Let me introduce to you a fantastic self-taught motion designer from Southern France named Jordan Coelho, or what he likes to refer to himself as—Barth. Coelho, like many motion designers, has been drawing and creating since his early days so, what influenced him to choose motion design rather than another field? When asked the question, Coelho stated that following,
Jordan Coelho: I chose to follow the motion design field not because I didn’t think the other design fields weren’t great, however, I appreciated the mixes one can create using graphic design and music or sound. How one can animate something based on a sound or a song. To be honest, motion design came to me naturally, I never REALLY decided I just…preferred this better. Also, motion design has a lively side to it. Obviously, it’s animated, but what I mean is that it’s warmer. There’s a dimension in motion design that there is not in graphic design and that is storytelling through sound and music. I would much rather animate something. I also think motion design is cool, or one other reason why I chose this field was that it’s almost halfway between creating a film and graphic design, you get the best of both worlds.
Obviously, we all start at the bottom of the ladder when we begin a freelancing career. What kind of advice would you give to new freelance artists in the motion design field?
Very good question! I wish I had someone give me this advice when I started. I would say that it is absolutely crucial to share your work online. There are countless social media platforms that one can utilize in order to show the world their work. I would also tell new motion designers to create things every day, make it your obsession and post everything online. I read a book by Austin Kleon once, Show your Work, and in the book, he states that if you share something online every day, someone is bound to notice. Also, if your work is not posted online in this day and age, it ultimately doesn’t exist. It’s therefore crucial that you post your work and you keep creating videos, challenging yourself, and your abilities constantly. Don’t get comfortable, push yourself.
That is very good advice! Since you create a lot of work and constantly challenging yourself, you must need a lot of inspiration. What are the top 5 videos that have inspired you the most in your career?
That’s a torturous question. There are countless amazing videos out there and even more that have inspired me, however, I’d say that my top five are...
1) "FITC Tokyo 2015 Titles" by Ash Thorp — FITC is a salon of new technology based in Tokyo which Ash Thorp has created videos for. In this video, particularly, pure motion design is represented. In the sense that the video encompasses every aspect of motion design — motioned graphics. It is the base of any motion design, the presentation of names. In this case, presenting the names of those participating in the conference at the FITC in 2015.
2) "To This Day" is a patchwork video created by multiple artists in 2013. The concept of the video was to allow each artist to create a scene lasting only a few seconds correlating to the text given to them. I particularly like this video because the spoken word is very powerful and the message is still a present issue even years after its creation. I also picked "To This Day" due to the amazing patchwork of artists. You can’t see the same design style twice in the video which is phenomenal and you also get the impression that every single artist who collaborated on this project stand up to bullies. As if they were advocates for an anti-bully cause. I think this video is great, the storytelling aspect is out of this world and the artists are simply the best at what they do.
3) "2017 AMP Awards" by Buck — Buck creates the best-animated images, that tell great stories and just… know how to blow your mind! This video is amazing. Amazing, why? Because you are not sure whether the images give you sound or if the sound gives you the images. Know what I mean? You don’t know which one was created in function of the other. It’s hypnotizing and so well choreographed. I haven’t much like it, to be honest, I haven’t witnessed anything as well synced as this video. It’s troubling!
4) "Sins" by Ariel Costa — The story is perfect. A real story that doesn’t need spoken words, the visual takes care of that. That in itself is fairly amazing. Then graphically the images are strong, amazing textures! This video is sort of an animated cartoon yet not really, he plays with the technique of collages seen in visual arts, he plays with this concept to create creatures who are aesthetically appealing. His work has a very strong artistic feel which I thoroughly appreciate. He’s also done amazing work for Led Zeppelin in "What is and What Should Never Be."
5) "Spectacle of the Real" by Buck — This video does have a lot of traditional character animation that carries it away [just a little] from motion design, however, aesthetically, I find it rather appealing. It has this WOW factor, it makes me want to save the video and study it image by image in order to understand the techniques of transition…etc.
Coelho’s choices vary between very artistic and creatively challenging to technical and jaw-dropping. He does not prescribe to one style but rather focuses on learning and understand many others in order to be as versatile as possible. To know more on Jordan Coelho and his work, visit his website here or on his Instagram account @coelhojordan.