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About Me

Susan Davis

I came to California at age 16 to become a flower child in 1968. I attended the San Francisco Art Institute as one of the youngest students ever admitted and studied painting with Jay Defeo and Sam Tchakalian. 


After art school, one of my first jobs was as a designer and mapmaker for a series of films by Michigan State University. The project was a collaboration between the Shah of Iran and the University. It gave me the opportunity to live and work in Iran for two months and inspired my passion for combining art and international travel. 


Returning to California, I went to work for Charles Schulz’s company, Determined Productions, where I created designs, dolls, and clothing featuring his “Peanuts” characters. 


Continuing my career as a graphic designer and photographer, I joined the art department at KGO-TV in San Francisco where I designed newscast graphics, maps and medical illustrations. I was among the first to use the Quantel Paintbox, a precursor to the Flame and Smoke digital art tools.


In 1986, I opened my own design studio, Paintbox Productions. For my clients, I created commercials, film and video effects working with post-production studios in San Francisco, including Varitel Video and Western Images.  


As my skill in digital motion graphics production continued to grow, I was chosen by Lucasfilm in 1993 to be a visual effects supervisor for the final seasons of Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. My team and I won two Emmy Award nominations. Following the series, I became manager of the Art Department at Industrial Light + Magic, hiring and managing designers and artists to produce the visual effects for many films. 


Today, the needs of the clients of Paintbox Productions are the purpose and focus of my work in print, web design, digital art, video, and photography.  


During the summers, just for pure joy, I often design and build sets, costumes and props for children's operas and plays, and travel as much as the budget will afford. 

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