What is your essential idea?
What is your essential idea?

What is your essential dramatic idea?
stone soup creative
Happy Holidays - snow falling
Dear Friend,
Did you hear the recent This American Life episode about magic shows?

The host talks with the well-known magicians Penn & Teller, and Teller tells him about this new trick he was developing a few years ago, using a ball and a hoop as props. Penn doesn’t like the trick, it feels bland to him. He asks Teller: “What is the essential dramatic idea?” So Teller goes back to the drawing board and re-works the idea more successfully (which takes him like nine months), this time with “a little bit of a story. It gives it emotion.”

Which got me thinking about the ubiquity of stories. Magic needs stories. Brands need stories. Images need stories, too. Most of my work is spent listening to words, to stories, and pairing them with visuals. Stories provide meaning. They help people care. They answer the question, “Why does this matter?”

Stories are better if they are personalized. One of my stories from 2020 is that I finally finished my MFA (see the video below of me giving an interview in the University Art Gallery, surrounded by my exhibition). When I first started going down this academic path four years ago I wrote a blog about it, and now - I'm done. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this degree, so I guess the story’s not over.

This past year was a lot of things. Looking back, if you had to tell your personal story from 2020, what would be your essential dramatic idea? What emotions would you evoke? What visuals would you use? Will your story for the new year be different?

Happy holidays, friends!
What is Graphic Recording? Julia's interview at the university art gallery
Julia's interview in the University Art Gallery
Surrounded by my work in the exhibition – the culminating project for my MFA – I was interviewed about my work as a graphic recorder.

Julia Reich of Stone Soup Creative is a graphic recorder, branding consultant, and graphic designer

Some of the clients Julia's been working with lately include Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Health Data Outpost, and the SOZOSEI Foundation.

Learn more about Julia and Stone Soup.

If you're ready to get started with a creative project, let's talk
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