Jonathan PJ Smith

Jon and his beloved projectors
Jon with his beloved projectors.

Originally from northeast England, Jonathan developed a love of international travel at a young age and spent years wandering the world and learning languages. As his wanderlust began to wane, he found himself drawn towards creating large art pieces that specialized in lighting, projection, and interactivity. In 2006 he became a member of Fishbon, a non-profit art organization in Santa Barbara. There, he was given the space and knowledge to learn his craft and later became the organization’s president.

Jonathan has created numerous large-scale installations, taking each from concept to completion in its turn. The majority have been immersive environments that encapsulate the audience thereby making the experience richer and more memorable. He has been Head of Lighting and Projection for seven festivals, in which he delights in creating a half-mile-long roadway through the festival grounds using his unique lighting installations. He has worked extensively as Head of Lighting and Projection with Bamboo DNA, a company that has created some of the world’s largest bamboo sculptures for festivals such as Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival. All of the above has made him adept at conceptualizing, sourcing, building, managing, and directing big projects.

Kym Cochran

Kym Y Cochran makes a rock
Kym creating a rock for the installation “1925”.

Since 1998, Kym has specialized in creating immersive environments. Her ability to capture the nuances of natural elements has established her as a known force in the theming industry. Her skills have been used in both North and South America and include attractions such as “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” (Orlando, FL), “Carsland” (Anaheim, CA), “Star Wars” (Anaheim, CA) and “Parque Temático de Flora y Fauna” (Pereira, Colombia). Her knowledge includes all aspects of custom construction from concept to completion, ranging from small props to multi-million dollar projects. Specific skill sets include welding, sculpting and painting concrete and epoxies, custom mold making, scenic painting, and 3-dimensional faux finishes.  Experienced in design-build, she uses her vast knowledge to make custom features both durable and aesthetically pleasing.  A few of her projects have included Toucan-friendly nests, 800 linear feet of flexible vines able to withstand the force of 300lb gorillas, delicate details of endangered frog dioramas, and countless more.  In addition, she has field supervision skills and prefers to be working alongside the team setting production rates and establishing artistic standards.

Before becoming a creative specialist, Kym was an internal financial analyst for a large marketing firm Summit Marketing Group.  She easily transferred her business acumen to the theming industry and demonstrated her estimating and management skills. She has worked with architects, landscape designers, and engineers advising on cost-effective methods to create immersive environments and realistic elements.

Harry The Mascot

Harry the Giant Water Bug

The first, big, public installation that Kym and Jon worked on as partners was “Tulle Falls”, and Harry was the star of the show. To acquire the footage of aquatic insects for Tulle Falls, Jon went repeatedly into the Santa Ynez mountains, behind Santa Barbara, armed with filming equipment. Above Seven Falls there is a stream that forms part of Mission Creek. Even during the worst years of drought, water is always running there. At the end of the shoot, as he was repacking, he spied a huge bug with weird protrusions on its back vigorously swimming upstream in a most ungainly manner. He quickly scooped it up in his net and plonked it in his tub of water. Harry was a giant water bug of the family Belostomatidae and the odd ornaments on the top of his carapace were eggs that his mate laid there. 

During the showing of Tulle Falls, when Harry periodically appeared in all his oversized glory, the audience invariably stood back in awe and wonder. He’s a worthy mascot to be sure. 

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