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About Jon Ickes

Welcome, foolish mortal!  Want to know more about me and how crazy-awesome I am? Stick around; for this is the wildest ride in the wilderness!

I delayed writing this self gratuitous piece for years due to the fact that I'm pathologically humble and I'm tragically bad at selling myself. Thankfully, I have an array of family and friends that have swiftly kicked my butt into gear and have successfully encouraged me to let the world know how truly valuable I am. 

It all started on a rainy day. For all days are rainy in dreary old England.

(Here we go...commence eye roll)

Day 1 - Jon was born. Yep. Mom and Dad were in the military. We promptly moved back to the states after a couple years and I've never returned to the commonwealth since. I hope to change that someday. Following that experience my parents proceeded to bear four more children, of which I am the oldest. Being the oldest of 5 children and a military brat has put me through a crucible of life experience. I am adaptable to change, can see the  bigger picture, and exhibit an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I did the math and I changed schools 10 times before graduating high school. Because of this I make friends easily, am a generally nice and well mannered person, and I take things as they come, without ever shutting down or losing it. 


High school was pretty darn cool. I attended the Academy for Math Engineering and Science (AMES), a college prep school, with the intent of becoming an engineer or a doctor or something of the sort. This education afforded me a solid foundation in the sciences, having taken college courses through the University of Utah such as Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. I also participated in the student council, which unlike other schools was hand picked by the AMES faculty.   I've always had a deep appreciation for those people who have a wealth of knowledge and are willing to share it. I seek people like these out and pick their brains at any chance I get, because I love to learn.

Starting in 9th grade I began working. First at a ski resort, teaching little kids how to ski. That summer I also landed a job at the local theme park, selling merchandise and whatnot. I then also began working for Craig Campbell, a magician in Salt Lake City, mastering lighting, sound engineering, set construction, and whatever else was needed behind the scenes. For a time I worked in Production Services at Utah State University while I was doing my general education. I perfected and honed my skills in lighting and sound and worked on productions such as Seussical the Musical, Sweeny Todd, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. We also hosted musicians like Pat Donahue, and comedians such as B.J. Novak. I then chose to switch to Salt Lake Community College, due to the fact that I could attend for free through my Step-Dad's faculty discount. During this time I worked at Kneaders, a sandwich chain that started in Utah and has grown quite considerably in the last few years. When I went to college in Savannah, Georgia I helped to open the new Whole Foods Market, in customer service, cashiering, and cart management (self proclaimed as nobody else wanted to do it and I was happy to).  Looooong story short, I've been in the blue collar workforce since I was 15 years old. These diverse experiences have turned me into a jack-of-all-trades and even a master of some. They were all learning opportunities, lending themselves to whatever future I so desired to apply them to. 


Which leads to me to animation! My mom loves to tell the story of when I was three and I was watching Toy Story (1995) and I asked her how the movie was made. She explained that there were people who animated the images on the screen and how that process was done. According to her I then said, "That's what I want to do when I grow up." Fast forward 17 years and I'm finishing my associates degree and freaking out about what I'm going to do with my life. A letter comes in the mail with an invitation to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  I hadn't even had the inkling that animation was something that I could feasibly do with my life. Not that I never thought I was good enough. I knew I could learn. I just thought it was a job for people who never wanted to make money (still sort of true). I got this letter. I did a little research, and I said "screw it". And here I am today. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Animation. My passion. My love. I'm still figuring things out but I don't think I could truly be happier than if I had gone into a science based career path. Don't get me wrong. I love science, and again I love to learn. Applying the sciences to my art is where I believe I truly shine. The understanding of Calculus and Physics is what makes my animation so uniquely "right" and more tangible.  





"What a nerd. . ." - Katrina Ickes ~ Sister

"I was delighted to work with Jon. Jon was warm, friendly and personable with all of our students and teachers and took as much time as our attendees needed, and made each one feel special from their interaction with him. He cheerfully took on any task needed. I had no doubt that what I asked for would be completed quickly, efficiently, and perfectly. Our students and volunteers are a very demanding group, and Jon never failed to show up ready to assist with anything necessary. Jon’s dedication, commitment, and professionalism were obvious, as was genuine care and concern for our members. I would gladly work with Jon again any time, and I am happy to recommend him."  - Joyce Pugh


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