Jack responded pretty quick via email. It read the following:

“Hi Meg!

Thank’s so much for the gift! I’m amazed how much you were able to accomplish, especially with the new constraints that the pandemic situation threw at you! The animation was delightful to watch — whatever material you used is so vibrant and the texture/consistency was really fun to watch move and form shape! I also love the playlist — it definitely has a wide range of songs to match any mood. You’re clearly very talented and have a promising future in the design field. Thanks again for the gift, it was the highlight of my day.
Best of luck to you with portfolios and the rest of the semester!
It was so nice to hear back and especially in such a kind and appreciative matter. It brings me back to the question of what makes a gift. I think a crucial aspect of a gift is the interaction the exchange brings. Overall, it was a very uplifting response to receive and it too made my day!

Claymation Audios

I recorded all sounds in my house including: coffee pouring, walking, Tv static, and white noise. Using iMovie’s audio edits, I modified the recordings below very slightly.

I also used Bob Marley and The Wailer’s “Three Little Birds”.


I used bristle paper to create a uniform, white backset. I also used a desk lamp to provide consistent lighting.


  • Introduce
  • Coffee aspect (personal touch from questions)
  • Music choice- “Three little birds” Bob Marley and the Wailers
    • Most positive song on list
    • Well-known and easy to dance to
    • Increases the fun, humorous mood of movie
  • Breakdown of movie
    • Quote speaks of functions being looked at only when broke at time, so I intentionally broke the movie to include it
  • Share link to Spotify

This is the character I made for myself. I used the complementary blue and orange combination for the clothes due to limited colors, and the orange suits the brown and tan of the skin/hair.




This is a practice claymation to work on my iMovie skills, as well as see how camera position, settings, and angles contribute to the final product.



The claymation uses black and white to color transformation to represent when design goes well. The dance movement flows and is loose, unburdened. The idea is that I am gifting my recipient good energy and hope during this quarantine. The characters are representative of me and him. Originally it would the replication of a hypothetical meeting; however, I decided since the gift is music, a dance party was more appropriate. Smooth texture and organic form promote a sense of leisure and freedom, while keeping the video clear to the viewer.

**Changes- I only used myself as the character and made the camera view that of the observer. It provides a first person experience.

One of my original ideas for the plotline.

Gift Exercise 2

  1. PhotoStory SX

Photostory was the first app I tested. I did not find it easy to use and had to look up how to input the images I wanted. I found that the free version of this app was limited and unhelpful. I attempted to create a short digital “flipbook”; however, the storage was to limited.


  1. iMovie

I am more familiar with iMovie, and I discovered I could create my digital “flipbook” quite easily by inputting photos and timing it accordingly. iMovie was more user friendly, and despite being the free version, I could successfully create a short film.

  1. Motionbook

I practiced a lot with Motionbook, and I found it to be a user-friendly app. I wanted to incorporate photos in my animation, so this was not an appropriate app for what I wanted to do. But this works super well if wanting to draw each frame and create seamless movement. See attachment for short practice creation.



  1. Sketchbook

I got familiar with sketchbook in the Narrative project. It works well for drawing out scenes using my ipad. I figure I can use this in conjunction with Photoshop’s timeline as it lets you edit and revise images and then render it into a video. In replies see the video made in collaboration of Sketchbook and Photoshop.

My Recipient

Jack Mcdermott-Sweeney

I acquired various information through his designer website and social media, but the response to my questions guided much of personal component. I highlighted major influences.

  1. What is your definition of design?
    1. To design is to think. Design is a way to approach problems and come up with solutions that bridges gaps between disciplines. Design is a practice in empathy and the attempt to understand the experiences of others.
  2. Are there any design quotes that you know or that have shaped your design style/process?
    1. “Effort will never betray you.”
  3. Why design?
    1. I love the ambiguity of design — it’s the perfect blend of art and science. I like the challenge of subjectivity and the process of researching a problem.
  4. What do you hope to do as a designer?
    1. I am a UX designer and product strategist.
  5. What aspect of a gift do you consider the most important?
    1. The most important thing about a gift is who it comes from and what they mean to me. I’m likely to respond stronger to an accompanying note, card, or letter than I am the actual gift. I’m not a very material person so intent is always more valuable than the act of giving.
  6. How the packaging of a gift add to the experience of receiving it?
    1. There are some really cool ways packaging can reflect the character of the gift or even be incorporated with the gift itself. When I had this project in design foundations, I spent the majority of my time working on the packaging — it set expectations for the gift inside.
  7. What’s one thing you wish you would’ve known going into this project?
    1. The receiver might not have anything to say about your gift. When I was in your position, I never got to meet the receiver of my gift, and they never reached out with thank you or, more importantly, feedback. It was a serious bummer — so just know I’ll be sure to express my gratitude.
  8. What hobbies outside of design interest you?
    1. Baseball. Running. Music production. World travel.
  9. How would you describe your aesthetic?
    1. Simple and ascetic. I don’t like flashy or attention-seeking colors, patterns, or tricks. I value bare-bones design sensibilities — look into Dieter Rams’ principles of good design.
  10. How would you describe yourself?
    1. My bark is worse than my bite.
  11. What would be your last meal on death row?
    1. Breakfast bagel and hot coffee.
  12. If you could live the life of a character from a movie or TV show, who would you be? Why?
    1. Leslie Knope, because she has her sh*t together.
  13. What would the name of your autobiography be?
    1. My Short Stupid Life.
  14. You have your own late night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest?
    1. Johnny Cash.
  15. Favorite font?
    1. Helvetica.

Quote Meaning and Plan

Concept Statement

The quote by designer Irene Au, “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks” speaks of how design is concreted in everyday objects but can be ignored by the population due to its efficiency and harmony. Her humorous comparison of the refrigerator functioning juxtaposed to it not functioning reflects on how design is not necessarily meant to be flashy or overwhelming but can be simple. In similar matters, my gift is simply giving time and tranquility during this tumultuous pandemic. To build upon Au’s words, the video ends with its “breakdown”, proving that function is essential to creating meaning. The gift is a playlist packaged in a short animation and claymation. The purpose is to provide my recipient with music emoting quarantine sentiments. The songs are about loneliness, boredom, positivity, and hope. It is designed to send the message that no matter what one feels right now, they are not alone, and society will endure. The animation provides an invitation to join me in listening to a few samples of the songs. It is me virtually spending time with the recipient. Through the use of movement, the video will give a live perspective on experiencing the music. Shape and form will a transition from arriving to socializing. This is done through the use of 2-dimensional digitally drawn animation and 3-dimensional clay stop-motion film. The clay’s character use smooth texture to provide a clear, legible form. The dynamic playing of the movie will be cut short, abruptly demonstrating poor design. This unfortunate ending reiterates Au’s words of disfunction being noteworthy. Nevertheless, the recipient will be left with the message hidden in the music.

Plan Ideations

Spot the difference, puzzle, virtual scavenger hunt, animation, claymation

***Music playlist added later

Elements and Principles

  • Color
    • Use bot BW and color
  • Contrast
    • Functioning video vs breakdown
    • Black and white isolation vs colorful hope
  • Unity
    • Beginning and end relate
  • Movement in visuals
  • Scale when using clay
  • Smooth texture and clean form in clay for clarity

Function and Meaning

  • “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” –Irene Au
    •  It speaks of how design is concreted in everyday objects but can be ignored by the majority due to its efficiency. She highlights how an object’s design can be appreciated more when broken. Her example of the refrigerator functioning is invisible, but when it does not work it is quite bothersome. This idea had me reflect on how design is not necessarily meant to be flashy or overwhelming but can be simple. This made me reflect how a gift is similar.
    • Quote location and more about Irene Au-
  • Spend time with gift
  • Relate through quarantine
  • Provide sentiments of hope and positivity
  • Introduce source of entertainment in these boring times

Materials and Tools

  • Clay
    • Paper/ cardboard backdrop
  • Animation
    • Motionbook
    • Photoshop
    • Sketchbook
  • Playlist
    • Spotify
    • Just a list
    • Email
  • iMovie to bring all together

Best Gift

The best gift I ever received was my bike. I do not like the idea of ranking my best gifts; however, in this case it is the most prominent one in mind. My bike was given to me years ago from my parents. It was a Christmas gift. All gifts were unwrapped and they had a big reveal of hiding them in the basement. Both my sister and I received one, so we shared in the excitement and joy. The bike itself is less valuable than the memories it led me to create. I took that bike on so many trips with my family, crashed in hundreds of times with my friends, and even used it to sneak out. It was my first sense of freedom and self-supportive. I love learning to ride it with my parents, but then also, teaching my one friend how to ride handsfree. That gift was more than a gift of material, but of experience.