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ABOUT                                           James Wood Wilson

James is a professional illustrator with years of experience in feature animation.  He grew up on a farm on the west coast of Scotland where he spent his childhood in the company of creatures and other colorful characters, sketching from life and imagination.  As he grew up, the work of artists and illustrators such as Ronald Searle, Ralph Steadman, and Gerald Scarfe left a lasting mark on his sense of humor and visual imagination.

After graduating with an engineering degree from Reading University James moved to New York to pursue his artistic interests with artist and indoor muralist Rosemarie Feigl.    
In 1990, he entered the illustration program at San Francisco Academy of Art.  After earning awards including best of show and best experimental illustration, he was recruited by DreamWorks Animation Studio (DWA) and moved to Los Angeles to work as character designer and visual development artist.   He became part of the design team that played a key role in moving the studio from 2D animation to CG with the Academy Award winning Shrek (2001).  James then jumped at the chance to art direct the cartoon show Phantom Investigators (2002) for Kids’ WB that combined stop motion animation, live action actors, and puppetry.  Back at DWA to work on the Shrek and Madagascar franchises, James art directed holiday shorts including the successful Merry Madagascar (2009), drawing upon his wide experience to maintain and expand the quality required of all DWA productions.  

James then brought those lessons to Rainmaker Entertainment as production designer on a feature animation based on the popular Ratchet and Clank video game series (2016).  Adapting beloved characters from a computer screen to the big screen on budget required adaptability, design excellence, and good humor.   Looking to increase his ability to work on diverse stories and characters, James moved to Portland, Oregon in 2014.  He is currently developing story and character for film, web, and games, and is inspired daily by Portland’s hand-made, crafty aesthetic and graphic excellence.

More Wood WIlson Art? Here is  a link to James's Fine Art Site----



  • 14 feature films, 5 television specials, Adult Animated Series, and Kid's TV series.

  • Producing feature-quality visuals from game source material while managing multiple design stakeholders.

  • Partnering with directors and producers to realize look-of-film goals across departments.

  • Streamlining pipeline to create feature-quality results under tight budget constraints.

  • Establishishing effective communications with newly established, international studio.

  • Selecting team members with an eye to developing individual capacity and creativity.


Production Designer


  • Ratchet and Clank (Animated Feature)

Art Director

  • Blue Eye Samurai (Animated Series)

  • Hidden Dragon (Animated Feature)

  • Rocky and Bullwinkle (Short Film)

  • Madly Madagascar (Madagascar Holiday Short)

  • Merry Madagascar (Madagascar Holiday Short)

  • Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury (How to Train Your Dragon Holiday Short)

  • Phantom Investigators (TV Series)

Visual Development Artist

  • Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Animated Feature)

  • The Road to El Dorado (Animated Feature)

  • Shrek 1 (Animated Feature)

  • Puss and Boots (Animated Feature)

  • Christmas Caper (Madagascar Holiday Short)

  • Shrek the Halls (Shrek Holiday Short)

  • Megamind (Animated Feature)

  • Penguins of Madagascar (Animated Feature)

Production Illustrator


  • The Nut Job 2, nutty by nature

  • Shrek 1, 2, & 3

  • Madagascar 1, 2, & 3

  • Shrek 4-D (Short)



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