We took the afternoon to talk with James, from our New York office to discuss his passion for Sketchfab, love of a good bank heist, former pet rat and his continuing quest to be a Pokémaster.
How long have you been with Sketchfab? How did you hear about it? What’s your role here?
9 months so far! I previously did community support at Foursquare; a colleague there introduced me to Alban. I’m sad to say I hadn’t heard of Sketchfab before that, but as soon as I learned about it, I realized how awesome it is. I’m the Community Support guy, but I end up being a Jack of all Trades, which is the way I like it: technical and product support for our users, lots of model troubleshooting, bits of social media and community outreach, plus a smattering of website content and just about anything else.
Do you do 3D modeling yourself? How would you get started?
I went to Architecture school at the University of Michigan, so I’ve done my fair share of 2D and 3D CAD. But, I’d like to do more. It was a lot of measured drawings of existing spaces or my own designs, so I would start with plans and sections, then start to build into 3D. Recently though, I’ve just been doing quick 3D scans, and occasional simple models.
What is your favorite model on Sketchfab?
Definitely the Minecraft Castle by patrix. It’s a fantastic MC build by itself, but the extra work done afterwards to re-texture and bake lighting is really stunning.
What do you do in your spare time?
I read a lot, mostly science fiction, with some non-fiction sprinkled in. Some recent authors: Hugh Howey, Joe Haldeman, Michael Pollan, George Martin. I paint occasionally or work on various personal design projects. I don’t watch much TV but I like a few comedy shows and anime. I also have some not-so-guilty pleasures, like building a competitive Pokemon team.
That’s really tough. I love heist movies (The Bank Job , Heat , Ocean’s 11 [1960, 2001], The Italian Job [1969, 2003], etc.), but my all-time favorite movie is probably Jurassic Park. It’s one of those films I can watch over and over again.
What do you listen to while working?
I’ll listen to almost anything, but there are a few staples that I always come back to (mostly indie / pop / rock / punk): Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Au Revoir Simone, FIDLAR, Generationals, STRFKR, and lots of others. I scrobble everything, so if you’re really interested, you can view my Last.FM library.
Where are you from? How old are you?
I’m 24. I was born in England, but I grew up around metro Detroit. Check out my #AnnotatedEarth for the full story!
What would you have for your last meal on earth?
Craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I lived in a house with 11 people and a pet rat. Half of them were musicians… It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
What is an accomplishment you have achieved that makes you most proud?
Caught ‘em all!