DiscoverStorytelling for Innovation: Motion Design for Human-Centered Design
Storytelling for Innovation: Motion Design for Human-Centered Design
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Storytelling for Innovation: Motion Design for Human-Centered Design

Author: Leeanne Brennan

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Come learn how to rethink your process as a visual storyteller to serve an industry that doesn’t play by our rules. I'm your host, Leeanne Brennan, a Freelance Illustrator / Motion Designer / Educator, looking to share how we fit into the innovation landscape and how to excel at this unique way of using our creative skillset.This is a fun and fulfilling career that not many motion designers know about, and I want to share it with you!
28 Episodes
Theora Kvitka, UX Researcher at Maven Clinic shares with us how illustration and video play into their process. There's a great conversation in here about what points along the way a  Freelancer might be able to come onto a project as well, and the opportunity out there in the future as the world grows to be more and more visual!Theora Kvitka (personal site)Theora Kvitka on Instagram: @theorangefedoraMy Free Masterclass to learn more about storytelling for innovationGet on the waitlist for my course which I'm hoping to have ready by Spring 2023!DM me on Instagram and let me know what you thought of this episode, I love hearing from you! @leeanne_brennan
Here's another perfect example of the type of project you might be on as a Motion Designer tasked with visualizing products and services that do not yet exist for Innovation teams. I saw this article about a test restaurant for McDonald's and wanted to share my take on how we might partner with a company like this to bring their ideas to life.McDonald's article in CNNMcDonald's article in Fast CompanyMcDonald's article on their corporate siteFree Masterclass - Storytelling for InnovationGet on the waitlist for my new courseDM me on Instagram and let me know what you thought of this episode: @leeanne_brennan (trying to figure out if these solo episodes are helpful)
Today I chat with a former Accelerator student and her journey from traditional motion design over to the innovation industry. We talk about work-life balance, as we are both mothers with young children, and designing an intentional life, which informs the type of work we take on as professional artists. Oana Nechifor PortfolioOana Nechifor on Instagram @oananekifoOana Nechifor on LinkedIn- Other links mentioned -My interview with School of MotionThe Freelance Manifesto (book for Motion Design Freelancers)My Free Masterclass to learn how to pivot over to the innovation industryMy Storytelling for Innovation Course WaitlistLet me know what you thought of this episode on my Instagram: @leeanne_brennanThank you everyone for helping me reach my goal to get 10 reviews of this podcast on Apple Podcasts! If you find this episode helpful, I would SO appreciate a review. Thanks!
Here's 5 strategies to hunt down the types of people that would hire you for motion design in the innovation industry. I cover how to find the meetups they might be going to, LinkedIn groups, Conferences, and Open House events at Innovation consultancies. Chatting in person with potential clients is such a short cut to inspire them on what is possible for visual storytelling and get on their radar for future projects!Meetup.comSearch these Keywords then check Events & Groups:Design thinkingHuman centered designInnovationCX (customer experience design)UX (user experience design)Product designConferences mentioned:Design Innovation Global IDSAService Design NetworkAIGAFestival of Dangerous IdeasSemi PermanentHLTHMy Free Masterclass - Storytelling for InnovationMy Instagram: @leeanne_brennan (let me know what you think of this podcast! I love hearing from you!)Review my podcast on Apple Podcasts! Help me reach my goal of 10 reviews by the end of the year!
Ron Chan is a Freelance Cartoonist, Storyboard Artist and Illustrator in Portland, OR who shares his expertise creating User Experience Storyboards. We cover a lot of ground here talking about who these innovation clients are, the process of making a storyboard and why it's different, what makes a good drawing, and a bunch of tips on Freelancing as well. Ron Chan portfolio siteRon's "Yellow Jacket" Storyboard example that I talk about in the episodeRon Chan on Instagram: @rondanchanCinco DesignHelioscopeMy free masterclass - Storytelling for InnovationLeeanne's Instagram: @leeanne_brennan (DM me your thoughts on this episode! I love hearing from you all!)
I was in a CVS the other day and saw construction happening to install a MinuteClinic. I looked at the door and then noticed the new HealthHUB signage. What a perfect example of a typical project I might be on as a Storyteller for innovation! In this episode, I make a bunch of guesses as their process, and share the types of illustration, video and motion design pieces that you might have made if you were partnering with this team.CVS MinuteClinicMy Free Masterclass: Storytelling for InnovationMy Instagram: @leeanne_brennanStorytelling for Innovation Digital Course Presale Get 50%OFF! (2 spots left)Questions? Email me:
Fan Sissoko is a Service Designer, Researcher & Storyteller. She shares her vast experience working for a range of companies, mostly in the public sector, and how she has pulled on her graphic design,  illustration and animation skills to tell compelling stories that move ideas forward. This is a great episode to understand more deeply what a Service Designer and Design Researcher does, and the points along the way where they might need visual storytelling. Fan also gives some great advice to Freelancers looking to partner with these types of teams - who to reach out to and what to include in your portfolio.Fan Sissoko's workMy Free Storytelling for Innovation Masterclass2 Spots Left!! Enroll in my digital course on presale at 50% OFF in exchange for giving me feedback on this course. Contact me on Instagram @leeanne_brennan or email more at for more info. Enroll Here (once these 2 spots are filled, this link will be disabled)
If you're a Freelance Motion Designer wondering how to price your work, how to raise your rates, and all the other business stuff that comes along with going out on your own as a creative, this is the episode for you! Shea Lord, Freelance Art Director & Motion Designer walks us through how to think about money and step into our power in this industry.Shea Lord on LinkedInShea's Digital Course & NewsletterMy Free Masterclass - How to adapt your motion design skills to the innovation industry nicheStorytelling for Innovation Digital Course Presale - I have 5 more spots for people to get 50% off my new course in exchange for giving me feedback before I officially launch this to the world. Be one of my course testers and get all of this jam-packed info for $247 (payment plans also available)! DM me on Instagram @leeanne_brennan or email me at
Today I share some hard numbers with you on what I make as a Freelance Storyteller for Innovation and how I stepped back and decided to intentionally design my life. There's also some great tips in here on who to reach out to if you're looking to use your motion design skills to serve the innovation industry.Free Storytelling for Innovation MasterclassMy Instagram: @leeanne_brennanTest my Digital Course!! I'm looking for 8 people to try out my digital course before it goes live to the public. I'm offering it at 50%OFF in exchange for feedback. DM me on Instagram or email me at if you're interested. Thank you!!
I found another Storyteller that specializes in the innovation industry! Steven Taylor has been helping companies large and small communicate their ideas for the future through illustration, animation, 3d and more! We cover what it's like to do this work, the process, how to get clients, the difference between working with start-ups versus larger companies - the list goes on! Steven is also Co-Founder for AR For Everyone, a high impact / low cost AR/VR headset for the smart phone. Such a great conversation!Steven TaylorAR4E (Steven's AR/VR company)Star Cat and Sun Bear (Steven's web comic)Free Masterclass - Storytelling for Innovation*Storytelling for Innovation Accelerator - Doors close TODAY!! Sunday, Sept. 25thMy Instagram: @leeanne_brennan
Kris Young, Design Lead at eBay, explains how his background in motion design served as a super power in the various, impressive roles and projects he's worked on. He's contributed to work at Microsoft, T-Mobile, Cisco and more in roles spanning UI Designer, UX Designer, Product Designer and now Design Lead. I love hearing how his ability to tell a great visual story aided in everything from scrappy prototypes to scope projects and avoid costly pitfalls to promo videos to generate excitement with senior leaders. Thank you Kris for sharing your experience with us!Kris YoungMy FREE MasterclassStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator (DOORS CLOSE Sept. 25th)Leeanne's Instagram: @leeanne_brennan (let me know what you thought of this episode)
Michael Zarifes has worked on huge marketing campaigns for movies like The Incredibles and Cars. His impressive Art Director / Motion Design career has taken some twists and turns, and I was so excited to learn about his recent pivot into creating projects for internal use! We have a great discussion here about the pros and cons to both types of work, and what he learned inside my accelerator program. Get ready to have an inside look into working with studios like Pixar and Paramount, and how sometimes tapping into our inner voice to follow the path less traveled pays off. Thank you for this amazing conversation Michael!Michael Zarifes on LinkedInMichael Zarifes My interview with School of MotionMy FREE Workshop, Replays available until Sept. 23rdStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator (Doors close Sunday, Sept. 25th)Leeanne on Instagram: @leeanne_brennan
Once you get the project, here's everything you need to know in order to be your client's best buddy. I learned a lot of what I'm sharing with you the HARD WAY, and I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did. If you employ these 6 things, your innovation clients will absolutely LOVE you!FREE Workshop - Sept. 12th-14thGIVEAWAY DETAILS:Enter the Workshop GIVEAWAY! Send a friend this link to sign up for my free workshop, and then email me at or DM me on Instagram @leeanne_brennan and let me know you did it. I will then enter you in a giveaway to win either 50% OFF my Accelerator program OR a free 1 hour coaching session with me :)Storytelling for Innovation Accelerator Program - Early Bird 20% OFF until Sept. 16thFind me on instagram @leeanne_brennan
Merritt Robinson, Head of Design, Americas at Bain & Company shares her wisdom about how visual storytelling reduces the barriers to comprehension and the very act of creating an artifact such as a video is part of the synthesis work - not just a nice to have. In being forced to create something visual, you're asking the team to find clarity, which leads to the right idea faster. I also loved hearing how Bain is using VoC (Voice of Customer) videos in their presentations, and how AI assisted video transcription platforms help teams extract interview clips quickly. So much incredible insight and advice into the world of innovation in this episode, thank you for sharing Merritt!Merritt RobinsonBain & CompanyContinuumReductFree 3 Day Workshop Sign up here - Sept 12th-14th (replays will be provided for those who cannot join live)Storytelling for Innovation Accelerator - Early Bird 20% OFF until Sept. 16thLeeanne's Instagram
The busy season is coming (Sept-Jan). Learn how to prep for the discovery call so that you're armed and ready to impress your potential clients and get these super fun gigs!Free MasterclassStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator - presale 30% OFF send this Thursday, Aug. 18thSoft Skills UplevelLeeanne on Instagram
If you're wondering what a UX Designer does and why being able to draw people is a valuable skill to have if you do this type of work...check out this episode! Bryant Hodson, Senior UX Designer at Lucid shares his story and the unicorn value he brings to the team by being able to create experience storyboards for user research and testing.  Thank you for a great conversation Bryant!Bryant HodsonBryant's article: How to Storyboard ExperiencesFree Masterclass: Learn how to adapt your motion design skills to the innovation industrySoft Skills UplevelStorytelling for Innovation AcceleratorLeeanne on Instagram: @leeanne_brennan
Head of Design Strategy at Fidelity Investments, Yuhgo Yamaguchi, shares key points in the process of creating new digital experiences where low fidelity character stories come in really handy! A lot of UX Designers are familiar with wireframing, experience storyboards and mocking up animated wireframes and even fancy animations of what the app or site will look like, but using motion design to bring to life character stories - where you can empathize with the CONTEXT in which these solutions exist, is super valuable. Thank you for a great conversation Yuhgo!Yuhgo YamaguchiFidelity InvestmentsContinuumStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator Soft Skills UplevelDM me on Instagram: @leeanne_brennan
Head of Innovation Delivery at EPAM Continuum, Heather Reavey, shares how to be a sought-after collaborator with human-centered design teams. We have an interesting chat about ownership, and how it's so important for the Storyteller to steer the video ship...while at the same time allowing for co-creation. Also some really cool thoughts about how the level of fidelity of the video, illustration or animation you're making can drive the participation factor of the idea. Thank you for this amazing conversation Heather!Heather ReaveyEPAM ContinuumFREE Storytelling for Innovation MasterclassFall 2022 Round of Storytelling for Innovation Waitlist
Associate Partner and Creative Director, Mandy Stehouwer at Prophet, a growth and transformation consulting firm gives some great examples of how they use video and motion design. I love how Mandy explains the reasons why they might go with a scrappy in-house approach to storytelling and why they might need to bring on a Specialist. Thank you so much for this amazing conversation Mandy!Mandy StehouwerProphetContinuumFREE Masterclass - Learn how to adapt your motion design skills for the innovation industryStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator Waitlist - September 2022, exact date TBA
Lee Moreau, Founder and Director of Other Tomorrows shares with us how using video, animation and illustration at key points in the design thinking process can not only help key stakeholders and executives making decisions easily digest ideas for the future, but help the project teams working on the ideas better understand what they're creating. I love how Lee explained the benefits of and case for using visual storytelling and how if you're the Storyteller - you're really kind of, in a way, the project therapist, helping pulling what's important out of the team. Thank you, Lee, for this awesome conversation!Lee MoreauOther TomorrowsLee's Podcast, The Futures Archive on the Design ObserverLeeanne BrennanStorytelling for Innovation Accelerator Fall 2022 WaitlistFREE Masterclass - Storytelling for Innovation
Comments (1)

Beki Khani

Hi, I ran accidentally to your podcast and I just want to let you know, you inspired me today❤️🙏

Oct 24th
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