John Thigpen


Set Design
I have over 30 years of experience in set design for film, television, events and theatrical productions.  Local designs include work for the Alliance Studio Theatre, Atlanta Opera, Center for Puppetry Arts, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Horizon Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, Onstage Atlanta, Theatre Emory, Theatrical Outfit, and Theatre in the Square.  My work for Callaway Gardens at the1996 Southeastern Flower Show won awards in several categories.  I collaborated with puppeteers on the first interactive exhibit, Puppet Pursuit, at the Center for Puppetry Arts, created a Fringe Stage “surround” for the Piedmont Arts Festival, and designed the last three Rich’s Fashionata productions at the Fox Theatre.

My design work is taking a new direction with the inclusion of projection designs for many productions. I design graphics, composites, animations and video clips for a variety of effects. My projections design includes local productions of Turned Funny, Altar Boyz, and End Days.

I am fortunate to have a broad range of location and studio experience in film and television.  I worked as Assistant Designer on the Viacom television productions of Perry Mason Specials, The Father Dowling Mysteries and Diagnosis Murder in Denver, CO. 

My recent Atlanta production experience includes working as Set Designer on The Vampire Diares, The Walking Dead, Let\'s Stay Together (BET), Let It Shine (Disney Channel) and the remake of Coma (A&E). Additional production work includes Scenic Artist on films Driving Miss Daisy and School Daze. I worked as Co-Production Designer on the short film American Identity and Set Decorator for The Crackerman, which aired on PBS.

My design tools include computer aided drawing and presentation tools to communicate designs efficiently and provide fast revisions.  I can work with directors and other designers via fax and e-mail to present concepts in a variety of compatible file formats.

Related Experience
I gained valuable experience in the “real job” market by working in the furniture and accessories industry.  My understanding of design and consumer trends grew by working in catalog and retail environments for seven years.  I worked as a product specialist and design consultant with consumers and professionals.  I also visited several factories and showrooms to learn about production, quality, and trends. I continue working with clients as an Interior Design Consultant.  My ceramics include unique outdoor fountain sculptures for pond or of my organic sculptures was selected for the exhibition Flora: Growing Inspirations at the US Botanic Garden, Washington DC, 2009. I participated in the 2011 Art on the Atlanta Beltline with two temporary public art scultpures Meandering Fence and Atlanta Totems. I have one permanent work currently residing on Main Street Stone Mountain. The sculpture, Granite Workers, depicts activities of the Stone Mountain quarry industry.

I find relaxing moments working in my home garden and studio.  I take artistic discovery retreats to expand my skills with classes in ceramics, sculpture and papermaking. These experiences are valuable to refresh my creative process.

I recently served as Vice Chair of the ACPA Member Services Council (2007-2009).

Union Affiliation: IATSE Local 479 Studio Mechanics

Contact Member
Contact Phone
Website http://
Address Decatur, GA
Gender Male
Height Tall enough to ride the Mind Bender
Hair Color Graying
Eye Color Raw Umber
IATSE, Local 479
Skills Painter/Scenic Artist, Prop Artisan, Scenic Designer

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