Search
News
View full story brittanylockwood1.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

2014 grad to design whimsical playgrounds for Colorado compa...

View details 2014 Faculty Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Aug 28, 2014

2014 Faculty Exhibition

View full story liberal-artscma.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

View details 2014 Faculty Exhibition Opening Reception

CIA Exhibition: Aug 28, 2014

2014 Faculty Exhibition Opening Reception

View Link

Social: about 12 hours ago via Facebook

Mark you calendars now: In a tradition that dates back to 1906, Cleveland Institute of Art will showcase works by its internationally collected faculty members ...

View full story emilyhromi-stillforscreen.jpg

Story: Aug 13, 2014

Biomedical grad wins award for animation on stuttering

View details Mizoguchi's Greatest Decade

Events: Sep 06, 2014

Mizoguchi's Greatest Decade

View full story cnswithlabelsfullscreen.jpg

Story: Aug 11, 2014

Student-designed app teaches embryology, improves scores

View details Filmmaker and author John Waters to present one-man show

Events: Sep 27, 2014

Filmmaker and author John Waters to present one-man show

View details picresized1406427570dormantbeauty2.jpg

Blog: Aug 19, 2014

8/21-24: Harold Lloyd in The Freshman, Filth, Dormant Beauty & more!

View full story pcroppedbarryunderwoodfnlst211.06.jpg

Story: Jul 23, 2014

Professor's productive year saw exhibitions, acquisitions, r...

View details Fall 2014 Open House

Events: Nov 15, 2014

Fall 2014 Open House

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

Mark your calendars: CIA's 2014 Faculty Exhibition opens in Reinberger Galleries Aug 28, 6-8pm http://t.co/tb9qBlnVPz http://t.co/bCYmq5mzDh

about 12 hours ago via Twitter

Sign up for our alumni + friends newsletter

Arrow

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

Support CIA

Show the world creativity matters: make a gift to the annual fund.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Learn more about CIA's proven method for academic and professional excellence.