Mo-Graph Mentor

{Student Work} Tim Goodspeed : Visual Essay

This project was completed in our first online course, Introduction to Design & Animation. The project brief is titled : Visual Essay. The challenge was for students to communicate an idea of a story within the constraints of a 30-45 second video. Tim Goodspeed chose to focus on an inspirational quote from Steve Jobs.

We asked him to provide a write-up for the project. Below are his words.


The visual essay assignment allowed us complete creative freedom as long as it fit within the 30 to 45-second timeframe.  Since I do not consider myself to be much writer, I thought it best to find something that already exists and put to motion.

I wanted to find something that would appeal to a wide audience.  Possibly teach them something they did not already know, or provide insight into the world around us.  I started looking for inspiring quotes.

To keep the subject broad I focused on Creativity.  I found a lot of great quotes but landed on this one from Steve Jobs:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them.

That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. 

The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. 

I really like what he had to say and thought it would be an interesting challenge to put it to motion.  It actually turned out to be more challenging then I first anticipated.  My initial storyboard started out with a somewhat obvious conceptual approach that utilized dots and lines making multiple connections.

I worked through several versions of the piece following this approach, but ultimately felt that the look was not anything new, or interesting.

I finally arrived at the idea of utilizing a character and showing his experiences with different people, influences from books and movies, and other elements from a well-rounded person’s life.

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Then offsetting this view with that of person having too few diverse experiences.

To see more of Tim’s work check out his portfolio : Tim Goodspeed


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Tags: Motion Graphics, Motion Design, Online School for Motion Graphics, Motion Graphics Courses