As you may remember Brian Gossett recently came back to Houston to give a presentation about the evolution of his work at the beloved St. Arnold Brewery. His lecture was straight forward and understandable as he brilliantly correlated his career as a creative with his hairline.
I’ve been to many presentations and must say this was one of my favorites. Not just because I’m a motion graphics devotee, but because his lecture was full of realism. No sugar-coated words, but only truth. Brian took us through his beginnings, successes, dry spells, and yes, even the times he got fired. As a young professional I found myself relating to his struggles and took his advice as a motivational tool to keep on “doing” and never, as he would say, coast.
Once you’ve become comfortable with your work you may find yourself without any momentum. Just like riding down the freeway without breaking or pushing the gas. And, of course, that’s never a good sign since drive is a major component in having success.
Brian also covered his experience and perspective on motion graphics, which I was personally excited about. There has always been much confusion about what motion graphic design is, and if we can legitimately view it as a professional field of work with the title of motion designer.
Because it is a new and ever-changing niche in the industry, it is difficult to comprehend but Brian did a wonderful job explaining it to a room full of strangers. Taking us through his thought process with simple and enjoyable analogies, he mentioned how motion designers wear many hats because they must go beyond the two-dimensional realm. Similar to what Matt Woolman said in his book, Motion Design, ‘Motion graphics design is not a single discipline. It is a convergence of animation, illustration, graphic design, …. [film making], sculpture and architecture to name but a few.’ And it wasn’t until I headed back to my apartment from Brian’s presentation I came to the realization that maybe that’s the beauty of this field — an unclear definition. Its openness allows for a mixture with other creative areas and disciplines.
However, we must handle it with caution because that same beauty can easily turn. Motion designers must surpass the superficial sensationalism that commercial and visual effects usually focus on and view/practice it as more than a visual fad. Like many other mediums of design there will always be a fine line between form and function, entertainment and information, self expression and communal thinking. So no matter if you are a motion designer, graphic designer or (fill in the blank) we just need to find the right balance and remember that following trends is never beneficial because it lacks the depth to sustain itself through.
Once again a big thanks to Brian Gossett and all the AIGA board members for making this event happen. Oh, and if you attended Brian’s lecture last Thursday what did you take away from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.