inspiration photograph.

Showing Emotion in Our Work

Visual Storytelling

Final Film Project Inspired by La Jetée

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