Community Spotlight – Brian Tran

AIGA Cleveland is excited to feature Brian Tran in the Community Spotlight for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month! Thank you Brian for stepping into the spotlight and sharing your work with us.

AIGA Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.

BT I’m a freelance motion designer, primarily working with video production and branding studios. My projects range from kinetic type to 2D character animation. I really enjoy combining the thinking behind design with the liveliness of animation.

AIGA How does design shape your day to day?

BT Design has taught me that there will be plenty of failures and mistakes for each success. If there are things in my life that aren’t working, I’m willing to experiment and find what will work. Being freelance helps, as it’s given me the freedom to design and structure my days in a way that works well for me.

I also think it’s important to take that mindset and apply it to our career paths. The creative landscape is changing quickly and won’t stop for anyone, which is why I make it a point to set aside time to explore different avenues of creativity—drawing, coding, and 3D so far.

AIGA Describe your design process.

BT When it comes to the design process, the first thing I need to know is the starting point, whether that’s a client’s needs or the message behind a personal project. From there, I figure out the best design/animation approach to meet those needs. I’ll work on developing styleframes to explore different styles, followed by storyboards to establish the composition and flow of a video, then finally designing and animating. I find motion design to be a satisfying balance of abstract thinking and technical execution.

AIGA How do you tackle a creative project?

BT Early on I collect inspiration, as it jumpstarts my creative process and gives me an idea of what’s already out there. I do my sketches on paper even though my work is all digital; the ideas tend to come more naturally that way. I take notes as I go and course correct whenever something isn’t working, whether that’s due to client feedback or my own observation. Sometimes that involves scrapping ideas entirely. I’ll keep chipping away and revising until the end result meets—or ideally surpasses—the original need for the project.

AIGA Tell us 3 words that best describe you, or your design work.

BT Adaptive, Searching, Experimenting

AIGA What is one thing you cannot live without?

BT An adjustable standing desk.

You can find Brian’s work on his website ( and on Instagram (@okbt_art) and Twitter (@oktb_art). If you have any questions about membership or the spotlight, please reach out to Derek at

By Webmaster
Published May 25, 2023