Cartoons – 3 second stories, my workshop at The Story Conference, at the University of Melbourne, November 23-25. The conference theme was ‘Influencing cultural change, one story at a time’.
Cartoons tell a compact story in 3-4 seconds of a reader’s time. Using that short opportunity is the cartoonist’s challenge. The aim of my workshop was to have participants produce their own cartoon poster to express to the rest of the conference community their thoughts about an issue that was important to them.
The workshop was in two parts. First I explained what I think are some of the principles that make an effective cartoon, how they help a cartoon connect with the reader and, using that connection, spark ideas in the reader’s head. Armed with this preparation participants then worked on developing ideas and drawing up their cartoon posters. These were put up on walls for others at the conference to see – and be influenced by!
Cartoons do have the ability, either gently or provocatively, to get their readers to question their attitudes. This questioning is an ingredient in cultural change.