Digital Narrative Projects

Fairy tales provide a rich starting point for a digital media project. Passed down from oral storytellers through literary traditions to new media, they are always altered by retelling to reflect the needs of the storyteller and the aesthetics of the time. Because the story is so well known, it can be altered significantly and still remain resonant and recognizable to the contemporary audience.

Spring 2008 Digital Studio 1 students worked in teams to develop new versions of well worn tales. After presentation of individual storyboards and design concepts, students voted on the best ideas to move forward on. Teams generated 10 images that could tell their updated fairy tale or myth. Results took a range of final output formats, from digital movies to hand bound books.


Rumplestiltskin story images

by Jared Wick, Kevin Kramer and Max McGruder


image by Jared Wick


3 thoughts on “Digital Narrative Projects

  1. I really enjoyed working on this project individually and then converging with two other, very different designers/artists from myself, and erecting a contemporary visual story from a classical story. My original idea was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis, something that I had read in an art history class– I chose to select the story of Venus and Adonis because it’s a familiar tale– Venus struck by Cupid’s arrow, first sight at love kind of thing. I had the most fun& growth as an artist in the stage of story boarding and designing during the individual process. I felt like I had learned to make myself organized, which helped me construct stronger concepts and techniques. Moreover, I feel like this project helped me to develop a stronger artistic style in my work– which is a goal I wished to accomplish! When it came time to present to the class our individual ideas, I really hoped mine didn’t get voted on because there were some really cool story ideas… but needless to say, I had to carry on the life of Venus and Adonis and make it into something really effective and understandable, and achieve the design standard. The challenges I faced in this project included getting the meaning behind the story across to the audience; developing an appropriate format (which we unfortunately did not succeed in, I feel– but hey, we learned some other important things about ourselves as cooperative designers!); personally, I was challenged by being the “dictator” of the project… I like the managerial aspect of it– making sure my team knew what they had to do, or if they needed help with anything, and keeping things organized. But I didn’t like having to give my opinion to them on their work– I understood that we all have different styles of design, but I didn’t want to be too harsh on anyone and make them change it. Fortunately enough, my partners were able to adapt to the style I had planned for the project, but still gave their own personal touch. The thing we failed to accomplish was formatting the images into an iMovie with special effects and animation… with a bit more time I could have struggled through the tech skills deficiency obstacle… but we just ended up formatting the project into a basic slideshow with music. I was really impressed by the class’ variations of story formats, and their effective and cooperative work as a team. Overall, I feel like this project helped us all to develop adept artist styles and technological skills.


  2. One of my favorite stories of all time has to be Beauty and the Beast. I thought it would be a good story to choose. I wrote out main points of the story and got it down to ten. After looking at the 10 main points I tried to relate them to current events or more updated times. I thought of the Apple vs. P.C. argument. I then made the beast the P.C. and continued my story from there. As far as the design part I kind of used the Apple commercial idea, the simple background with the characters as being the focus.
    When I was put in Megan’s group I was really excited to work on her project. The storyboard she created was very detailed and colorful I really liked the fun colors. After we got into our groups we split up the images and decided to each work on three images from the story. We used the color scheme that we started with but toned down some of the colors so the posters weren’t too overwhelming. Megan also created a pattern that e used throughout the posters. We also decided to take the images and created big 11×17 size posters because the colors were so bright. Some problems we ran into were the direction of the images. They were all different directions so we had to change some of them, which was very challenging and sort of distorted the images. We took time to fix up the distortions and make the images work. When the group finished images we critiqued each other to help unify them.
    Our team did a really good job of working together and making the piece look as one. We took lots of time comparing images and making points of unity through them all like color scheme and a bubble pattern we used. Using those techniques our project became very unified. As for surprise I think the story Megan used is a surprise in itself. It’s a very different version from the Disney version. The colors we used are so bright and psychedelic the images are a surprise.
    In this project I complete my three images in a timely fashion. I used Megan’s images and completed them with the color pallet we choose and the pattern that is throughout all of the images. After my images we done I helped critique other images and fix up everyone’s. The three images I did were Drowning, Love, and Storm. Each of us really spent a lot of time on our three images and getting them to fit the vertical form.
    I really love our finished project. The colors on the poster are amazing. They are so bright and out there. After critique in class we decided on some things to change, which I think will really complete the project. Ideas from the class like connecting the images through imagery that goes through all of the pieces. We also decided to get rid of the text which will make the piece seems less constricted. Overall I think my team did a great job cooperating and presenting the posters as Psychedelic looking which we really pulled off with our color scheme and design choices.


  3. I could not have asked for two better partners for this project. I learned more from this project than any other this semester, technically and interpersonally. I had never worked in a group on an art project before and I am glad that I did. Taking someone else’s idea and design plan took some getting used to, but after the first day we all were working together great. I really liked Jared’s style and had a lot of fun working within it. Everyone brought there own style and adapted it well to the design plan. I think the book created unity throughout the piece and was a strong idea on Jared’s part. Working in teams is a skill that people use in the workforce as well as in everyday life and having the chance to do so in a classroom environment gave me insight as to what it would be like in the workforce.


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