Before and After SVA: Jacob Kaplan & His Road To A Job At Pixar
July 31, 2018 by Sheilah Ledwidge
Jacob Kaplan
A photo of Jacob Kaplan by Tyler Kufs.
Jacob Kaplan. Photo by Tyler Kufs.

Jacob Kaplan graduated from SVA with a BFA in Animation in 2017. Since then he’s moved to California where he recently got a job at Pixar. We asked him how he landed the gig, what advice he’d give to incoming students, and more.

<p "="">Illustrations drawn by Jacob Kaplan courtesy of his Tumblr account.

Illustrations by Jacob Kaplan. Images courtesy of Kaplan's Tumblr account.

What have you been doing since graduation?
Immediately after graduation, I moved to San Francisco for an internship at Pixar Animation Studios on the Incredibles 2. At the end of my internship, I was offered a full-time position at the studio and I'm still here!

Were you able to network through connections at SVA to get work?
I owe my job entirely to the Career Development team at SVA. They are the ones who helped me to get an interview with Pixar when they visited campus in December of 2017.

How has the transition from student to professional been? What are some challenges?
I'm not going to lie. The transition was not easy. It can be especially difficult to adapt to the new lifestyle when you move across the country for a new job. But after a year into it, I'm starting to sink some roots into the ground, and I'm learning the nuanced differences between what it means to be a working professional versus a student.

SVA Features: Before and After SVA: Jacob Kaplan
SVA Features asset

Was there any advice you received at SVA that was particularly helpful?
Be kind, supportive and helpful. Your work itself is important, of course. But learning how to work well with other artists has been the most important lesson SVA ever taught me.

What advice would you give to incoming freshman to SVA?
There are so many incredible opportunities available at SVA. Find them! Get lunches with professors, take advice from older students, contact alumni, take classes outside of your major, apply to be an RA, get an on-campus job, but, most of all, enjoy these years! You will hold them close to your heart for the rest of time.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, in five years, I'll be producing a project or television series or in some sort of leadership position at a studio. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next!