Nicky Mazur
Hands-on art director with strengths and passions that extend into illustration, motion design, and branding.


Generating Visual Concepts


Week 2 was spent in my notebook. Slowing it down, crafting a game plan, and sketching that shit out. The focus was on the clarity of story before getting tangled up in the coolness factor. My assignment was to flesh out the direction for my style frames and present my thumbnail and storyboard sketches, building off my theme from Week 1.

Without geeking out too much over cognitive psychology and Gestalt Theory and such — there are two main modes of thinking when we are processing visual imagery: the logical, symbolic mode and the visual, artistic mode. Symbolic imagery communicates concepts, while not respecting the visual reality. Our logical minds take the visual information and understand the intended idea though it may not be true to reality.

Rapid idea generation has been ingrained in my mind since college, yet it still leaves me edgy and anxious to completely disconnect from the quality of the sketch. But, it’s important to let the ideas flow and come into existence snd not be paralyzed in thought waiting for the perfect idea to come. My mentor used the term ‘loose butthole’ — which is awesome and kind of the perfect metaphor.

Thumbnail Sketching

The discovery phase is a time to straight up throw down concepts left and right. Projectile idea vomit — AKA — thumbnail sketching. Quantity over quality here, folks.


Storyboard Sketching

After you feel like you’ve exhausted all ideas, you can take a look at all of them with a more critical eye and begin carving out a more solid direction.


Check out the full presentation doc of my assignment.

Random Bits That Stuck

The Importance of Having a Support Network

Week two’s Career Lab was an interview with Rob Garret, mastermind behind His spiel on the importance of having a good support network clung to me. Be it bros/gals you go drink with after work, friends, family, peers, etc. Nurture those physical relationships, because those are what will sustain you through the difficult times.

Lifelong Creators

Sometimes we’re going to want to do something just because we’re curious about it, not necessarily that it has a significant ROI. And that’s okay. We’re in the industry because we love what we do, we love telling stories. Beyond the paycheck, it’s for the sheer bliss of creating. But, often times, those genuine curiosities lead us to greater successes.

Other Awesomeness

  • Concept is king. Production techniques are there to serve the concept.
  • If you can ‘show’ your audience rather than ‘tell’ — do it!
  • Critique is different than judgement — it’s a conversation.
  • The more pre-production you do, the less questions you’re asking down the road. Tighten up the color palette. The more colors you have, the more you have to choose from, which slows down your workflow.
  • Add emphasis, up the drama, or bring clarity to the story by being conscious of where your horizon line is or how you’re framing up a shot.
  • Wide shots are great for conveying wonder or nailing that ‘awestruck/ grand scheme of things’ notion.