Motion designer Jared Schafer is based in Fishkill, where he creates stunning animations and posters for high-profile clients.

He’s the Director of Motion Graphics for the Albany-based marketing agency Upside Collective, and while his clients are centered around the Capital Region, his work is informed by life in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Albany Craft Poster
A poster for Craftwhere, themed around the Albany craft beer scene.
Upside Collective’s motion reel for 2018, featuring Jared’s work.

Hello! Who are you? Tell us about yourself. What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing?

Hello! I’m Jared. I’m the Director of Motion Graphics at Upside Collective in Albany, but work remotely from my home office in Fishkill, NY. I’m super happily married and the father of two young boys, Liam & Auggie. I’m very passionate about spending time with my family, and I’m also passionate about the artistic, curious, playful side of illustrative and motion-based 2D & 3D design.

I enjoy illustrating posters — many of which highlight the Hudson Valley and Capital Region — animation, art festivals, dining on patios, the Carolina Panthers, food trucks, video games, going to the playground, Legos, Transformers, and watching Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse over and over with my kids.

A process video for the creation of a poster for Craftwhere.

How did you discover the Hudson Valley?

I began my adult life not knowing what I wanted to actually do with my life and ended up dropping out of college down in North Carolina and started serving, then bartending. I enjoyed it and did it for years. Long story short, I got the chance to manage a bar outside of Albany, so I packed up and moved up here from NC. I bartended for another 8 years before going back to school and getting my BA in media design at the ripe ol’ age of 34. In the 13 years I’ve been in Upstate New York, I’ve grown to love it… the seasons, the mountains, the trees, the serenity. It’s a wondrous place.

The Hudson River from Olana

Walk us through a typical day.

Alarm goes off at 6:20am, I hit snooze. I get up at 6:30. I make coffee and lunches as my wife is getting the kids ready. I put the lunches in the car and start it so that it’s warm when they get in. My wife then leaves to drop the kids off at daycare and goes to school (she’s a 5th grade special ed teacher). After they’ve left, I take my coffee into my office (almost always in pajama pants and a t-shirt) and check my email and then start working on different possible things. My hours are typically 7am — 3pm.

As far as what I’ve been working on lately, it’s been a lot of animations for the Albany Empire that play on the jumbotron at the Times Union Center.

Jared designed these uniforms, as well as this video them, for the Albany Empire AFL team.

I also got the opportunity to design their new uniforms, as well as their playoff logo. Oh, and super random, but last week I did some logo animations for two different law firms. I’ve also recently had the pleasure of designing a full brand package, animations, illustrations, and all print designs for The Bishop (an Albany beef & bourbon tavern in Downtown Albany that’s being opened by some of my best friends).

Coasters for The Bishop.
Coasters for The Bishop.

When my day job ends, I switch over to either freelance mode, or recently, to working on 3D projects for the intense online course that Upside Collective generously enrolled me in to further develop my 3D skillset. I try to continue learning as much as I can when time allows so that I don’t get rusty and complacent.

The rest of my day is your typical dad stuff. Sometimes there’s time for movies or video games, but that’s pretty rare during the week.

Jared Schafer with his family

Where are your favorite places to spend time in the Hudson Valley?

I love the Lark Street area in Albany, the waterfront in Newburgh, the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, Downtown Troy, the Rail Trail in Wappingers, Downtown Beacon, etc…

Oh, and we really like the Dutchess Biercafe (great beer, food & patio) on Main Street in Fishkill. And we go get ice cream at Ron’s Ice Cream every Friday in Beacon. So good.

The view from the Walkway Over the Hudson, looking south down the Hudson River.
The view from the Walkway Over the Hudson, looking south down the Hudson River.

Do you have a go-to coffee or beer order, and from where?

An IPA, on a patio, preferably on the Hudson, like at Billy Joe’s Ribworks in Newburgh.

Where do you do your best creative work?

My office. That might seem a bit on the nose, but it really is. I’ve surrounded myself with what inspires me, whether it’s art on the walls or books by my idols. And being that I’m doing a lot of animation, I’m tethered by the need for a powerful desktop, as opposed to more mobile remote designers who can work on laptops.

Jared Schafer's home office in Fishkill.
Jared Schafer’s home office in Fishkill.

How has the Hudson Valley influenced or impacted your creative work?

Landscapes with mountains and trees have definitely made it into more of my work because of this beautiful area we live in. I think my work is just better in general from being continuously inspired and happy with my environment.

A coaster designed by Jared Schafer.

What’s surprised you most about living and working in the Hudson Valley?

I’ve noticed that the winter holidays are so much more lively, beautiful and celebrated up here than anywhere I’ve lived before.

Anything you want to plug or promote?

I’d like to shout out the agency I work for, Upside Collective. As well as School of Motion, Greyscalegorilla, and Video Copilot for anyone curious as to where to go for online motion training.