Motion designer Joyce Ho is the Creative Lead in the amazing team at Breeder. Her obsession for design and animation has led to her interesting journey with story-led motion pieces. For someone so still so early in her career, Joyce’s work continues to go well beyond any boundaries. And this year has been nothing short of awesome.
Earlier this month Joyce reflected on her Asian heritage during her talk ‘Get Lucky’ at TEDxSouthBankWomen. She rallied her colleagues into helping her tell the story of the Asian Century in a motion piece full of challenging elements and, of course, a very tight deadline. Her superstar blogger mum narrated the beautiful piece. Watch below.
In a similar timeframe of just a couple of weeks, Joyce and the team produced groundbreaking work for the 2013 Analogue/Digital conferences. They had a very open brief and worked relentlessly toward the looming conference day. The piece just blew away the audience on the huge cinema screen. Since then, the A/D titles have been everywhere online, were selected for Vimeo Staff Picks, received the Motion Design award at this year’s Create Awards in Sydney — and received the Australian Production Design Guild Award for Title Design. To date, the piece has had over 125,000 views.
Joyce has also teamed up with other creatives for a few great collaborations this year. She was paired with band Lion Island for the Ten10 project where she created a stop-motioned music video using a scanner. With the relaunch of Design Montage in October, we paired her with Art Director Andrew Suggit to create the Digital Mona poster in our screen print series.
Joyce’s hilarious awkward situations that she shares on social media, just add to her humorous look at life. She’s geeky, cheeky and crazy passionate about creating innovative work. You can follow her on Twitter or see more of her work here and on the Breeder website.
Tell me about your creative journey. Your passion for your craft and how you discovered or nurtured it.
I’ve always been a creative person. When I was little, I drew and watched a lot of cartoons and Disney movies, so I thought about being an illustrator for children’s books or a cartoonist. When I got a bit older, I started watching my older brother, Leon, play video games. I have this vivid memory of my brother playing Final Fantasy VII and there was a 3D scene of a car smashing through glass. Leon turned to me and said, “you could do that when you grow up!” I was nine and it was then that I wanted to learn about animation.
I was blessed with an amazing family who always supported my creative pursuits; my parents took me to art classes and my brother brought me magazines and books that enabled me to teach myself skills in Photoshop and Illustrator.
As I grew older, I began to take more notice and interest in design, and for a while I thought about pursuing graphic design rather than motion because there were just more opportunities; however, I decided to stick with my first love and take the road less travelled.
It’s the emotional response I often get while watching animation that I couldn’t let go of. I knew it was an artform and something I was really interested in learning.
I got into a fine arts course at QUT, with a major in animation and it was there I first heard about motion design. The tiny difference between motion design and animation made it feel like the perfect path for me – the best of both worlds. In animation, you told the story through characters, but in motion design, you could tell the story solely through design. Every frame was beautiful.
From that very class, I met an extremely talented guy, who today is one of my closest friends. Not long after we graduated, he recommended me for a freelance job at Josephmark and from there I became a junior designer at JM. It wasn’t long after, that the idea of Breeder formed and I joined the team.
Looking back on it all, I can’t help but have a sense that this was fate. I can’t see myself being anything ￼else but a motion designer and I’m grateful for the family I have and the people I’ve met that have made it possible. Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t really grown up – I’m still that same kid who draws and watches Disney movies, and I’m so happy that I’m doing what I fell in love with when I was nine years old.
In a few words, describe yourself…
Asian nerd who eats heaps and is allergic to everything.
What are you spending your time on at the moment?
I’m currently looking forward to having a little break from a massive and awesome year! Amidst this little bit of relaxing, I’ll hopefully be collaborating with a good friend of mine over the holidays. Bring on 2014! I have a feeling it’s going to be even more crazy – but in a good way!
Tell me about your creative process.
Our creative process may differ slightly from project-to-project, depending on the client, but it’s always collaborative. For example, for Analogue/Digital, we were given a mastered track, the list of speakers and sponsors, and the program design and our brief was to create titles that matched the vibe of the music track while also representing A/D as a creative conference.
After we deconstruct the brief and brainstorm as a team, we go away and individually come up with a few ideas that we pitch to everyone in the next team brainstorm. We then choose the idea that is the most interesting or has the most potential and we jam on it together until we arrive at a solid concept. Sometimes, when we begin production on a concept, we may find it unfeasible during our first motion tests, so we go back and tweak the idea.
For A/D, we used the program design as our inspiration, which featured two speaker headshots overlaid on top of each other – one vertically and one horizontally – so you had to physically rotate the program to read their biographies. This inspired me to look into double exposures in photography, so I pitched the idea to the team. We expanded upon this idea and came up with a concept that centred around the theme of binary – two opposite images that could come together to reveal something entirely new. We were all very excited about this concept, because it met the brief and was something that hadn’t been done before.
Tools of the trade.
As a motion designer, the tools of our trade include an eye for design and knowledge of pace and storytelling. We ask ourselves, how can we tell this story in the most creative and engaging way and how do we time it so it has the most impact?
What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by the talented people I get to work with everyday; people who do what they love and love what they do. I’m inspired by new experiences and places, and amazingly creative work – whether it’s from my field or not, mindblowing work always motivates me to try a little harder, to think a little differently.
What are you most proud of?
I’m super-proud of Breeder and how far we’ve come in three years. Our little studio has grown from strength-to-strength and this has been amazing to witness!
In my personal life, I’m so proud of my mum for being a mega star food blogger (263k in Facebook fans!) and releasing her own cookbook last year!
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I drew and watched a lot of cartoons and Disney movies, so I thought about being an illustrator for children’s books or a cartoonist.