The Canary is a short story I wrote in parable style, then edited down for this text-animation motion graphics piece. It delves into ideas about body sovereignty and systemic oppression that we – women, humans – deal with daily under the current patriarchal structure. But with birds!


The Canary is an allegory that uses animals to explore the concepts of systemic oppression and body sovereignty. This text-centered motion graphics piece uses the parable of the canary I wrote as a thought experiment during my initial thesis ideation and exploration.


The Canary was made for my intro Motion Graphics course at Parsons School of Design, and meant to be focused entirely on text animation – any illustrations or visuals were to be supporting the text itself as centerpiece. And, due to length restraints, I first needed to cut down the narrative to a more manageable script length. I made sure to keep the salient points of the plot, as well as a few key turns of phrase.

I chose textures to suit my embroidery-stitch motif, including some soft, handmade paper textures and wooden planks for the coal mine of the story. Some work better than others, and if I was to do it again I would spend more time integrating the textures together. However, due to time constraints I was forced to concentrate on the motion itself – after all, it was for a Motion Graphics course. The sketched lockups and movements of the text and accompanying illustrations all serve to support and balance the script and narrative elements. As it is, it is all a bit too quick – in attempting to cut down the narrative to fit into the time allowed, I talked too quickly with too short breaks in between phrases, leading to animations that feel far too fast. Now I know to better plan that part before starting!