Abiyoyo Story Arts

What's your story?

You're afraid of something.

Afrofuturist Abiyoyo...

Confront that blank page with your pencil!

Pete Seeger inspired us with music and storytelling. He encouraged us to work together and confront difficult problems, to find truly creative solutions and make our world a better place to live.

Join Pete's legacy of courage and creativity. Make up your own story about a kid who's not afraid of a scary giant! You might be a little kid yourself, or a parent, or teacher, or a future writer, or artist.

Confront a scary giant.
A good story offers us a problem to solve. Figure out what problem you want to confront in your story. Visualize that scary, giant problem as an imaginary character. Make your character look mostly different from Abiyoyo, but just as big of a problem as Abiyoyo.

Remember the little guy (who overcomes a giant)
Now imagine the little guy who overcomes your giant. This hero character will discover how their individual talent and courage solves the big bad problem. Write a list of words describing your kid hero.

The blank page
All you really need is a pencil and paper. Sometimes staring at that blank page, or your empty computer word document, can be very intimidating. It seems so vast and such a huge problem. All your giant fears, right there. Even if you don't think of youself as a story teller or an artist (yet), start filling your blank page with little sketches made of simple lines and shapes.

On the same page, jot down a few words describing the characters you are dreaming up. Is the big guy a bully, mean girl, boss man, or a stranger? A sketchbook page can seem like a cluttered mess, but it can become a beautiful treasure trove of verbal and visual inspiration.

A story needs an arc.
Your story will have a beginning, middle and end. Imagine your brave underdog character confronting your giant and overcoming all odds to win the day. In scene 1 the hero meets the giant, scene 2 the hero confronts the giant, scene 3 the hero makes the giant dance. Start with these 3 scenes, but add more if you want.

Start where you are right now.
You may live in Chicago, Illinois, or in Brooklyn, New York USA or in a township of Gqeberha, South Africa. You have a story to share. How 'bout if your story takes place in your home town? In your story, YOU can be the child who saves the day! Tell us what happens when a kid a lot like you saves your town from a scary giant.

Have fun adding details from the world around you: someone else who lives in your neighborhood, a family pet, sights and sounds you see and hear every day. Make the story all your own.

Doodle a sketch.
Draw a picture. Start with simple character shapes. Create a cool looking silhouette. Give your scary giant a name. Make sure he really looks scary. Well, maybe not too scary. You can mix scary with a little silly. It's really up to you. Create an original character, it belongs to you. Tell the story your own way. Make this character all your own.

Once you turn your fear into a character, you'll see your giant problem from a new point of view. You'll have a special new power over that scary giant. You can objectify your fear and imagine a creative response to this problem.

Great artwork starts with an image in a someone's imagination, but then marked out with a few pencil strokes on a piece of paper. Study your favorite artwork in illustrated picture books and comic books. Imagine how the artist first marked out that work.

Keep a skecth book or note book.
All great art and writing started with a few words or images in someone's imagination. It might be a few words which come up in conversation. Jot down ideas sparked by bits of conversation in a note book, or type it up on a smart phone. You can remember lots more of your great ideas if you just jot down a few short-hand notes or draw a simple little thumbnail sketch to fix your ideas into your memory.

Start anywhere you'd like.
You can start your story anywhere you find an inspiring idea. Some kids start their story with words–write it down and read it out loud. Some like to make up a tune and sing it out loud. Some kids start their story with pictures–in sketches, photos, video or computer graphics. Some kids like to act out their story and create a dramatic stage performance.

Make up a tune.
Make up a tune and free style some verse. Make up a magic word.

Drum up a rythmic beat.

Improvise a dramatic sketch with your friends. Dress up in costume, photograph yourselves and draw cartoon pictures of your costumes.

Start anywhere you'd like and go from there.

Make your giant dance!
Now make you scary giant dance! Make your fears act silly, even if just for a moment. Are you having fun yet?

Listen to stories.

Read stories.

Make up your own.
Jot down a few words. Doodle a drawing.
Grow your ideas into something big.

Afrofuturist Abiyoyo...

Abiyoyo Story Arts