Founder Friday — Meet Joyce from Canviz

Joyce Pan, App Lead and Cofounder

Learn more about Joyce Pan from Canviz. Canviz is a digital canvas for displaying art and photography, it’s also a site for collecting, discovering and sharing great content.


What did you think you wanted to be when you were in HS?

In HS I was interested in doing special effects for film as well as being a musician for film scores. Towards the end of HS I started being interested in animated films.

What did you study in college and what was your first job?

I studied Computer Science with a focus on graphics and animation and minored in Studio Art at Stanford. My first job out of college was working at Dreamworks Animation as a Lighting Technical Director, but my first real job was in HS teaching violin to young students and performing wedding and event gigs with a quintet.

What did you do in your previous life, prior to founding Canviz:

Prior to joining Canviz I had worked at Dreamworks Animation and then got my feet wet in the startup world by working on iOS apps for artists and musicians with a friend and former coworker.


What inspired you to found Canviz?

I joined the Canviz team partially because I had worked with the CEO Matt Waters on creative projects in the past (we had done a 48 hour film festival and also took on a lot of creative education endeavors together). Matt and I also used to take sketching classes together and talk about our favorite artists and share their works, and Canviz felt like a natural extension to that.

What has been your biggest challenge growing your company?

For me the biggest challenge was prioritizing my time. Working in a small team on a startup requires you to wear a lot of hats, and realizing the limited time and manpower we had for such a large vision meant learning how to juggle priorities while also making sure to not personally burn out.

What has been your biggest win?

My proudest moment at Canviz was when a digital artist approached us asking about our product. She was making living photos with subtle motion and had spent a lot of time and money trying to frame and display them. I took a phone call with her where she brought me a list of ways previous methods had failed her. Being able to assure her that our product took care of these issues and hearing her growing excitement reminded me of why we created Canviz.


When you’re not working on your company, how do you spend your time?

Outside of the company, I probably spend most of my time playing violin with various groups and friends around LA. I try to play all sorts of styles, from classical to fiddling to jazz.

Best place you’ve ever traveled to?

It wasn’t necessarily the best place I’d ever been to, but the most memorable place I traveled to was going to Beijing for martial arts training with the Stanford Wushu Club for 4 weeks. It was the most culturally immersive experience as well as by far the most physically challenging trip I’d ever taken. We trained 4 hours a day on weekdays and 2 hours on Saturday. As a Chinese-American, the trip also made me reflect a lot on my own culture, what parts I had internalized and what parts had been diluted.

How would your mother or maternal figure describe your personality?

Hardworking, but sometimes silly.

Your favorite get sh*t done quote:

“Never miss a day.”