share this

Share This Search
News
View full story disney-bh6-1.jpg

Story: Dec 22, 2014

Grad is sculptor behind Disney's Big Hero 6

View details 35th Annual Scholastic Art & Writing Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Jan 14, 2015

35th Annual Scholastic Art & Writing Exhibition

View full story holidaycardrawley.jpg

Story: Dec 17, 2014

Students animate, illustrate holiday greetings on behalf of ...

View details 69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Feb 13, 2015

69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition

View Link

Social: about 6 hours ago via Facebook

We caught up with CIA grad Zack Petroc, model supervisor behind the Disney blockbuster Big Hero 6, and asked him how his CIA education helped him succeed. Find ...

View full story dsc92052.jpg

Story: Nov 04, 2014

New CIA building taking shape; set for December completion

View details Spring 2015 Open House

Events: Mar 21, 2015

Spring 2015 Open House

View full story unknown.png

Story: Nov 03, 2014

New Uptown Residence Hall featured in CIA video

View details Spring Exhibition: Women to Watch - Ohio

CIA Exhibition: Apr 02, 2015

Spring Exhibition: Women to Watch - Ohio

View full story bestregmidwest.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

News . Feature Stories . Leap of Faith Leads Joe Bluhm '03 to Academy Award-Winning Film

News

May 01, 2012

Leap of Faith Leads Joe Bluhm '03 to Academy Award-Winning Film

Illustration Graduate Builds Awesome Studio Career

Leap of Faith Leads Joe Bluhm '03 to Academy Award-Winning Film

Joe Bluhm ’03 took a leap of faith three years ago and ended up with a 2012 Oscar to his credit.

The former Cleveland Institute of Art illustration major was successfully doing freelance work in New York City when he received a phone call about an opening for a story board artist in Shreveport, Louisiana.

He left the Big Apple and joined what became Moonbot Studios, producers of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which won the Academy Award for best animated short film. The studio calls this delightful 15-minute flick “a love letter to books (that) is about the curative power of story.”

The story of Bluhm’s career started at CIA. “My first two years at CIA were amazing. My instructors, especially David Mitri and Daniel Dove, gave me more attention that I’d ever gotten in my life except from my mother and maybe my elementary school art teacher,” he recalled.

“In illustration, (Department Head and Professor) Dom Scibilia was great. What he taught me about freelancing really helped, like promoting myself, being professional, and dealing with art directors.”

That artistic and professional instruction paid off for Bluhm, who is thriving on a team of wildly creative artists. He wears many hats at Moonbot where he serves as concept artist, story developer, story artist, character designer, visual developer, and environment and prop designer. “We’re very nimble and small so a lot of people do a lot of things,” he said.

Bluhm said the Oscar nomination wasn’t such a surprise; he knew he was working on something special with Morris Lessmore.

“But I freaked out when I learned that we had actually won. I just remember hugging a lot of people embarrassingly. I’ve never felt like that before. It was kind of a validation of leaving New York, where I was happy, and moving to a small studio in the south.”

Bluhm was also the lead creative designer and developer for the iPad App storybook version of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which was named App of the Year by Tap!and Apps Magazine. He is now illustrating the printed book version of the story, which will be released later this year by Simon & Schuster.

YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Flickr Pinterest Instagram

Social Feed

CIA grad Zack Petroc, model supervisor behind #Disney's #BigHero6, dishes how his education helped him succeed http://t.co/JpKpdhACom

about 6 hours ago via Twitter

Questions?

For more information about this or other CIA news, contact us here.

Read More

Community Works

Visiting artists, exhibitions, conference and symposia exploring socially engaged art.

Read More

Uptown Residence Hall

Check out the new student digs.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.