We can build on this.

IMM at TCNJ Senior Show 2020

May 18, 2020 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm


Sarah Whitty

Project Site


Sarah Whitty is a passionate Multimedia Artist excited about kicking off her career in media production. Through her background in art and design, her passion for music and the discovery of her love for video editing and motion graphics, she creates engaging audio-visual experiences with her art. Internships in video editing and production, and an NBCUniversal creative marketing & production internship with USA and SYFY networks have honed her skills and fueled her excitement for creating.


SYNC’D is a collection of motion graphics inspired and driven by music. Video editing, illustration and After Effects animation combine with a selection of songs to create engaging audio-visual pieces.


From my Kindergarten days belting Brittany Spears’ "Oops I Did it Again" around my living room, imagining the "I thought the old lady dropped it in the ocean in the end" scene with dramatic flair, to spending hours of my middle school days in my room with my earbuds in- stories and images swirling in my head, sparked by the notes in my ears - I had so much inspiration bloom from the music I listened to. Over the years I used this inspiration to create countless drawings and paintings, but I’d always wanted to bring that art to life. Make it move. Create depth and connection with the music that inspired these images in my mind.

Nearing the end of my college career with a plethora of skills I hadn’t had before, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to explore this endless fountain of inspiration through my thesis project, and see where it led me.


It starts with a song. What song? Any song that compels me to create. I’ll walk you through how I developed one of my pieces driven by the song “Candy” by Robbie Williams.

Candy Title Screen

Getting my ideas out of my head usually starts with a messy doodle. I’ll sketch it down with a pencil and paper, and more will follow. If one sketch becomes two, three or four- I’ll start up on a rough storyboard to organize all my thoughts.

Candy concept art
This was my first pass at my concept for “Candy”. You’ll see in the completed project how things have changed from this initial storyboard, but the overall concept remained the same. At this stage I’m not worried about how nice things look, I’m just trying to get my ideas out of my head, timing out changing visuals with the lyrics.

Once I’ve got my concept out, I start developing the visuals. I explore different visual styles, decide what sort of elements fit the feel of the song. Photo? Video? Illustration? Upon reaching a decision I start collecting/creating my assets. I use Photoshop to create my illustrations and edit photo assets.

Candy gif
For “Candy,” I decided to go with both illustrated and edited photo elements- unifying both kinds of assets with a Lichtenstein dot style. I wanted 'Candice' to be an illustrated character in a candy coated world to play into the upbeat and lighthearted tone of the song.

Once I’ve got all the pieces, I bring all my elements together in After Effects. This is where where everything is cut together, animated and all SYNC’D up with my music selection to create the final product. Then the process begins again with the next song.


My goal is to make a career out of creating - continuing to pursue a career in Media Production in Entertainment. I want to create visuals, develop concepts, bring ideas to life. I can’t wait to continue to put my graphics, editing, development and production skills to use.


I tend to get a little lost in my favorite media, I hope that my work can do that for people even if it’s just for 60 seconds. I hope to create things that captivate people, make them think, bring a smile to their face, or take them somewhere new- even if only for a moment. I’ve always found the combination of music and visuals to be a powerful one.


I had a lot on my plate this final semester. Between classes, working three days a week at my internship in New York City, developing my thesis project, and trying to enjoy the little time I had left of my college career, it was hard to find balance. Time was hard to come by and manage as I got used to my new jam-packed schedule. (5 hours of commuting in a day seems like some solid time to get work done until you’re dropping your external hard drive on the train and hustling through the streets of New York with your laptop. I ended up listening to a LOT of music instead, which was helpful in its own way.)

Just when I’d started to get in the swing of things and managed to prioritize my time fairly well, COVID changed everything . Luckily, my thesis workflow was theoretically unaffected - everything I needed to work on my project was in my notebook and on my laptop. But my whole life had been completely altered in a matter of a few short weeks without notice. I had to adjust to online learning, becoming a remote intern, and going from bustling trains and streets full of people to being totally isolated. There were some days it was hard to find inspiration and motivation. But here we are now - and I’ve managed to pull through! Through the struggle I actually found the inspiration for one of my thesis pieces. I’m sure it won’t be hard to figure out which one.

I hope you enjoy SYNC’D!