Biography

Experienced and professional Web, UI Designer, Animator, Educator & Graphic Designer from San Francisco with over 20+ years’ experience in the Web Design, Branding, Film, and Education Industries. Nicole also has a long history of motion graphics / animation for short & feature films. Her computer animated film Suspended Abbey screened at 35 festivals worldwide including The Sundance Film Festival.

Specializations

My work has been evolving over the years and has been influenced by a curiosity and passion for communicating stories, finding new ways of designing and animating interfaces, and creating unique and authentic brands.

Exposure

My work has appeared in several books, including High Score – the illustrated history of electronic games, Architecture on Film, and The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s book, “Program for Art on Screen.” I have been interviewed by 25fps for a web journal about my film Suspended Abbey and my work on Prince of Persia2 and The Last Express.

My short computer animated film Suspended Abbey was screened at Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at over 30 film festival in 10 countries. It was nominated for a Student Academy Award, and won a CINE Golden Eagle Award and 19 other awards.

Clients

I have worked on projects for a broad spectrum of clients including Brøderbund Software, Homestead.com, Fleurville, Boston.com, USC, Telson, Volvo, and BrandHabit. I have also done extensive work for MPM, Inc, Dance MedicineFriends of Environmental Education, Santa Clara University, Center for Student Credit Card Education and Occupy The Farm Documentary.

Notable former clients include:

EDUCATION

California Institute of the Arts – MFA

Master of Fine Arts
Experimental Animation
Valencia, CA. 1992


San Francisco Art Institute

Graduate Program Video, Performance & Computer Art
San Francisco, CA. 1997-1999


Pomona College of The Claremont Colleges – BFA

Bachelor of Fine Arts
Studio Art
Claremont, CA. 1985

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UX/UI web designer, brand designer, art director, animator, and award-winning filmmaker who’s goal is to create authentic and thoughtful design, whether film, video or web, that is bold, insightful and leaves a positive impact.
  • Over 15 years of experience in website design and 20+ years experience in creative direction
  • Passionate about design and solving design challenges in order to deliver a greater value to clients, users and achieve brand authenticity and integrity
  • Award winning Computer Animator with motion graphics and 2D Character animation experience.

CREATIVE SKILLS

  • User experience/interface (UX/UI) design
  • Mobile and responsive web design and wire-framing
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Creative and art direction (20+ years)
  • Motion Graphics (After Effects, Adobe Animate, Adobe Edge, Flash)
  • Character Animation
  • Video, audio, photo production
  • Brand identity design and Logos
  • Print and product design: packaging, brochure, posters
  • Character Design and Illustration
  • Social Media Graphics and HTML Email Campaigns
  • WordPress Design and Implementation/Development
  • Photography / Stop Motion / Time Laps

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Creative Director at Tostevin Design
Freelance Web Designer / Animator / Creative Director / Art Director

Self Employed | Sep. 2004 to Present

RESPONSIBILITIES:

UX/UI Web Design

  • Create interactive wireframes, sitemaps, storyboards and prototypes
  • Establish persona criteria for user group research
  • Conduct in-person user testing and observe user behavior
  • Run A/B split testing to improve conversion results
  • Solve simple and complex user problems
  • Visually refine and iterate user experience graphics
  • Design animations and motion graphics
  • Utilize Webflow to design final responsive layouts for mobile devices and CMS
  • Conduct browser test of final responsive html pages (using Browserstack.com)
  • Edit and refine CSS and HTML 5 file templates in Webflow and WordPress
  • Custom design and code responsive newsletter templates
  • Collect user data with Sprout Social, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp
  • Art Director, Brand Designer and User Interface Web Designer for BrandHabit.com. Worked closely with CEO/Founder Carla Morton and a small team of developers. BrandHabit helped female consumers find their favorite designer brands of apparel, accessories, and footwear in local retail stores.

Creative Director

  • Develop the creative and digital marketing strategies for all client campaigns
  • Implement social media, online advertising and email newsletter campaigns
  • Ensure all productions meet and maintains a standard of high quality
  • Spearhead the marketing, lead generation, networking, client relationships
  • Provide account management and customer support
  • Manage staff, contractors, suppliers and partners

Art Director

  • Web & UI Designed (including HTML & CSS) a social media application which was incorporated into the major online newspaper Boston.com. I also designed and coded the portfolio web site, animated the introduction video, created digital promotional artwork assets, marketing and social media art and collateral
  • Designed and coded the WordPress website for a multi-million dollar construction company
  • Custom designed and coded responsive Mailchimp newsletter templates for a weekly dance event and yoga class.
  • Sourced and partnered with software developers and other professionals to complete projects as needed
  • Created all the artwork for an interactive computer-based training for credit card education
  • Provide technical support and troubleshooting for customer websites and email accounts
  • Produce video for web, implement post production compositing, effects and editing
  • Develop and execute brand identity look and feel, including comprehensive typography and color
  • Provide guidance for photo shoots, video shoots and audio productions
  • Designed all client print materials including mockups, brochures, stationery, signage, packaging, standards manual, and industrial design
  • Directed the execution of all art productions (models, makeup artists, wardrobe, illustrators, voice-over talent)

Animator

  • Designed and animated the title sequence, animated maps and diagrams for a complex and detailed feature documentary about the Occupy Movement and the 200 urban farmers who blocked the development of UC Berkeley
  • Animated a series of short scenes of children’s art for a 24 min. documentary film about divorce
  • Created art and animated interactive flash lessons for an interactive science program, grades 1 to 7

Adjunct Professor University Of Southern California

2009, Digital Animation for Film Class

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Animation Film Teacher

  • Adjunct Professor for College Level Advanced Studio A , Junior Animation Major core class: CTAN 301 Introduction to Digital Animation.
  • Taught the fundamental principles of working in 2D digital software with an emphasis on animation, story, sound, timing and execution, treatment, storyboarding, production-flow, scheduling and pipeline.
  • Each student produced a professional 4 minute animated computer film utilizing original character designs, concepts, and sound effects and music score.
  • The software was Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder.

Freelance Art Director/ Senior Web Designer / Animator / Brand Designer at MPM-Online

Self Employed | Sep. 2000 to 2004

RESPONSIBILITIES:

UX/UI Web Design

  • Directed online web site building application, interactive flash productions and new product launches for major tech clients throughout the Bay Area.
  • Managed a group of artists, designers, and programmers specializing in web, multi-media, and branding videos.
  • Primary clients included: Oracle, Intuit, Openwave, Telseon, Homestead.com as well as numerous start ups.

Art Director, Character Designer, Animator, Interface Designer, Patented Rotoscope Designer for Smoking Car Production’s The Last Express

1993 – 1997

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Art Director

  • Art Director, Character Designer, Animator, Interface Designer, Patented Rotoscope Designer for the award winning game, directed by Jordan Mechner.  The Last Express for PC, Mac and PSX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Express), a real-time thriller set on the 1914 Orient Express.
  • Collaborated and reported directly to Founder and legendary Game Designer, Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia).
  • Art Directed feature-length studio and model video shoots
  • Storyboard art director, rotoscope co-designer for character animation in-house proprietary software
  • Managed and art directed a team of 19 animator/artists.

Character Designer / Animator / Artist

  • Developed the makeup and costume treatment for the rotoscope process and technique that was patented into a digital cartoon and animation patent.
  • Animated many of the special effect sequences and animated scrolling backgrounds

Freelance Art Director/ Character Designer / Animator for Broderbund Software

1992 – 1993 and 1997 –1998

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Art Director

  • Art Director, UI Designer for Broderbund’s Language Learning Software
  • Designed the UI for the CDROM interface and buttons and interactive flow
  • Directed a team of artists in the creation of all digital art

Character Designer / Animator / Artist

  • Created by Jordan Mechner and Brøderbund Software, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame (1993) was an award winning CDROM adventure game that broke new grounds in storytelling, gameplay and was a forerunner of the rich cinematic movie sequences.

  • Designed and illustrated the NIS movie characters

  • Designed the cross dissolve animation technique of the non-interactive character illustrations.

  • Cleaned up hundreds of background graphics for 2 Carmen Sandiego CDROM games

SOFTWARE

Browser:

  • Mailchimp
  • Webflow
  • CSS3, HTML 5
  • JavaScript (basic)
  • WordPress
  • UXPin
  • Sprout Social
  • Browserstack
  • Sketch (Bohemian)
  • ToDoist
  • Toggl
  • Hover
  • Basecamp
  • Invision
  • Typekit
  • Typecast
  • Pixate
  • InVision
  • Mailchimp
  • Slack

Desktop

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • After Effects
  • Adobe XD
  • Lightroom
  • Flash
  • Animate CC (previously called FLASH)
  • Adobe Experience Design CC
  • Sketch
  • Flinto
  • InVision
  • Audition
  • Dreamweaver
  • Unibox
  • Ember
  • Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Media Encoder
  • Pages / Numbers
  • Keynote
  • WordPress
  • Genesis Framework

Awards

The majority of my awards below are for my computer animated short film, Suspended Abbey.

  • Audience Choice Award –  The Cacophony Film Festival, San Francisco, 1996
  • Grant recipient National Endowment for the Arts, USA, 1993
  • Best Experimental Film Award 15th Festival International Du Film D’Art Paris, France, 1993
  • Best Experimental Student Columbus International Film & Video Festival, Columbus, Ohio, 1993
  • Silver Apple Award National Educational Film & Video Festival, Oakland, California, 1993
  • Best Animation Award Louisville Film and Video Festival, Louisville, Kentucky, 1993
  • Director’s Choice Award Charlotte Film & Video Festival, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1993
  • Finalist Award Worldfest -Houston International Film Festival, Houston, Texas, 1993
  • Audience Choice Award Chicago Experimental Film Coalition Festival, Chicago, Illinois, 1993
  • Regional Finalist Student Academy Awards, Hollywood, CA, 1992
  • 2nd Place Best of Festival A.R.C.O International Film Festival Of Madrid Madrid, Spain, 1992
  • 1st Place Prize Mons International Festival Of Short Films, Mons, Belgium, 1992
  • 1st Place Film as Art American Film & Video Association Film Festival, USA, 1992
  • Coe Film Award ASIFA East Annual Animation Festival, New York, NY, 1992
  • Honorable Mention 16th Annual Atlanta Film & Video Festival, Atlanta, Georgia, 1992
  • 1st Place, Audience Award ASIFA San Francisco-Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, 1992
  • Golden Gate Award San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, 1992
  • Honorable Mention ARTSWEEK 92′, Rocky Mountain Film Center Denver, CO, 1992
  • Golden Eagle Award CINE – Council on Int’l Non-theatrical Events, USA, 1991
  • Grant Recipient Blum/Kovler Foundation Grant, USA, 1991
  • Honorable Mention Bucks County Film Festival, Pennsylvania, 1991
  • Award Winner Bank of America Award for Fine Art, USA, 1981
  • 1981 Award Winner John Phillip Souza Award, USA

Official Selection Film Festivals

  • American Film Institute , AFI/Mars Showcase New York, Silver Spring, MD, 2004
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art,  “Program for Art on Screen,” New York, NY, 1994
  • Images 94 Festival of Independent Film & Video, Toronto, Canada, 1994
  • New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Program for Art on Screen, New York , NY, 1994
  • 16th Big Muddy Film Festival, Carbondale, IL, 1994
  • SUNDANCE International Film Festival,  Official Selection Short Film, Park City, Utah, 1993
  • Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Guest filmmaker, Oberhausen, Germany, 1993
  • Best Experimental Film Award, 15th Festival International Du Film D’Art, Paris, France, 1993
  • Semana De Cine Experimental De Madrid, Official Selection, Madrid, Spain, 1993
  • Columbus Intl Film & Video Festival, Best Experimental Student Award, Columbus, OH, 1993
  • National Educational Film & Video Festival, Silver Apple Award, Oakland, CA,1993
  • Louisville Film and Video Festival, Animation Award, Louisville, KY, 1993
  • Charlotte Film & Video Festival, Director’s Choice Award, Charlotte, NC, 1993
  • Worldfest -Houston International Film Festival, Finalist Award, Houston, TX, 1993
  • Onion City Film Fest,  Audience Choice Award, Chicago, IL, 1993
  • IMAGE Forum Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan, 1993
  • International Audio Visual Experimental Festival of Arnhem, Arnhem, Netherlands, 1993
  • HIROSHIMA’92, The 4th International Animation Festival, Hiroshima, Japan, 1992
  • VIII International Festival Of Films Directed By Women, Madrid, Spain, 1992
  • Tel Aviv International Film Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1992
  • A.R.C.O Int’l Film Festival Of Madrid, 2nd Place Best of Festival Award Winner, Madrid, Spain, 1992
  • Mons Int’l Festival Of Short Films, Belgium, 1st Place Prize Student Category, Mons, Belgium, 1992
  • American Film & Video Association Film Festival, 1st Place Film as Art, New York, NY, 1992
  • ASIFA-East Annual Animation Festival, Coe Film Award, New York, NY, 1992
  • 16th Annual Atlanta Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention, Atlanta , GA, 1992
  • ASIFA San Francisco-Film Festival, 1st Place, Audience Award, San Francisco, CA, 1992
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, Golden Gate Award, San Francisco, CA,1992
  • ARTSWEEK 92′, Rocky Mountain Film Center, Honorable Mention, Denver CO, 1992
  • Bucks County Film Festival, Honorable Mention, Doylestown, PA, 1991
  • Cinanima 91-15th International Animation Film Festival, Espinho, Portugal, 1991
  • International Film Schools Festival, Poitiers, France, 1991
  • Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival, Nashville, TN, 1993
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI, 1993
  • Florida Film Festival, Maitland, FL, 1993
  • Medicine Wheel Animation Film Festival, Toured the USA, 1994

OTHER INTERESTS

  • Family
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Conscious Dance Practice
  • Trumpet
  • Unicycling
  • Experimental Filmmaking