Updated: Feb 10

Having one semester left in the Motion Designer program at HyperIsland in Karlskrona, Sweden, I'm doing a learning-curve retrospective on all the things I've done so far. With the three essential aspects infusing the program top of mind; 1) explore and create in the motion industry, 2) develop and pitch concepts and ideas with a focus on brand and target group, and 3) hands-on craft techniques such as storytelling, storyboarding, character design, CEL animation and 2D, I'm now looking at a HyperIsland knowledge backpack that's changing my tomorrow.


For this learning-curve retrospective, I've chosen 9 areas, all connected to one of the three essential aspects. My absolute favorite area has evolved with me since the Motion Designer program's start is narrative and conveying stories. Telling stories. Storytelling. And, for me, it's not about just any story - it's about those critical stories that need to be told for us to safeguard a better future. Stories that help to bring communities and people together and tearing down barriers. All for a safe and just space.


My main insight from all of this? It's as much about the journey as it's about the destination.


Let's start!



The learning-curve retrospective - overview


Explore and create in the motion industry

Personal project


Develop and pitch concepts and ideas

Motion studio - project

Motion studio - styleframe

Concept brand treatment & production planning


Hands-on craft techniques

Life drawing & sculpture

Storyboarding

Character design & poses

Graphic design fundamentals

Storytelling



Personal Project

My absolute favorite project so far, with a lot of lessons learned! Like, how to make a good styleframe and liquid CEL animation. The Hemp On Earth project was my personal project that I ran with a classmate. Handling everything on our own, the challenge was timing and scheduling and having a common view and understanding of various creative tasks. From this experience, I feel more than ready to start work in a team and be hands-on in every creative process step. I think the learnings are suitable for me since I got a good understanding of the full creative process, from start to end. I like overviews.


Motion studio - project

This is a client project, where we have a rather large team with dedicated roles. The challenges were stress due to communication problems internally and externally. It was a lot of back and forward. From this, I learned how to make sure there is progress from feedback sessions to make the project move forward. I also learned how to handle team communication and resolve conflicts. I feel ready for more projects from this experience as I'm aware of workflows, team development, dynamics, and automation. The learnings suit me because I love the double diamond process, going through exploring and narrowing, exploring and narrowing. But also, having a better understanding of the creative processes, there are in the motion industry.


Motion studio - styleframe

The second part of the client project is the styleframe. Throughout the project, the client expectations were not clear. The client asked for a simple styleframe, with a "nordic style" home. It was hard for the team to understand, so we asked for many clarifications. However, in the end we came closer to what the client wanted: a simple shape. Also, the client preferred to only use on color of their brand identity (blue). From this I learned that it's essential to get clear client expectations, and to reassure what the client want. For this to actually happen, close communication is needed. I'm very thankful for this experience, as I think these challenges are common in many projects. I feel prepared for the future by being better at handling client expectations, and the learnings will be very helpful as I start working in the motion industry.


Development of styleframe.

Final styleframe.


Concept brand treatment & production planning

Working in a project with 5 persons, it was a challenge to keep the same graphic style throughout the production, combining 2D on After Effects and 2D CEL animation. From this experience I learned about the process of working in a creative team, keeping the good team spirit up and aligning everyone on the same page. This prepares me for the future by developing my storytelling skills, but also reminds me about the important role designers have in bringing in diversity and actively not strengthening stereotypes. The learnings are suitable for me as the focus is on collaboration, team work and communication.


Life Drawing & Sculpture

This was actually one of my first courses in the program. Life drawing and sculpture. I thought that drawing was complicated, as I'm not used to drawing at all. The first time I drew, I made everything very tiny, and I felt confused with volume and proportions. But, the course gave me a new perspective, looking for shapes, shadows, and proportions! And, I learned how to draw.

I grew the most from making a character in clay, it's a great process of creating something. From my learnings, I also created the main character in a stop-motion film. The monster (picture below) is made from clay, moss, wires, fabric, and more. My learnings are helpful for the future as they help me understand proper composition and framing.


Storyboarding

I love storyboarding and storytelling, but there are challenges to it. My drawing skills are not the best, so other people find it hard to understand what I'm drawing or meaning. But, I've learned how to make a storyboard, that makes sense, which I think is helping me a lot for the future. The better I can become in visualising my ideas and thoughts, the easier it will be to work in the future. I want to develop as an storyboarding artist, and can't wait for my next project.


Character design & poses

Designing characters and poses had a lot of challenges for me as I was new in Illustrator. I felt stressed about learning the system as I tried to make my character's clothing look normal. But, I learned a lot about how to make expressions, and how to use different tools and shortcuts in Illustrator. Now, I'm comfortable working in Illustrator for making design and developing styleframes. The learnings are suitable for me since I want to develop specifically in Illustrator and deepen my design knowledge.


Graphic design fundamentals

This was also one of the very first things I did in the program. I felt stressed because I had a brain freeze and didn't know what I wanted to do. I learned a lot about myself, what worries me and how I can manage. For me, it's been helpful to stay positive and trust the process of learning and experimenting. And, this is something that I think will help me in the future as well. Now I'm eager to learn more skills and not afraid to try new things or let my creative side think freely.


Storytelling

Yay for storytelling! Back to my favorite personal project Hemp On Earth. And, this was a challenging storytelling. Finding one focus theme only, including sustainability perspectives, a global challenge (our consumption of finite resources), and including facts on hemp as a material. Not easy, but great fun!. I learned how to do proper research for the foundation of the story, and how to frame a (sometimes) sensitive issue in a nice way. This experience have prepared me for the future since I can make a good script. I really like conveying stories with different, new or forgotten perspectives.


First script draft.

Final script.