Video content, infographics, memes, social media—visual storytelling is everywhere. Throw artificial intelligence (AI) into the mix and you have a new, exciting way to express yourself.
But what exactly is visual storytelling? Where do visual storytelling and AI cross paths? And how can children start harnessing these tools? This month, BYJU’S CreatorSpace tackles these questions and more with our AI Accelerator event, featuring Piktochart co-founder and CEO Ai Ching Gho.
Our guest speaker kindly offered to chat with us ahead of the event and shared her tips for young learners interested in tech, storytelling, and entrepreneurship.
Visuals Speak Volumes
Can you think of a meme with a funny narrative that makes you laugh? That’s visual storytelling. It’s a type of narrative that relies on visual media—including graphics, images, pictures, and videos—to tell a story and elicit an emotional response. Much like traditional storytelling, it’s an excellent way for children to stretch their imaginations and exercise their creativity.
What makes visual storytelling so relevant today? Our natural ability to digest images faster than words makes visuals ideal for today’s short attention spans. Impactful visuals can also quickly grab our attention in a memorable and meaningful way. “Human beings are very relational,” explains Ching. “What comes across most are emotions, tone, and personality—that’s all part of storytelling! It’s not just the design or words that we use, but the way we communicate.”
Ching also points out that after the pandemic, “People are looking to relate to one another. So, for example, when looking for a job or an internship, it’s very important to avoid simply conveying information and instead make yourself part of your personal brand story. And storytelling helps to fuel that.”
How AI Helps Us Tell Stories
Visual storytelling takes an exciting turn when we introduce artificial intelligence to the process. Artificial intelligence, or AI, generally refers to computers or computer-controlled robots that mimic human intelligence to perform tasks. This technology is driving exciting developments across a range of creative industries, but one, in particular, stands out to Ching. “Stock photos are pretty expensive,” she says, “but lots of people need them. It can also be difficult to procure inclusive, diverse images. AI can now generate free images of people that don’t actually exist. They look extremely real!”
- Visual storytelling is the act of telling a story using visual media
- Storytelling can help fuel strong personal connections
- AI is the ability of systems or machines to perform tasks usually done by humans
How Can Your Child Start Exploring Visual Storytelling?
Out of necessity, Ching created Piktochart, an all-in-one visual content maker that allows anyone to create high-quality graphics with a few clicks. “Piktochart gives you the design and storytelling tools you need to make your stories more compelling,” explains Ching. Children can begin to build infographics, reports, presentations, and social media graphics instantly thanks to a library of sleek, pre-designed templates. In addition, a drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for any child to customize their project and assemble a visually engaging story.
For a limited time, Piktochart is offering BYJU’S FutureSchool students one year of Piktochart Edu Pro for free (a $39.99 value)!
To sign up:
- Create an account on http://create.piktochart.com
- Visit http://create.piktochart.com/plans
- Enter coupon code: Piktocreator
Please note only free individual accounts are eligible. Additional Piktochart terms and conditions may apply.
Ching’s Journey from Psychology Student to Entrepreneur
Piktochart has a broad audience ranging from students to business professions, but building a visual storytelling tool wasn’t always part of Ching’s plan. “Becoming an entrepreneur was more accidental. I actually studied experimental psychology because I was very, very interested in how human minds work and why do people behave so differently.” A year into her studies, Ching realized that a profession as a clinical psychologist wasn’t in the cards. She eventually stepped into a media marketing position at Procter & Gamble, but the move landed Ching in the hospital with a severe case of burnout. “That was when the idea of becoming an entrepreneur and building an inspiring product and work culture came about,” she says. Successfully checking those boxes, the Piktochart team has adopted the acronym HOPEFUL to express their seven core values: humility, openness, passion, excellence, fun, user-focuses, and love. “We have been very deliberate about how we treat people. To me, it’s a no-brainer to be people-centric and to invest in people more than anything else,” says Ching.
Ching’s 3 Tips for Young Learners and Parents
- For girls curious about roles in tech: Keep an open mind.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the tech space,” says Ching. “You don’t necessarily have to go into engineering. You could be an interface designer, illustrator, or specialize in sales, marketing, or PR. I would also encourage young girls to read and watch videos about their area of interest to learn if that’s a career path they would like to take.”
- For children with entrepreneurial dreams: Research your idea and validate.
While Ching admits it’s easy for entrepreneurs to fall in love with their own ideas, she stresses the importance of validating. “Check that the market has a need and that the target audience is real. So go give it a try, and don’t stop at the ideation phase!”
- For parents with a young entrepreneur: Give your child space to explore.
“At the age of 15, I was selling cookies to attend a Girl Scout Jamboree in Korea,” says Ching. “When I was 16 years old, I attended a student exchange program in Italy. Then, at 18 years old, I worked on a gap year project in the Borneo rainforest. It took my parents some time to say, ‘Okay, go!’ but my early experiences helped me understand risk-taking and build resilience.”
During the pandemic, Ching and her team started building and testing a beta video product called Piktostory. “Videos are one of the best ways for a person to tell a story. They’re emotive and carry a lot of personality,” explains Ching. “We’re integrating the two products more and more to create one visual storytelling platform.” Unlike traditional frame-by-frame editing, Piktostory allows users to create bite-size clips from a single video, webinar, Zoom recording, or virtual events. Like Piktochart, there are plenty of opportunities for customization, including text properties, video background, and subtitles. We can’t wait to see where technology takes visual storytelling next!