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Story Setup

Choose a Title about Parenting


Here's an example for inspiration

Make a visual story about your experience parenting young people of all ages. You can do this whether you are a new parent, or the parent of adults and everything in between. It might be especially useful to do it before you have children. Below, you'll find some ideas for titles of your story. You can use one of these, or be inspired to make your own.

Title Ideas:

    A Good Day as a Parent

    A Good Parenting Moment

    A Bad Parenting Moment

    A Bad Day as a Parent

    Modeling Behavior

    A Good Parent

    My Child(ren)'s Experience of Me

    Who My Child Is

    Anatomy of A Conflict

    What's Important to Me as a Parent

    What I'd Like for My Child(ren)

    My Life After Kids

    My Life Before Kids

    My Life When They Leave

    Helping My Troubled Child

    Grief For My Child

    Separating From My Child(ren)

    What I Want to Let Go Of

    What My Child Gives Me

    I Don't Want to Burden My Child/ren With...

    What I Want My Child/ren to Know

    How I Can Be Better

    What My Parents Did/What I Want to Do For Mine

    Breaking Old Patterns

    Don't Parent This Way

    My Disappointment

    When I Get Mad

    Frustration Unleashed vs Not Unleashed

    What I Want My Child to Take into Their Future

    My Troubled Child

    Helping My Troubled Child

    My Family Dynamic

    A Time I Felt Like a Good Parent

    A Time I Felt Like a Bad Parent

    A Significant Moment

    What Happened Yesterday

    Ways I'm Good Enough

If you are ready to make your BioGraff, you can return to the guide book, or continue reading instructions here on your phone.


Story Setup and Structure

Each person needs some plain paper and a pen


Your story deserves a sturdy support. Consider putting a hardcover book

or cutting board behind it, in case you want to move it around,

which you might.

Write the title you chose at the top. Draw a frame around the edge of your paper. 

This is the canvas for your visual story.


Now, think of the parts of this story and list them somewhere under the title. These parts can be thoughts, feelings, events, actions, objects, desires, circumstances... anything you need them to be. You don't need to use a lot of words - just enough so that you know what you mean. Think of it as a placeholder for a big concept.


It's natural to want to write the whole story on the page. Challenge yourself to stay with the visual. And don't worry: you can tell more of what each cube means when you tell your BioGraff story later.


Assign each one a color. 

It might look something like this:



Your Story Style

Now you are ready to tell your visual story. Look through the BioGraff Storyboard Style cards for examples of how to do that.


Every story has a structure - think about how a movie sometimes shows you one scene, then goes back in time to tell how the protagonist got into that mess. Or a story is from one particular person's point of view, and then switches to another point of view. 

A visual story has a structure too. Even a single image. 

BioGraffs started out as an interactive art installation. Over the course of two years, we asked over a thousand people to tell a visual story using cubes to stand for parts of the story. Common strategies emerged. These eight cards represent the strategies we observed people using, and might help you think through how you want to represent your own story.

One of these styles might work for the story you want to tell, or you might have a style of your own in mind. 

Read more about what the Storyboard Styles card mean

10 style cards .png

Build your BioGraff however makes the most sense to you. Once you've decided what the colors mean, you are done with words. Let your instinct guide how you lay out the cubes. Let metaphor take over and express meaning in the cubes' relationships to one another.

As you become more experience building these visual stories, you will begin to see new ways to express your internal stories in a visual way.

Read more about what the Storyboard Styles mean


Sharing Your Story

You'll want your camera once again to take a picture of your BioGraff.


You might want to share your BioGraff story with a significant person, or your therapist. Your creation now becomes a visual aid that anchors your story. Tell the story it represents; say more about what each cube means, and why you laid them out the way you did. 

The visual gives you a way to zero in on details, but easily return to the big picture. It invites curiosity from the person you are sharing 

your story with.

It gives you a way to tell the whole story.

You might want to make another BioGraff, or even another one with the same title and a different Style Card. See what else can be revealed.

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