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Stamps Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Nestorak (BFA ‘13)

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nestorak discovered her passion for Motion Graphic Design during her undergraduate studies at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

After graduation, Nestorak moved to New York City where she started working at a small animation studio creating commercials, advertisements, and show packages for major companies. She moved up in her career landing a great opportunity at Major League Baseball, where she created on-air and social graphics for all 30 MLB teams, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. Nestorak also designed and animated major advertising campaigns for MLB’s sponsors such as Under Armour, Coca Cola, and much more.

Following her three year 3 year position at MLB, Nestorak served as the lead Motion Designer at Travel Channel (owned by Discovery) for two years — working alongside other major networks within the company including Food Network, HGTV, and ID. There she created promotional graphics for Travel Channel’s prime TV shows as well as show package graphics. Nestorak realized she could elevate her career as a freelancer full-time, and recently made the leap Sept 2019. Since then she has worked at many ad agencies and production houses in NYC and in Denver, which she is now located.

Your creative pursuits have taken you to some incredible places, Stephanie. How did you fall in love with motion design? What keeps you excited about the field?

I love motion design because it allows me to explore my creativity on many different levels. I can implement my skill in graphic design while also experimenting with different motion techniques. My passion for motion design has increased throughout my years as a professional, for I truly love building advertising campaigns and making a brand shine to its full potential. Being able to elevate a brand through creative and effective marketing has been a joy throughout my career.

In a career like yours, the technology advances so rapidly. What advice do you have regarding carving out time for continual professional development?

It is very important to continue to be inspired by the work of other creative professionals in your field. By doing this, you can stay up to date with methods and tricks, while also coming up with new and improved ideas that keep your creative juices going. It is also key to continue to use your design programs nearly every day in order to master it and understand any new features.

Making the switch to freelance is a big decision. What advice do you have for people considering this career path?

It is easy to be comfortable in an amazing job with great benefits. That was the case for me as a full-time Motion Designer at Discovery before I decided to make the big leap to Freelance full-time. It was scary at first but I am so glad I did, for it has been the best career move I have ever taken. With the strong connections I made throughout my career and networking, I was able to build a client base from day‑1 of freelancing. I am still doing what I love, but making more money and diversifying my portfolio. For any other motion designers thinking about making the jump, I would definitely recommend reading the book The Freelance Manifesto” by Joey Korenman.

What gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you motivated?

I just love creating new content everyday and helping companies shine through effective advertisement. My creative energy is stimulated everyday and I am blessed to work with some amazing people. I also have great ambitions for the future, such as building my own brand, which keeps me excited about what’s next.

To learn more about Stephanie Nestorak, visit stephanien​estorak​.com.