Lesson 000c – Meet your instructor

Meet Your Instructor: John Ikuma

John Ikuma animating on Disney’s “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story”.


My name is John Anthony Spigler Ikuma and I will be your instructor for the Stop Motion Beginners – T1 Course. Just to tell you a little about myself. I have worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. I got my start in entertainment as a professional musician at the age of 15 when I was signed as a recording artist and songwriter for EMI Records. I then began my career in tv and film through an apprenticeship (uncredited) in foley and sounddesign working on The Simpson, Futurama, PJ’s, and Dilbert tv shows. This would eventually lead to studying audio recording, television, and film engineering. I’ve trained at Soundmaster Audio/Video Engineering School, Film Institute of Technology, and the Art Institute of Los Angeles. I currently hold 5 degrees and working on my 6th degree in Social Sciences.

My directorial and producing debut was with an animated commercial I produced and directed for Musicians Institute. I quickly went on to produce and direct many more commercials and music videos either in live action or animation. This would lead to working for many major stop motion animation studios such as Shadow Machine, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Bix Pix, Disney Interactive, and Starburns Industries to just name a few. I specialize in animation in all forms from Stop Motion Animation, CGI (Computer Generated 3D), and 2D animation.

My main credits for TV and Film are in the realm of Visual Effects but I have worked in almost every position in the television and film industry. This gives me a unique advantage since it has led me to study not just animation but all the trappings that come with the production and animation subject matter.

Currently, I produce and direct animated commercials and music videos for small and large companies world wide along with an occasional animated sequence for tv shows and films. Sometimes I will even be hired as a solo artist in making animated short form videos for pilots, proof of concept, or mini series to be shown online. Most of the time I get this work through an agency or production company having stumbled on my past work and wanting something special to use for their marketing or production purposes. This has lead to animation for Toys R Us, Fiat, CryptTV, ORLY, Exxon, Fernandez Guitars, G&L, EBB, and numerious other companies throughout the world.

One final note. I am also the creator and executive editor of stop motion magazine. Having produced this publication for over 10 years I have gained a knowledge about the subject matter that allows me a unique perspective into the art that is very difficult to gain. Through all of my work as an animator/vfx artist/prop and set builder/producer/director/audio engineer/ and publisher I can probably answer any and all questions you may have about the subject and I’m not affraid to share this information with you as one of my students. It’s important to me to keep the art of stop motion animation alive and the only way to really do this is to teach it to students interested in learning the art form.

So please join me in the Stop Motion Beginners -T1 course and let’s get animating!!!


John Ikuma

Here is a link to my IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) which list some of the productions I’ve worked on. Also please not that music video and commercial work does not have a proper database to show work history but my IMDB should be enough to show you the level of skill your instructor is at. Link to IMDB

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Pomona, CA. 91767
741 Clark Ave.