About Me

Ross Ishikawa

2D Animation Director

Lead Animator and Motion Graphics Artist with six years of experience managing production teams, delivering over 300 videos.


Senior Animator and Story Supervisor

Splainers, Inc, Seattle, WA
2014 – Present

Collaboration and Management:

  • Managed production of 2D animated videos, working alone, or with small (2-5 person) teams of artists and animators, delivering over 300 videos within prescribed deadlines and budgets.
  • Communicated the Creative Director’s high-level vision to the production team in practical, hands-on language, eliminating what was previously 2 iteration cycles per project.
  • Collaborated within the production team to maintain an efficient and positive work environment, reducing company overtime by 90 percent.
  • Engaged in the ongoing review of office organization and production policy during the company’s growth from 4 people to 16.
  • Led production team to maintain and improve production systems appropriate for the level of animation and timelines. Average animation production time has reduced from 1 week per minute to 3 days per minute.
  • Maintained the office's internal website, used for onboarding and itemizing office standards and methods.

Art, Storytelling and Production:

  • Designed character sets and other assets used in over 100 animations, including over 20 2D character rigs.
  • Developed style sheets and systems for other artists to follow in creating additional assets.
  • Explored different methods for visually telling stories, including 50+ motion graphics videos, 50+ draw-along videos and combining live action and/or photography with animation.
  • Maintained clients’ brand guidelines and asset sets.
  • Produced hundreds of storyboards and animatics for both client communication and internal use.
  • Designed dozens of standalone static graphics for supplemental material related to animations.

Client Relations:

  • Ensured a transparent production process and clear delivery schedule, to achieve client satisfaction with 90% success in repeat business.
  • Attended industry conferences to explain and sell services to prospective companies and industries, accounting for 10-15% of new business in a given year.
  • Prepared presentations for prospective clients, with a 40% success rate in converting sales.


We Hereby Refuse Graphic Novel

Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA
2017 - 2021

  • Illustrated 3 of 4 stories of a 150-page non-fiction graphic novel about the Japanese American resistance to incarceration during World War II.
  • Researched hundreds of reference photographs and other materials for meticulous accuracy of historical settings.
  • Collaborated with a team of two writers and two artists.
  • Edited text to be more accessible for the young adult target demographic and to meet the unique needs of a graphic novel format.
  • Learned and mastered Clip Studio Paint software to produce the art.
  • Acted as animation consultant for a follow-up project by the Seattle Channel TV station to animate one chapter from the book.

Design Principal and Project Architect

McClellan Architects, Seattle, WA
1998 - 2012

  • Designed and managed single-family home projects, ranging in budget between $700,000 and $5,000,000.
  • Coordinated consultant teams, contractors, and internal design teams to deliver homes within budget and on schedule.

Software Expertise

  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Audition
  • Premiere Pro
  • InDesign
  • Frame.io
  • Storyboarder
  • Duik
  • Clip Studio
  • Sketchup
  • WordPress
  • Autocad


  • Associate Arts Degree
    Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA
  • Master of Architecture
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Bachelor of Science
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Other Experience

  • Member, Board of Directors,
    Unexpected Productions,
    Seattle, WA
  • Improvisational Actor,
    Unexpected Productions,
    Seattle, WA
  • Designer,
    Otis Redding Memorial,
    Madison, WI