Deep Dives Level Up Newsletters Saved Articles Challenges

How to capture the art of storytelling with illustrator and animator Joey Yu

As part of our partnership with Huawei and its global smartphone photography competition Next-Image awards 2020, we spoke to Joey Yu about her craft of storytelling and her ability to capture the Positive Power of Creativity to depict fascinating narratives using a Huawei P40 Pro.

The London-based illustrator can turn the simple action of people-watching into a spectacular experience of vibrant colours and storytelling. For Yu, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or where she is, there’s always a reason to create—and always a reason to inspire others, too. In order to understand the thought process behind capturing the art of storytelling through illustration, we spoke to Yu about what it takes to capture a powerful narrative into a series of images.

Are you also a storyteller? We want to see your series of photographs! Capture a story on your Huawei smartphone and submit it to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for the chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.

Storyteller: How to create a captivating narrative with Joey Yu

For her participation in the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020, Yu picked the ‘Storyteller’ category. After all, providing a narrative and expressing emotions through a series of images is what Yu does best. “For the ‘Storyteller’ category, which is all about creating narratives I thought I would make a world inside of a world—just like a paper inception. I made a really big paper landscape, put myself inside of it while making a smaller drawing inside of it.”

Creating an immersive narrative, Yu captured a story within a story by using her smartphone in a captivating way. “Obviously, there was a lot of information I wanted to capture, preferably with a wide-angle camera lens, which the Huawei P40 Pro has. It just let me fit everything into the image—the details, the colours, the sharpness, all of that information is just packed into one image.”

Taking the meaning of storytelling as a means to record a sequence of moments in time, Yu chose to put herself within her work, and quite literally step into her own narrative as it subtly develops, one pencil stroke at a time.

How to capture the art of storytelling with illustrator and animator Joey Yu

Immersive art is part of Yu’s main inspiration, “I love that feeling of immersive art and being able to step into a painting.” Keeping this inspiration in mind in her submission for the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020, Yu wanted to highlight how important it is as an artist to be able to narrate a story using drawings and images, “I’ve taken that quite literally in what I’ve created—hopefully, it communicates.”

How to capture the art of storytelling with illustrator and animator Joey Yu

Use storytelling as a tool of its own

“I think storytelling is the reason why I do what I do today. When I was little, I would read a lot and I would take those words and those images that I was looking at. Using those to just daydream was the biggest form of magic you could get—it still is today. And being able to get so many emotions from just a few bits of paper, a single image is what I decided would be my life,” Yu told us.

As an artist, being able to tell someone’s story through illustration, film, photography—you name it—does more than captivating your audience; it allows you to express and share with the world something that would otherwise stay untold. Capturing these feelings and expressing them through whichever medium you pick is what creativity truly is about.

How to capture the art of storytelling with illustrator and animator Joey Yu

Over time, Yu started using her daydreaming nature into her craft as a tool of its own. Illustration became the perfect way of telling stories, be that her own story or any she’s created from just looking at strangers on the street. Yu elevates these familiar, seemingly ordinary aspects of life and transforms them into magical and poetic moments.

Know which creative approach you would pick to tell your story in a series of photographs? Capture a story on your Huawei smartphone and share it with the world by submitting it to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for the chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.