The 2022 Mosaic Event held at Celebration Cinema Studio Park on November 3 included a multitude of diverse speakers and interactive workshops. During the workshops, students explored a variety of digital media careers and learned valuable skills, tips, and strategies to help them become better storytellers. Among the many talented workshop hosts, was Brooks Welch, who has more than 70,000 TikTok followers.
Social Media Content Creation – Brooks Welch
Storyteller and content strategist, Brooks Welch, has over 5 years of experience in video, social media management, graphic design, and copywriting. Brooks spoke to students about how her fascination with video and content creation motivated her to create her first YouTube channel in middle school. Since then, she has co-created and hosted the Fake Deep Podcast and now leads @soulsugarjoint on TikTok with over 70k followers.
“What’s most important is to always be creating from a genuine place,” said Brooks. “Content creation fulfills my need to feel heard and seen as well as relate, belong, and connect with the community.”
Brooks provided students with tips, strategies, and encouragement to help students identify their passions and how to turn those passions into careers with TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.
In addition to the ins and outs of content creation, students were given an insider look into the world of app creation.
App Creation – Craig Bradley
As a founding board member at Casual Simulation Inc. and a partner at YETI, Craig Bradley has an extensive background in CGI and app creation. He spoke with students on how they can not only consume content but create it in unique ways.
“If we can forget how we experience content now and reimagine it as three-dimensional, there’s a lot in that space that no one has even attempted and that’s a lot of free space for you to explore,” said Craig. “If you can design an experience in a way that can be enjoyed on multiple devices, you have a new creative freedom.”
During his workshop, Craig taught students the basics of CGI and how to create and publish multiple apps. He also shared a free tool for students to use at home and continue their learning and fuel their passion for creative tech.
Whether app creation or social media, storytelling was a constant theme throughout the workshops.
Writer’s Workshop – Mike Saunders
The Arts and Tech Program Manager at WMCAT, Mike Saunders, worked with students during his workshop on how the human brain understands stories and how to use that knowledge to become better storytellers.
“A story has a beginning, middle, and end,” said Mike. “For thousands of years, we’ve been telling stories about ourselves, about things we can’t explain, and to express ourselves.”
Mike’s Writer’s Workshop taught students about motivated action and conflict in film and the three-part story arc and how to use that information to create successful stories that people will want to hear.
Next, students met DJ AB and learned the basics for developing their music-mixing skills.
DJ Skills – Adrian Butler
Adrian “AB” Butler was named Grand Rapids’ Best Band in GR Magazine and headlined The Local First Street Festival in 2012. AB hosted an interactive workshop where he taught students the basics of being a DJ and how to read the crowd and keep a party going.
During his workshop, AB had several students work on learning how to blend one song into the next by understanding how to match up the beats. He worked with each student one-on-one so they could get the feel of what it’s like to be a DJ and gave exclusive tips that only DJs know.
“When you see DJs with headphones, we’re usually listening to the next song to figure out what we’re going to play next,” said AB.
While many workshop presenters from professionals from West Michigan, students also heard from Carlos Rosas who taught his workshop virtually from Mexico City.
Editing on the Go – Carlos Rosas
In this remote international workshop, Carlos Rosas, Chief of Production at MUV, a transmedia company headquartered in Mexico City, instructed students via Zoom. He walked students through how to create and develop audiovisual content for use on different platforms.
Carlos provided students with a look at his career journey and that the path he took is an option for them too. He shared tips and strategies for VR that he learned over a decade of experience in his field and gave students an exclusive look at a day in the life as a digital creative.
Finally, students heard from Tamarra Thomas on what it’s like producing a film and being on set.
The Basics of Film Production – Tamarra Thomas
Tamarra Thomas is a Production Coordinator and Producer. She walked students through how she got to where she is and what life is like on the set of a film.
“Animation on its own can really help enhance a film and it takes a long time to complete. Life on set is the same,” said Tamarra. “We call it, ‘hurry up and wait.’ You get super busy and then nothing happens. However, those are the moments that give you the opportunity to network and meet really cool people.”
The interactive workshops at our Mosaic Event taught students a plethora of valuable skills, explored the world of digital media, and reiterated the importance of storytelling.