About Me

Work Experience:

1958 – 1960 Fayette County Planning Department, Uniontown, PA

Full time position – Cartographer/Drafting/Illustrator. Duties included: Report Illustration, charts and graphs.

1960 – 1962 Carroll V. Hill & Associates Pittsburgh, PA.

(consulting firm)

Full time position – Illustrating, cartography and drafting.

1962 – 1964 Graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Visual Communications

1962 1977 Allegheny County Planning Department, Pittsburgh, PA

Full time position – Art Director. I created, managed and trained 12 artists for Allegheny County’s first art studio. Duties included: Report illustration, architectural model making, cartography, technical drawings, charts and graphs.

1967 – 1968 United States National Guard Reserves

Ft. Knox, KY Honorable Discharge. (Radio operator)

1977 – 1979

I created and managed the Allegheny County Graphics and Print Shop by bringing all of the artists, printers and printing equipment together in one location. I supervised 14 artists and 12 printers who provided artwork and printing for all of the Allegheny County agencies.

1979 – 1999 Allan & Wilson Animation Studio

Phil Wilson and I created the studio, producing three 30 second public service TV commercials for the Group Against Smog and Pollution. (GASP) Our second client was for the AAA Recording Studio in Boston, Massachusetts. We produced one minute of animation to help sale a five TV show package deal and a half –hour TV children’s special, “Allison & the Magic Bubble” The “Allison” project included designing characters, storyboarding, over 20,000 pencil drawings, 20,000 inked and painted cels, 125 backgrounds, filming and editing. The special was aired on HBO in 1984.


I was commissioned to design and build a scale model of Gimbel’s Department Store for Lanzo Studio. The model was used for a TV Christmas commercial and a Spring sale event.

1981 - 1999

Opened Allan & Wilson Studio in a new location in Castle Shannon, PA, We produced a second half-hour TV children’s special, “A Star for Jeremy.” I supervised 30 art students and graduates, sound track, animation, 35 mm filming and editing. Other duties included: Purchasing equipment and supplies, supervising production budget, payroll accounting and hiring personnel. “A Star for Jeremy” won the Bronze Award in the New York International Film Festival in 1983 and was aired on Showtime and network TV. We also produced animatics for advertising agencies , a Heinz TV barbecue sauce commercial, etc.

1981 – 1990 Allan & Wilson Animation Studio

In conjunction with Anivision Ltd. I worked on major motion pictures, “Creepshow”, Creepshow 2”, Heartstopper”, Evil Dead 2” and Tom Petty’s music Video, “Running Down a Dream, “ TV commercials for Weight Watchers, Pound Puppies, AT&T Voice Mail, AAA Road Service, Lady Justice commercial for a lawyer referral service and dozens of other TV commercials, Inking and painting cels, animating, filming, miniatures and sound track work.

1990 – 2003

October, 1990 I was recruited by The Art Institute of Pittsburgh to teach stop motion miniatures in the Industrial Design Technology Department. I taught basic and advanced airbrush courses, movie sets, movie models, traditional cel animation and graphic design. I created the Media Arts and Animation program at AIP. In total, I taught 37 different course subjects. In 2002, I was awarded the Inez C. Hall “Outstanding Faculty Award” awarded by the faculty and students of AIP.

2003 – present Consultant with the Douglas Education Center.

Phil Wilson and I created the “Jim Allan & Phil Wilson Illustration and Fantasy Art Course.” Phil and I wrote the syllabus, selected the instructors, lecture, monitor classroom activities, attend portfolio reviews, workshops, open house, judge art shows and student orientations. Our first class graduated on March 4, 2005

Present Coordinator and President of Skyline Productions

Preproduction for a CG animated feature film. I wrote the screenplay and I’m in the process of coordinating the production, locating talent, studio location, etc. for the 90-minute feature.

Volunteer and Foster/Adopt Care Experience:

1967 - 1968

1967-1968 Explorer Advisor Assistant – Explorer Post 352 Baldwin Community United Methodist Church Pittsburgh, PA 12 teenage boys

1968 - 1972

Explorer Advisor – Explorer Post 334 I worked with19 teenage inner- city boys from St. Clair Village taking them on camping, fishing and boating trips covering over 35,000 miles. I taught 12 of the boys to drive.


I took 12 teenagers from my church to Barbourville, Kentucky to work on homes of the poor. A 2-week church project.

1972 -1981

1972-1981 Volunteer at Sleepy Hollow, a branch of Allegheny County Juvenile Court. Counseled and took boys to sporting events, fishing, etc.

1972 - 1977

Volunteer with Big Brothers. I worked with 2 boys.

1972 - 1999

1972-1999 First single male foster parent in Allegheny County, PA. I have provided care for 41 teenage boys from Juvenile Court, Children and Youth Services and private agencies. I was the first winner of the Post Gazette’s “Outstanding Citizen Jefferson Award” 1980 for my work with teenagers.


Part-time Child Care worker for Allegheny Co. Shuman Center. (Sleepy Hollow)

1981 - present

A Probation Officer asked me to visit and write to a 14-year old boy who was incarcerated for life. I visited him for a year and we have been writing letters ever since.

1986 - present

A Probation Officer asked me to visit and write to a 14-year old boy who was sentenced to 3 life sentences. We have been writing ever since.

1986 - 1987

I volunteered at Shuman Center, Allegheny County’s juvenile facility. I volunteered in the sex offenders unit.


I volunteered at Penn Residence Group Home, Bethel Park, PA. I worked full shifts to help out. I took boys out on activities, helped with homework, etc.

1987 - 1988

Volunteer with Friends Indeed (Jewish mentoring program). Designed their logo, worked with boys, activities, tutoring, etc. Later they merged with Big Brothers

1992 - 1996

Save the Children. I helped support a teenage boy in Booneville, KY and we still keep in touch.

1999 - 20001

Save the Children. I sponsored a young boy in Lost Creek, KY

1999 - 2001

I tutored a teenage boy in Pleasant Hills, teaching him airbrush He is now completing the art program at Edinboro College.

1991 - 2000

I have taken in 7 Art Institute of Pittsburgh students when I didn’t have foster kids.


I provide a home for a 17-year-old neighbor boy. A judge placed the boy with me on June 20, 2003. I provided care for him until he turned 18. He joined the Marines and was killed in Iraq May 23, 2006.


I Adopted a boy from Ohio 9/29/2006. He moved out on his own 6/29/2009.

- Jim Allan