Member Profile: Japheth Crawford

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

Most recently I was an animator at Apple in Cupertino, but am in the middle of relocating back to Los Angeles to start a new job at Ralph Creative’s new office in Los Angeles working on social content for several shows and initiatives at Netflix as well as for Sony Music and Twentieth Century Fox. I’ve been working in the motion graphic field ever since around my junior year of college so it’s been about 5–6 years.

2. What was your first job?

My first ever “Job” was a cashier at a local grocery store back home in Hanover, Pennsylvania but I’d consider my first full-time job was a motion designer at a production house in Baltimore called Storyfarm where I worked on explainer videos, commercials, and everything in between.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

I went to Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland where I got my BFA in Graphic Design while taking as many animation and film classes as I could squeeze in.

4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?

I found out about SIGGRAPH through my school when one of my professors put out a notice about the Student Volunteer program in 2012, and I haven’t missed one since!

5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?

Ratherthan one particular memory, I’d say all the people I’ve gotten connected with and befriended through SIGGRAPH. Even if we don’t get to talk much throughout the year, it’s crazy how we see each other at SIGGRAPH and pick up right where we left off.

6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.

Recently two friends I went to college with got in touch with me to team up working on all the branding/design/animation for TEDxSanFrancisco. That was a fun project where we got a lot of freedom, and it was great re-connecting with them. Unfortunately most of my work from the past couple of years can’t be shared but I’m looking forward to working on more personal work in the next few months once I get settled back in LA.

7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?

Now that I’ve worked at Apple, heard stories, and seen the legacy he left behind and how many people he truly touched, I would love to have dinner with Steve Jobs.

8. What is something most people don’t know about you?

I feel like most people I grew up with through grade school knew I played guitar, but now that I’ve gotten older and have more focused on design and animation, I don’t get around to playing as much let alone playing in public. Oddly enough, most of those people I grew up with through grade school and knew about my guitar playing don’t know about what I do with design and animation now, hah.

9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?

I’m going to cheat and say there are two individuals that I learned the most from. I had two teachers in high school: Jeff Myrdal, who taught photography and video, and Paul Zeroth, who taught graphic design. It wasn’t until I got into their classes that I really figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Not only did they help me start using the tools I’ve used daily for the past decade, but they also taught me how to figure things out; to constantly be learning.

10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?

After my first couple of years as a Student Volunteer (SV), I began working as an X-SV helping Tim Hendrickson stitching together videos and photos that get captured throughout the conference and then shared on social media. I’d say his kindness, thoughtfulness, and supportiveness is what keeps me coming back to help. He’s one of those friends that I mentioned earlier that we can pick up right where we left off the previous year like no time has passed.

11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?

When I left my first job at Storyfarm, I was leaving a secure job along with my friends and family on the East coast to relocate to Los Angeles with no work lined up at all. Within the first few weeks, I started working for a company that I always dreamed of working for, and eventually got hired full-time. I’d say the whole experience of leaving a secure job for something new and landing on my feet is something that I’ll always look back on as a real career-defining moment.