The Importance of Motive in Design

In design, art, or any creative medium, it can become very easy to lose the purpose of your project when you focus hard on aesthetics or type of style. Something can look nice, but if it isn’t cohesive, then it can feel somewhat empty. Art is very much about strategy and planning. People say that they just go in and feel the music, or feel the animation, and that can be true, but it can lead to largely inconsistent results for beginners. So, I assert that in art, a plan is a necessary way to keep your project cohesive. I would like to cite Don Hertzfeldt’s EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY as an example of something that goes absolutely insane, but always comes back full circle to its original purpose.

In the short film, we follow a stick figure named Bill who explores his world as he falls into the depths of some fatal neurological disorder that is causing his mental functionality to fluctuate. It starts off relatively normal, with this strange but cute back and forth between Bill and the World. The things that he thinks are a little strange, but it’s fine… at first. Slowly, his thoughts become more disoriented and everything becomes much stranger. However, it’s still the same Bill. Things then take a turn for the worse around the climax, which can be view below:

(DISCLAIMER: Graphic Content and Kinda Scary)

As you can see, everything came crashing down and every single effect you could think of comes through. You think, what’s going to happen to Bill? Is he going to be okay? Bill will be okay. In fact that’s what the title entail: Bill may be dying, but he always comes back around to the same person. Bill is always going to be okay, nothing more, nothing less, his entire life is just okay, even on the brink of death.

It may not be that obvious, but the themes of nihilism and come back around and actually ties up those themes together into a conclusive ending. No focus is ever lost: it is a cohesive whole from start to finish.