• Philip and His Wife at the Academy AwardsPhilip and His Wife at the Academy Awards
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Alumni Profile: Jan Philip Cramer, Academy of Art University

Turning Legendary Dreams Into Reality

There was no doubt in Jan Philip Cramer’s mind as to what he wanted to be when he grew up – to dream of imaginary worlds and bring them to life.

Packing up his bags from Dusseldorf, Germany, he took the leap and relocated to San Francisco to pursue an Animation & Visual Effects degree at Academy of Art University.

The changes he encountered were far from easy – culture shock, language barrier and even figuring out that his sense of humor did not always translate to perfect English. Fortunately, the Academy provides an efficient support system to help international students like himself integrate with campus life.

Artist’s Portfolio: Building Blocks to a Successful Career

With that major aspect of his university experience covered, Cramer was free to focus on what really mattered most, honing his skills to build an impressive portfolio so he can get his foot in his chosen industry.

Impressive his portfolio certainly was, considering how it — coupled with his cum laude degree —earned him a job straight out of college in 2004. He first worked as a character animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he contributed to Spider-man 3 and Ghost Rider. And two years later, he was lead animator for films like Avatar under Weta Digital.

By 2010, he was already holding the animation director post for Digital Domain, working on what will become some of the decade’s biggest hits, such as X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool. Most recently, he added Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp to his stellar professional portfolio.

For all these accomplishments made in such a considerably short amount of time, he credits the Academy for the opportunity. “The only work I had was my portfolio from the Academy. That was the only reason I got a job. I am super thankful for that.”

Journey Ongoing

It’s been a long journey so far for Cramer, having gone to great lengths to reach his achievements, but there’s still a lot for him to accomplish. At the core of it all, and as he reminds aspiring artists, it’s ultimately about dreaming big, committing to put in the work and doing it for the love.

Jan Philip Cramer moved halfway across the world to pursue his dreams. In doing so, he found his place and is making a mark doing what he loves to do best.

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Creative Outlook Magazine is for visual artists whose talents in the creative arts exceeds the norm and are interested in finding the right school for visual art majors.

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