Hornet Sarah Beth Morgan | STASH MAGAZINE

Hornet Signs Sarah Beth Morgan to Director Roster

From the release:

Sarah Beth is a Portland-based illustrator and animation director with an assorted past and an auspicious future. Her work to date is a mix of textural musings, graphic explorations, whimsical characters, and a firm yet fluid ability to weave it all together with conceptual narrative virtuosity.

At the forefront of her work is a reverence for narrative-first storytelling and gravitation toward myriad execution. It’s impossible to pigeonhole Sarah Beth’s style into one neatly definable package and improbable that she’d want you to try. Variety is a preeminent tenant of both her work and her working ethos.

“Variety is important to me,” she says. “I’m always excited to explore visual versatility. It all depends on the subject matter, but I like to vary it up in both life and in my work.”

Perhaps this is in small part due to her upbringing. Sarah Beth grew up in Saudi Arabia, went to boarding school in Ohio, then undergraduate at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After studying motion graphics at the SCAD, she worked in Los Angeles for 2.5 years, then in Portland for two. She’s worked with clients such as Chipotle, Ecobee, Capital One, and Google on commercial animation + illustration.

In terms of her approach and design, Sarah Beth’s style is often nuanced and illustrative with a graphic edge. Conceptual storytelling is front and center, bold shapes and colors not far behind.

“Visually, anything that has a textural, playful, quirky quality to it is what I strive for,” she says. “But most importantly, I want to hit people in the feels. That’s why conceptual narrative storytelling is so important to me. Because I want to connect with people. Not just create something ‘pretty.’”

It’s safe to say Sarah Beth consistently achieves both—her work is often highly emotive and undeniably gorgeous. Whether it’s passion-project short films like “Cocoon” (an expansive story about grief & loss) or commercial work like murals for Chipotle, illustrations for Ecobee, or her most recent animated ode to autumn for Bath & Body Works, Sarah Beth’s style has a multi-layered depth to it.

As Hornet’s Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola says, “The more we’ve gotten to work with Sarah Beth, the clearer it’s become just how much is brewing under the surface. We knew all along how talented she was as an Art Director—curating style, leading teams of artists, and being quite varied and easy to adapt in her own personal style—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The storyboards and style frames from her short film gave me goosebumps the first time I saw them, as they combine the quiet sweetness we associate with Sarah with a sharp, bold, elegant darkness that speaks to her talent as a storyteller.”

Kristin adds, “Through a platform all her own, I can’t wait to see what else she has been dreaming up.”

Outside of direction, Sarah Beth is also hugely passionate about her role as an online educator (having taught courses for Skillshare, Adobe, and School of Motion) and an advocate for women in the industry.