What do stories look like?

I asked Ross to draw a picture to illustrate the story about bad judgement in an earlier post. I’d told him this story, not long after we got together. He didn’t remember that, of course. But he’s heard it a few times since, while I’ve been practising for Tales from the River. He drew the following:-

A pencil drawing of a troll-like old woman, smoking a pipe

…which was nothing LIKE how I’d imagined the old woman. Somehow, a part of you thinks that what listeners are seeing in their mind’s eye, is the picture you’ve got in yours. But no.

The interesting thing (to me) was that not long after Ross drew this, I went to Beyond the Border Storytelling festival, where they had life-sized figures made of felt around the place, making it look a bit magical. Here’s my favourite:-

A life-size figure of a troll-like old woman, made out of felt, sitting in a chair.

To me, this old woman looks very reminiscent of Ross’s picture. Maybe Ross and the artist had the same picture books growing up? Who knows? But it’s a nice reminder that the story people make in their heads is only partly down to what you do as a storyteller. Partly it’s down to all the things they’ve got in their heads already, which they bring with them to the story.

Ross will be sketching lots of things as we go, so look forward to his sketches, as well as story recordings, photos and blog posts.

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