Jonathan Hoffman: Mormon Artist
Jonathan Verne Hoffman is a sculptor, painter, and writer. He specializes in maquette sculpture, digital art, shadowing, and texturing. He began an internship at Pixar in 2008 and after his graduation from the BYU animation program, he became employed full-time at Pixar. He is character shading technical director at Pixar. His first movie credit was with Up. He contributed to character shadowing for Monsters University. He also worked on Mater’s Tall Tales, and Toy Story of Terror! He was the first character shader for Soul (2020) and was part of the team that figured out what the lead character would look like.
Hoffman started working with oil-based clay he acquired from his sister when he was about eight years old. He created starships and enacted battles with his creations. He started creating in polymer clay when he was about age thirteen. With both media he also created figures. He is self-taught.
After his mission to Cincinnati for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brent Adams, a co-creator of the BYU animation program who is now retired, convinced Hoffman to pursue animation. While studying illustration and animation at Brigham Young University, his sculptures of Book of Mormon figures were displayed at the BYU Bookstore.
He has also created commissioned pieces. Hoffman has worked as a game designer, story developer, and concept artist for Steel Wool Games and ZombieSmith. He has been writing a series of science fiction novels since college, most of which he continues to improve and finesse before he submits them for publication.