Spotted: Downtown, SF
What are you up to today?
I'm actually on my lunch break from work right now.
Where do you work?
At the Apple Store nearby.
How long have you been doing that?
I've been working there for about four months and it's a wonderful job. I'm very happy there.
How did you get started doing that?
I applied in January after I got out of school — I just finished my master's in animation. I've always wanted to work for Apple. I got my undergrad in computer graphics so I wanted to find a transition job before I started the career job, but one that was going to be a healthy, positive space. So, Apple was calling, I got an interview, I stood out, and I was able to get in and I'm just very happy growing with the company.
What kinds of projects do like to work on?
I like 2D animation — hand-drawn animation. The 3D animation isn't really my thing. I didn't feel like an artist anymore. I didn't like the feeling of not touching pen to paper. What I want to do with my 2D animation is create stories. I love telling stories. Specifically, I want to see more diversity in animation. When I grew up, I didn't see anybody who looked like me when I watched animation and TV. I want the younger kids who are coming up now to see something that represents them and their families. So I want to start somewhere small, a small studio but of course build a network, and hopefully the biggest career goal is to have my own animation studio one day to represent minorities in animation.
What artists have you seen that have inspired you?
Oh! Hands down, of course it started with Walt Disney. I first saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, I pointed to the screen and said, I said, "THAT. Mom and Dad, whatever that is, that's what I want to do." So Walt Disney is one, and the other big, huge one is Hayao Miyazaki — love his work. So those are my two big ones. And you can see with Miyazaki, he takes his experiences from his background, his culture and he uses 2D animation and I hope to do the same.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the area?
I'm originally I'm from Denver, Colorado, and was in grad school for three and a half years, so I'm still getting to know the city. But, after being landlocked for 25 years, I love going to Ocean Beach. I love going to the Mission, because there's always something new to do in the Mission! There's always some cute little shop that you didn't know existed in the corner. And I love this area over here by Yerba Buena Gardens. It's just very peaceful, nice place to come and talk and get a coffee. So far, those are my favorite places. I wanna branch out more, and learn more about the city now that I've free from grad school! [laughs]
How would you describe your personal style? Love your hair and how you have the cowrie shells weaved in!
Well, my own personal style — I'm an old soul, and I grew up watching old movies on Turner Classic Movies, so I like to take from different generations and put my style to it. The biggest thing for me is, do I feel comfortable in this? Do I feel confident in it? I don't care how old it was back in the day, if it's out of style, if it's not the latest trend. I always rely on, how do I feel inside and out? And I go from there! And I always switch it up every day. Everybody at work knows me notoriously for switching up my hair, my outfit, bringing something different. I like variety. So I would describe my own personal style as being confident and comfortable in your own skin. I'm inspired by regular people walking down the street, like, Oh yes! I love this outfit! And then I'll find something in my wardrobe to put together with my style.
It looks like you got some henna done on your hand too!
Yeah, my first time getting henna — it's maybe three weeks old, but I really love it! I'm not able to get tattoos because I scar, so I wanted to see how the henna would do on my skin, and it reacted very well, so I plan on getting some more! [laughs]
You can see Khadijah's work here!