Friday, August 9, 2013

Guest Post: Author Crystal Favel (The Digital Storyteller)

Crystal Favel has reached out to over 400,000 fans in hopes to inspire the world through motivational writing, speaking and production events.  To contribute to the solidarity of the Native Community she founded her own production company, “Urban Indian Productions Inc.” She is a proud member of the Cree/Métis/Irish nation, born in North Vancouver and currently residing in Vancouver, BC.  Her trail blazing ideas and projects exude innovation and excellence as she follows in her ancestral footsteps and writes her heart out in prose and inspirational communication products.  She has 20 years of technology experience, 10 years leadership experience, several awards, certificates and milestones that validate her mission and positive attitude. 

By the time she was 18 years old she had several of her published works featured.  Such examples of interviews, book reviews and conference reports were published by Beedaudjimowin as she captured the essence of Aboriginal issues in her articles.  In the past seven years her writing has been published by Indigenous Writers Collective, Windspeaker, Beedaudjimowin, Spirit Magazine, Lac De Flambeau, Thirdspace University of Victoria, and Transport Canada.  She was also featured in SAY Magazine, Aboriginal Business Quarterly, AfroToronto, Windspeaker, Barrie’s Bay News, CANDO, RPM, CBC, Much Music, Aboriginal Voices Radio, Ryerson Radio, C-WMEB Radio, Native Threads and Native Wear as a motivational Artist advocating positive change on a multimedia platform. 

Her story composition and sound design skills have been utilized for Aboriginal films such as “Sky Stories” which was showcased at the HR McMillan Planetarium for three years.  This film was showcased to grade 9 students as part of their curriculum as they learned about First Nation Sky Stories and atmospheric legends.  Crystal not only produced sound effects and electronic music clips for the film, but she also creatively compiled all the files to give birth to a multimedia montage of Aboriginal stories thus launching her career as “The Digital Storyteller.” Since then she has nurtured her own Aboriginal stories into modern works of audio art that highlight her inspirational message in her writing.  The fusion between technology and her writing has fuelled a leading edge career for Crystal that has impacted the hearts and minds of thousands of people leaving them asking for more. 

“Master the heart of moving on and reach for the stars!”

How/why did you start to write?

I started writing at the tender age of 3 and won a story contest for my “Spooky Story” for Halloween. I still have the story in my writers’ portfolio and take a glance every now again to reminisce about the happiness it brought to my life.  I was first published by the age of 18 as a Photo Journalist for a Native newspaper.  I started writing because my father was a publisher and accredited author lobbying for the rights of Aboriginal People.

How did you become an author?

I became a published writer when I took on an internship at Beedaudjimowin Newspaper reporting on Native Issues.

What was your first published piece?

My first published piece was called “The Earth Our Mother”

 Where was it published?

Toronto Ontario Canada

How long ago?

21 years ago

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

My writing has always utilized in any career I took on.  Even when I was a Technology Officer for Transport Canada and wrote feature articles; I always craved sharing my written word on subjects that should be celebrated.

Also, in the past 12 years I have been a professional DJ and even won a DJ contest.  During my DJ and production career I have utilized my writing by publishing interviews, features and stories that were later converted into soundscapes.  But as of right now my writing has defined my career path and I have taken the leap to focus on my writing fulltime.  I am now digitally telling stories that I have written and produced them with a sound score and narrations.
What inspires you?

I am inspired by my traditional teachings which have helped me create stories of unbelievable change and resiliency.  I am inspired by the loved ones around me who only want the best for me.  I am inspired by all humans who overcome adversity and shine.  I am inspired by my willingness to live another day despite the challenges I have had to overcome.  I am inspired by my friends who want to share me with the world.  I am inspired by my fans who tell me stories about how my music and writing affects their life in such positive ways.  I am inspired by Mother Earth, the Creator and my Ancestors for the love and acceptance they show me.  I am inspired after reading survival stories and realize how lucky I am to be alive.  I live to inspire youth to overcome their hardships and reach for the stars.

Please share one of your successful author platform building technique

As a Digital Storyteller I have the ability to DJ, produce music composition and sound design to illustrate my story.  For example, when you go to watch a movie you have sound effects, foley and narration/scripts.  I mix the music with the narration in a live performance so that you hear the story through the speakers and use your imagination to paint the visuals through auditory stimulation.  Because I am able to perform my stories, I am able to market my stories through performing arts.

Parting words

“May the young ones learn from our mistakes without suffering from them.”

Upcoming book

“Speaks From The Heart”

Speaks From The Heart provides a glimpse into the world of a young mixed-blood with the heart of a female warrior.  Cedar Woman is haunted by the memories of her torturous youth while suffering horrific family abuse.  This anti-bullying message is based on her own life experiences, each situation delicately woven into a basket of universal Aboriginal teachings, carrying the weight of the world, yet with the resiliency to overcome adversity and to shine. 

Crystal Favel aka The Digital Storyteller

Press Coverage:

1. "Crystal Favel revealed all the personal challenges she had to overcome in her life; this is what a delegate said about her story "it was from the heart. I'm very proud of her effort."
Delilah Mah - Cando News

2. "Crystal is a special woman who has a lot to offer her people."
Priscilla George – Beedaudjimowin

3. "Blazing Trails"
Laura Stevens - Aboriginal Business Quarterly – AMMSA

4. "Crystal is an astounding person because of her passion and sheer determination and is a very supportive individual."
SAY Magazine

5. "Spiritual Turntablist"
Tanya Bailey - Afro Toronto

6. One of the top “5 Aboriginal electronic acts to watch for in 2012”
John Paolozzi - CBC Radio 

7.  “Cree/Métis artist Crystal Favel, aka DJ Kwe, infuses Aboriginal sounds with electronic music. She spins beats, scores films, writes prose and shares her story through musical, multi-media montage – a practice that earned her the moniker “The Digital Storyteller”. Her Wax Warriors movement encourages and represents youth who also turn to turntables for musical expression – her own path in music trail-blazing the way for others to follow.”