Tag Archives: storymaking

Palau Storyboards – Remixing ancient art style for storytelling

In Palau (an archipelago of islands in Micronesia), the artisans make remarkable relief-carved wooden boards – appropriately called “storyboards”.

Paluan Story Board
Example of a Paluan storyboard (not my photo) via World Where You Live Flickr

This idea of creating a loose/non-linear narrative to visually accompany an oral story was the spark that ignites did my whole public speaking/story making style.

staticmontage-2-palau-storyboard
Modern storyboard about Palau by Dave Olson

When I wander far, I rarely take a camera beyond a disposable unit but instead, chronicle my journey through assembling ephemeral artifacts which then become scrapbooks and/or storyboards of a kind.

In this example from Palau, you’ll see a mix of disposable camera snapshots printed on distressed hemp paper along with various tickets, shells, lighters, maps, newsclippings, stickers, stamps etc. plus… I wrote a brief narrative structure on Japanese rice paper envelopes, and then assembled the whole collection on green hemp canvas attached to a wooden cradle — then added paint, straw, bits of dead coral and so on.

I went there with little knowledge, no plans, and few expectations but managed to hop between islands on various intermittent ferries hauling drums of diesel, small plane, random boats and goodwill of others.

Caught in a tent in a rainstorm on Anguar, made a driftwood fire for fish, tromped to the top of bloody nose Ridge on Pelilu, saw tanks resting in the jungle and sealed up a escape tunnels, drinks at Jeff’s pirate cove in Koror… Met a friend and helped deliver mail to a live aboard dive boat then surfed a dangerous coral break, scuba dove solo at blue corner (saw sharks turtles and the very middle of the earth), free dove for a giant clams and cooked the giant clam meat on a little fire on a perfect tiny island.

Saw the Southern Cross, bought a handmade wooden spear gun, plus a hand fishing reel with thick line for trolling off a boat or casting from shore and traded dive masks for kayak rides and packets of zigzags for local herbs (which were exceptional) and used comically large shells as ashtrays.

The old folks on the islands spoke Japanese so I was able to hear stories of the occupation, traditions and life during wartime without filter of go-betweens. I am Magent the tens of thousands of lives lost in meeting last battles as I rumble down potholed airstrips made pre-World War II while the plane literally drops off the edge of a cliff before catching itself while waves crash below.

This was just before the bridge collapsed between the island with the small airport which connects to the capital “city.”

I went deep down their historical rabbit hole and learned of their tussles with foreign fishing fleets, nuclear submarines, handoffs between colonial powers > United Nations > and finally (re)independence, plus their pushback against encroaching tourist hotels and the deep respect for their natural environment.

The hundreds of islands look like heads of broccoli and the people have a remarkable combination of a sense of the outside world while maintaining their traditions and culture without giving into the shiny temptations of material trappings.

This is all. I planned to return for too many years now and, hesitated to tell anyone about this because I want to vanish here perhaps.

Sharing “Oft-Forgotten Vancouver Stories” at Northern Voice 2013

Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen
Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen

I’m speaking at noted, long-time personal expression/blogging conference: Northern Voice, this time held at Museum of Vancouver. I’m bringing an old-timey suitcase and possible costume changes.

Details and tickets are at northernvoice.ca but basics are: June 14-15 (my gig is last on Saturday, 15th 3:30-4:30) at Museum of Vancouver (same building as the Planetarium with the crazy metal crab out front).

Blurb: Vancouver, The Untold Stories 

The core of personal expression is in the stories we create. Indeed, we humans are defined by the stories we tell and the people we tell them to. No matter what form your stories take – digital or analog – they come alive when shared with an audience.

By exploring an oft-forgotten and eclectic variety of Vancouver stories, Northern Voice veteran (this is his 10th talk) Dave Olson @uncleweed, will send you on personal quests to discover new heroes, sort out conundrums, and collaborate with other storymakers to and remix artifacts from our local life. Along the way, you’ll explore forms your mixed media stories might take, and ways to share with audiences you’ve yet to meet.

Start your journey by finding inspiration and interestingness in the  history of our own Vancouver, perhaps: forgotten breweries and legendary blues venues, wealthy recluse at the Bayshore, intrepid punk rock photographer, bohemian group of seven painters, storytellers past and future, true heavyweight champ in an unmarked grave, a dead Hollywood star and his grisly autopsy, stoner comedians’ first meeting, Jimi/Janis/Jerry, summer of love shakedown #nofun, Sammy Sr. at the Cave, Jello at the York, everyone at the Buddha,  and a host of our distant forebears and peers.

Your speaker Dave grew up in Guildford > Whalley > Newton and now lives in Lynn Valley and works in Mt. Pleasant – while he’s spent time in 29+ other countries – he takes distinct interest in getting lost in neighbourhoods seeking craft ales, chill gardens and curious tales. You may have caught him sharing at Pecha Kucha, SXSW, TedX or local community clubs.

History:

For the record, my previous talks were:

  1. Blogging your Passion (with Rachel Ashe, Andre Charland and …)
  2. Three Ps of Podcasting (intro’ed by Roland Tanglao)
  3. Crazy Canucks panel (with John and Rebecca Bollwitt, JJ Guerrero, Alanah McGinley)
  4. Fuck Stats, Make Art (dedicated to Derek K Miller)
  5. Story of a Story (Letters from Russia)
  6. Rock n Roll Photo (with Kris Krug and Bev Davies)
  7. Citizen Journalism and Vancouver 2010 Olympics (with Robert Scales, Andy Miah, Kris Krug, Debbie Lander)
  8. Japan photo project (with John Biehler’s photo camp)
  9. Finding your Voice with Storymaking (delivered via video due to hospitalization)
  10. Vancouver: The Untold Stories (with you, i hope)

My blurb follows, perhaps we’ll see ya there? Oh, a load of my pals are spieling too.

 

“Finding your Voice” Storymaking Spiel from Northern Voice 2010

On a field trip to his home studio in Lynn Valley, storymaker Dave Olson discusses his creative process and thoughts about how to spark new ideas and craft interesting artifacts.

After welcoming you like Mr. Rogers, he plays records, pours tea, shows static montages from Palau, and pulls out all sorts of projects from grade school country reports to Cannabis Culture articles. Finally he shows books by heroes who provided solace and wisdom and then sends you back to the bus stop.

Filmed, Directed, Edited etc. by Andrew Lavigne
Music by The Numbskulz and Black Tories

Presented at Northern Voice personal expression conference in Vancouver, Canada, May 9, 2010.

More: Remarks, reviews and artifacts of Storymaking at Northern Voice

“Finding your Voice” Storymaking Recap from Northern Voice 2010

I lay out my best stuff at Northern Voice – a Vancouver personal expression conference full of familiar faces and free thinkers which allows me to experiment with both my form and message.

Storymaking prezo at Northern Voice 2010 By @nbloom

I kept my string of 5 years alive {Rock N Roll Photo panel, Letters from Russia prezo, F@ck Stats Make Art prezo, Canucks podcast panel, “Bob Dylan” Podcasting prezo, Blogging your Passion panel} with this year’s contribution delivered via video while i was recuperating from a surgical procedure.

While sad not to be there, my sprits were buoyed by the kind words via Twitter etc. from folks who made it by to see the video in panel along with my pal Monica Hamburg delivering thoughts about Finding your Voice Online.

I was physically weary after a surgery and run down while shooting but this condition perhaps helped in capturing significant honesty from me. As such, I hope my words offer you solace and inspiration. Special dedication to my Mom who wrote the bit in the baby book.

Video

The video was made by a frequent collaborator during production of With Glowing Hearts, Andrew Lavinge. Music was from my standbys: The Numbskulz with “Doggie” & The Black Tories with the intro to “Pretty Like Gasoline”.

Dossier

Panel: Finding your Voice Online

photo by Ariane Colenbrander

Finding a creative voice which personally fulfils and inspires others begins with growing comfortable with your own stories and their related artifacts. In a field trip to his home studio in Upper Lynn Valley, storymaker Dave Olson (AKA UncleWeed) extols important keys to creativity over a cuppa tea before sharing creative project example from childhood to present. Along with explaining how each endeavour shaped his voice for a contemporary stream of mixed media personal expression, he shares key influences via shelves full of heroes who provided solace and wisdom.

Monica Hamburg will help you decide how to shape your online voice, what good blog writing means, and how to write in a way that will convince readers to care about your blog (“C’mon! My cat is sooo cute, right?”).

Pics

See Flickr photos tagged uncleweed and nv10

King Tut Science Fair project as per anecdote – photo by my Mom

Blog Round up

Inspired & Inspiring « Give Music

Also, in today’s 2010 Northern Voice conference on blogging and social media,Monica Hamburg and Dave Olson did a fantastic job of encourging practice, honing skill, taking risks, and being true to self so I’ll do just that and maybe I’ll get somewhere.

NorthernVoice 2010 « gotcurls

One of my favorite presentations was Finding your Inner Voice by Monica Hamburg and Dave Olson. It was funny, engaging, and told an incredible story, one that each person could relate to. Dave wasn’t able to make the session so he sent in a video. When they were setting up the video I honestly thought “Oh man, I should bail out of this now and just get in line early for lunch.” I really wasn’t expecting much from a video presentation.  Fortunately I decided to stay.  Here is Dave Olson’s video.

So if you watched this video, which I hope you have, you probably thought it was pretty frackin’ hysterical and creative. I, like Dave, loved writing stories as a kid and I loved art work. My mom set up a special room for us in our home where my sister and I could sit at our art table and work on any project we wanted. She had an art box for us full of glitter (a parent’s worst nightmare), scissors, glue, construction paper, paints, markers, stencils, and pencils. As long as we cleaned the art table after crafting we were able to create anything we wanted. Our laundry room was converted into our art gallery. Random drawings and paintings were taped onto the laundry room cupboards and strung along the ceiling. Dave Olson’s video reminded me that of my art room and art box, I honestly had forgotten about it, or perhaps just haven’t thought about it in such a long time.

Northern Voice 2010… Just A Beginning… – Bob Songs

Dave Olson and Monica Hamburg gave a great Multi-Media session on “Finding Your Online Voice“. Great insight into finding inspiration.  All Bloggers have run into the “What do I write about” and “How should I writer about it” questions. I (and other Crazy Cat people) found it funny, how on Day One, every session made a reference to Crazy Cat people.

Northern Voice 2010 takeaways – Random Dude

Dave Olson says “Take Risks and Hone your Craft with practice. Your voice comes out of your personal experiences.

Northern Voice 2010: The Great, the Meh and the Ugly – Kim P Werker

One of the themes of the conference (no, I don’t actually think the organizers ever actually said the conference had a theme) was about finding your voice. Kimli and Steff certainly reiterated what I hear was said during Monica Hamburg’s and Dave Olsen’s session called, ba-dum-bum, Finding Your Voice. I missed that session because I made the regrettable decision to attend the Copyright and Online Expression talk instead (more later on how bad a decision that was). The chatter on Twitter, however, indicated the voice session was very much loved and adored.

Northern Exposure – Design Faire

Next up, was one of my favorite sessions by Monica Hamburg and Dave Olsen on Finding Your Voice. Monica’s witty presentation left me with the confidence to know that although I may suck at blogging right now, writing more, reading more, and writing more will make me better (I hope!). Oh and having good grammar and hygiene helps too! And don’t forget to spellcheck!

Dave Olsen, aka @UncleWeed came to us via satellite (ok, it was pre-recorded) from his mansion on the hills (North Vancouver). Somehow Uncle Weed seemed to be channelling Mr. Rogers and the resemblance was uncanny. His wisdom was perhaps no less instructive than the late Mr. Rogers. Blogging is about storytelling. Regardless of the medium, voice can only be found when we find the stories within and learn to tell them. And in the wise words of Uncle Weed, it’s 80% meditation, 10% execution, and 10% inebriation.

Blogging: Find Your Online Voice with Monica Hamburg – Tech Linz

oh and Dave, the audience was in stitches with your video (pun intended!).

The Genius Kids at Northern VoiceSpeak When Illuminated

In Storymaking with Dave Olson, we followed Dave on a journey through his own personal artifacts and heard how he uses them as inspiration for current projects. You can follow him at Uncleweed.net This talk made me want to run home and start mucking about with paint and random boxes of collectables.

Twitters

berryshine – craft+intent/integrity=art (re: Dave Olson) – 9:34 PM May 16th

sleslie – @uncleweed‘s “storymaking” video for #northernvoice is really fantastic http://bit.ly/9Az7zD be brave, take risks, let it percolate – 9:43 AM May 13th

rickvug – The always entertaining @uncleweed on finding your voice online

: http://is.gd/c31YA (hint: take risks + hone your craft) #nv10 – 11:30 AM May 10th

quinnhigurashi – @uncleweed is very inspiring. Thanks, and hearts for you. http://ht.ly/1IUwG – 9:56 PM May 9th

anitawebster – @uncleweed Really loved video you made for us at #nv10. Slippers, tea – all of it. Get well soooon! 9:36 PM May 9th

stephen_rees – @uncleweed and you both did a great job! I really enjoyed the movie #NV10 #northernvoice10 – 5:14 PM May 8th

Miss604 – You should watch the With Glowing Hearts trailer http://wghthemovie.ca (I want to hug @aprilfilms & @uncleweed right now) #nv10 #olympics – 2:10 PM May 8th

See more background at The Vancouver Observer: Sparking creativity by taking risks and practicing craft