EEZY PEEZY BEYOND BOOKs
I was asked by the Adobe Creative Residency application team to think about what Eezy Peezy would look like beyond a book. How might we reach out and disseminate Eezy Peezy content to the maximum number of people? How might we think bigger than a collection of books?
THE BIGGER PICTURE
The story is the important part, not the book element. Ultimately, my aim is to bring about a growing community of people who love Eezy Peezy stories, laugh with them, learn from them, talk about them, and share them with others. Eezy Peezy shouldn't be a one-way road, but rather a space where people of all ages can enjoy the stories and help each other out by explaining things further and bouncing ideas back and forth.
Without a solid community of Eezy Peezy enthusiasts, the stories and broader content would have no fertile ground to grow on. Take "Humans of New York" as an example. It didn't become a book until much later in its journey. It started off as - and still remains - a community of people eager to get into the hearts and minds of others in New York and eventually all over the world. I see Eezy Peezy's growth following a similar path: the books could be a good end output of a lot of momentum previously built online.
The Adobe Creative Residency will allow me to explore and perfect different media (e.g. learning to animate from cutting-edge animators and mentors) and think bigger and differently about how to tell these powerful stories, doing so by having me regularly interact with experts, experiment with mentors, give talks, talk about my process, and engage people in the creative process. It offers me a ground on which to experiment with different media, learn new techniques, and try new things. It takes away the need to just focus on ‘selling books’ or ‘gaining followers’. It adds highly skilled and inspiring individuals to the mix, who can help me illustrate and animate better, and make content increasingly more entertaining, relevant and insightful. The book might be one of these dissemination media at some point, but not necessarily now. It is a part of the bigger picture.
MY HOPES FOR the Residency
I aim to use my time at the Adobe Creative Residency to explore with different types of content, and see what tells the story in the best way and what gets people most interested. To do so, I would focus on creating a solid Eezy Peezy environment online, with the illustrated stories disseminated on the web, exploring what formats (still/animated; longer/shorter stories, etc) drive the most meaningful experience.
The web formats I will explore are:
1) brief graphic stories and animations that break down a broader concept into shorter, digestible snippets or scenes;
2) the Eezy Peezy interactive website;
3) an e-book to accompany material shown in (1) and (2) and test the idea of creating Eezy Peezy books before we send anything to printing.
1) Short graphic stories and animations
We could break down the book content into smaller sub-stories. These would be mini-adventures introducing sub-concepts, which come together to tell the full story of ‘The five friends go to Crypto World’ or ‘The Journey to the land of Quantum Physics’.
They would be showcased in the following mediums: an Instagram account (see below), a Facebook page, and the Eezy Peezy website.
On the web platform, these could be interactive: whenever a key concept is introduced, there’s a small question mark next to it and if one clicks it it shows an explanation in plain English of that concept.
I must note that my animation skills are limited. I lack the knowledge of animation software such as Adobe Animate or After Effects, but have played a lot with different frames on Illustrator Draw and paired that with simple animation software for iOS to create gifs. That said, I am a fast learner and I cannot think of a better place to learn Adobe Animate or After Effects than at Adobe itself, paired up with cutting-edge animation experts and mentors.
2) Eezy Peezy web platform
Instead of having a book of one specific concept, we could have different worlds that the Eezy Peezy friends travel to discover different concepts. Something like this:
Readers would enter different worlds, with a virtual map each (see image below).
Each world has different spots or attractions in the form of mini video snippets or simple graphic comics, and the five characters going on mini adventures that explain different sub-topics. For example, the Crypto World would have different spots that explain different aspects of cryptography: encryption, blockchain, open source, cryptocurrencies, internet of things, etc.
The five characters are experiencing an adventure that is allowing them to understand the concept. Although you can choose which spots you go to first and in what order, you also get to accompany the characters on their adventure, and enjoy and follow a story from start to end. Each individual short animation or illustrated comic could be shared on its own if it resonates with you or would interest your friend. However, on the web platform all snippets come together to tell a broader story.
Lastly, each of the Eezy Peezy worlds could be eventually turned into an e-book, once a community of interested and active Eezy Peezy lovers has been created. This would also help test the appetite for physical books before we even send anything to print. Sustainability-wise, the e-book could be something that users pay for. On that note, we could also brainstorm ways to make most Eezy Peezy content freely available, while offering the opportunity to subscribe for e.g. (i) exclusive content; (ii) discount on prints (if we choose to sell prints explaining some of the concepts too); and (iii) early bird access to new material.
The first step in the Eezy Peezy journey, and something that the Residency would help me push forward faster and stronger, is to get the attention, engagement and support of many people of all ages, leveraging digital and online dissemination techniques rather than more conventional book printing.
Opening up Eezy Peezy content to be web-based rather than printed on a book does create a lot of opportunity. My idea is to segment each story or adventure into smaller bits in the form of short animations and/or illustrated comics. On the website, viewers can access different worlds to see all content about a given concept. In this way, they can choose where to go but there’s a broader narrative to be followed and enjoyed.