Rury Lee and Janice Ahn hit the scene

Recent Art Center grads Rury Lee and Janice Ahn uphold their alma mater’s reputation for producing top talent. Each of their portfolios bubbles over with fantastic illustration and design work.

Rury Lee


Janice Ahn


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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



fantastic work!


Wow really cool designs!!

one thing I found surprising is that most of these designs that look like really cool styleframes are in fact university projects (correct me if I am wrong)

I do think it is a bit troubling if uni projects turn into industry pitches. I mean that’s what you are probably going to work on mostly in your professional life anyway. If it was all like that where would all the cool shorts come from? Where would people create stuff that does not fit into the commercial client controlled boxes?

I feel Uni should be a space where you can do whatever you want rather than what the industry expects you to do.

very strong work though!


Couldn’t agree with you more. Very professional but very conventional.

matt hartle

Unless of course you are interested in getting a job. I can’t tell you how many reels I’ve reviewed looking to hire candidates that are full of work that have no relevance to the industry they are trying to get hired into. That’s one of the big disservices some universities visit on their students… you need to have work in your portfolio that represents the kinda work you are hoping to get, not just the ultra creative unrelated stuff… balance the reel to show both.


I disagree, just look at the post right above this one. I’d say that’s the kinda stuff you don’t get to do that often in the commercial world. Yet it’s pretty obvious that these guys have the skill to do commercials too. Maybe it’s different in the states I don’t know, but here in the UK the people who did ‘contre tempts’ would probably get hired.

I’d say balanced stuff can’t harm but to say ‘unless you are interested in getting a job’ in this context is a bit of an exaggeration.


Awesome work, ladies!


hooray!! awesomeee >_<

Jon Malkemus

“Mentor: Paul B. Kim”. Enough said.

Working with a SuperCrusher™ will always take you to another level.


What about Jee Suk Kim?? :(


to be honest, I’m slightly impressed, but no where near as impressed as i am with most of the stuff on this site. Some of the work feels unfinished, lacking refinement that this site usually delivers in spades. I don’t mean to be bad but it honestly feels like a post made because they are buddies with the site owner. good work, but personally, If i think I can do better myself I don’t think it deserves such a huge soapbox. Simply compare it to the story below it.

My two cents, feel free to disagree – there is a building full of animators and designers here who see my point though.


I disagree. They are talented and great enough to be featured on motionographer as recent graduates.


This is the greatest thing I’d ever saw’d. Go Janice and Rury! Art Center represent!


You are not alone Donemix. I agree completely.


Whether they deserve a post notwithstanding, is there really a point in expressing you’re only “slightly impressed” other than to take them down a notch? Also, why shouldn’t the editors of this site be able to post work of their friends?


When I was in college we had a student in drawing class who could draw beautiful, breathtaking assignments, twice as big as the pieces the rest of us were turning in. He’d had more training and experience before going to undergrad, and was way out of our league.
We’d give him the same notes every time: “Beautiful,” “amazing,” “Wow, I wish I could do that,” etc. About 2/3 of the way through the semester our instructor asked our colleague what he thought of the criticism he was getting. His response was that it was flattering to receive so much attention, but that he really was in class to be challenged, and he needed tougher critiques than we were giving him. By judging him against our level of proficiency, we were failing to provide our fellow student with the kind of constructive criticism and tough love that he needed to improve his craft.
Now, Art Center has a reputation as a competitive, tough school. If Rury Lee and Janice Ahn have run through its gauntlet, they do not need or want to be coddled with vague praise. They’ve done very well, and have just been given a lot of publicity. I think they can handle a little criticism, don’t you? After all, they’re not students anymore, they are our colleagues and our competition. Let’s welcome them with encouragement, but challenge them to improve, and take risks. Oh, and one last thing: if i see another exploded diagram of a sneaker I’m going to puke.

Paul Rand

Exactly 510, on that note here ya go:

The most glaring problem with most of the comments on here is that everyone seems only attracted to the styling and craft. If you do not have any critically thinking skills why would you need to think about anything else???

If you search through all of the posts here on Motionographer you can find the same exact techniques that have already been perfected. I feel as if all the praise is about how they masterfully replicated existing styles. -all lot of this looks like Buck and Psyop styled work….

exploded paper model technique
the faux-stop motion plasticine look
miniature model (steam punk) style
The low poly geometry illustrations..
The fairytale surreal look…

blah blah blah…

Yes these kids sure know how to use the internet and replicate commercial work…big whoop!

technique and skill yes!

Innovation beyond the status quo- absolutely not!


btw- I don’t think this looks like Buck or Psyop at all.


Fair enough. But can we at least agree there’s a difference between thoughtful, useful criticism and stating “I’m slightly impressed”? Further, there’s an inherent difference between criticism in a classroom environment and anonymous posts on the internet.


Well I could have said its clear by the aliasing on Janice Ahn’s work she is still a student rather than being nice and saying i am impressed, but your right. As a professional in the industry I will be critical and say this – its good work. but it is a carbon copy of 100’s of projects that have come before and will go after. this is a creative industry and there is nothing creative about tracing other peoples work. I stand by my point that, if I can do it, and do it comfortably, it does not belong on this, a fantastic site. Also can i state, these are just still images. the website is call MOTIONographer. not Illistratograpgher


To Donemix:

How can it be a “carbon copy”. The colors and brands are different. That in and of itself deserves some type of trophy. So what if they copied the concept, execution, colors, brands, concept, and/or the execution? Like any of that stuff was ever distinguishable among artists.

I mean Rury Lee’s exploded shoe concept looks absolutely nothing like frame 55 of this

. Motionographer is not about promoting one’s ability to market themselves under the guise of someone else’s ideas and execution.

And I’m just going to leave these here for no apparent reason


I say bravo Rury and Janice, and all you other future motionographers. continue the shameless non-ripping-off of work that’s already been done. And bravo to Motionographer for spotlighting these industry innovators.


I agree with 510. on many posts on motionographer you get comments like

‘beautiful work’ , ‘amazing skills’ etc.

there is not as much reflection as there could be. I could phrase it no better then 510. Ultimately well expressed critique is worth a lot more than overwhelming praise

the discussion that has developed here is already more interesting than some threads on other posts.


Agree with 510. There is cliche and repition in some videos posted here and one must be allowed to critique this.

That all videos here are carfted in a perfect manner is obvious.


I don’t think Justin is showing their best work, honestly. Check out this set of character designs from Janice Ahn’s website, very pretty:

and Sweet and Low by Rury Lee: (papercraft, I know, but very skillfully done with well-designed objects and characters)

Check out their sites, pretty strong breadth of skills. I still think it’s a bit conventional and they each need to show some non-client work to expose their personal sensibilities. I have a feeling they both have more interesting stuff they just aren’t showing because they being led to believe that a purely ‘professional’ portfolio is the way to go. I think their instructor has given them a fantastic leg up but it would have been better if he/she would have thrown in one odd-ball assignment, even if it ‘fails’ just to see what they make with a more open brief.


Some valid points above, but it’s STILL strong work. I’m sure you can point to almost anyone’s work these days as an individual and nitpick how it’s been done before. Unless it’s some completely abstract concept. Commercial work tends to be trendy. It’s more often the goal of the clients to stand out, but they don’t want to stand out in odd ways either. I’ve seen the shoe thing before too, I still don’t care. I love it.

Unfortunately I suspect there might be some bitterness in this thread because these students are on their way to great things. It’s easy to be a critic, actually. People are comparing them to Psyop, which to me is unfair. Besides Psyop has teams of people cranking on that stuff. And regardless of team size, these designers pulled off great work. I don’t care if it can be compared to anything. They’ll have plenty of room to grow and express from here. And they will be successful. No doubt. Rockstarz.


I think you are missing the point here. It’s not that their work is rubbish or anything. The whole discussion here is about whether it deserves to be showcased here or not. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the main purpose of this site is to showcase what’s the best out there (creatively or technically)… IMHO, this kind of post only damages the reputation of the site… it looks completely biased. There’s nothing here that stands out from the crowd.


It deserves to be showcased here. These are the next top newcomers to enter the industry. They are among the cream of the crop and and about to take the world by storm. In case any one else missed it, that’s news.

Mark my words. Check back in a few years. They’ll be your boss soon.


Top newcomers to enter the industry? By whose standards?

I’m sorry but they may be the top in their class, and they may be talented enough to find paying work, but cream of the crop? Brother there’s a lot going under your radar. I’m with Gabriel on this one. Should not have made front page.

And has already been mentioned before, all they’re doing is rehashing designs that they’ve no-doubt seen elsewhere. So really all they’re telling the world is that they’re really good at copying other people’s work. Which to me isn’t exactly what I would hope we’re trying to promote here.


As designers and level of artistry, I support them completely..but given the current landscape of the industry- it’s quite hard to see them thrive if the core level of composition, subject matter and approach is based off pre-exisiting projects. Yes, they will find jobs and thrive, but can they innovate?…it’s an answer that they can only answer themselves overtime.

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