Over years, my art (primarily photography) has matured over the years due to one thing: A good story.
It sounds simple right? Just find or write a story.
I remember making little digital video shorts with my buddies in high school. I absolutely loved the creative process from start to finish but there was always something missing...
You guessed it, a good story.
My camera movements were smooth, my edits where clean, and my lighting was ok but after I made my final rendering export, I still really had nothing.
This is when I started doing some simple research about what it takes to make a good story. Since I was a huge Star Wars fan, I have always heard about the influence writer Joseph Campbell had on George Lucas' work (especially episodes IV-VI). I soon discovered the path of the hero and the overarching storyline that has transcended various cultures and religions for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The story is simple; a hero sets off on an adventure. Along the adventure, the hero encounters many friends, mentors, and villains that test our protagonist. Through the adventure, a key revelation and transformation happens to our hero. This revelation forever changes our main character. The adventure soon ends and leaves the hero forever changed from by their experience.
In a nutshell, this is the path of the hero. When examining Star Wars, Lucas simply added new characters to the traditional hero storyline and set them forth on the path of the hero to fight the evil empire. However, this time, there were Wookies, Jawas, Lightsabers and sadly, Ewoks.
So before you start on your next piece of artwork, do some research. Delve deep within the history of your project, art piece, or animation and uncover hidden truths, conspiracies, and untold stories.
Joseph Campbell's book The Power of Myth assisted me in my quest to find a simple yet effective storyline. Perhaps you too will gain some powerful insight into your next adventure! Check out YouTube for segments of the brilliant 1988 PBS interview with Bill Moyers.