Search
News
View full story chiyuliao.jpg

Story: Sep 26, 2014

CIA's Community Works series focuses on socially engaged art...

View details 2014 Faculty Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Aug 28, 2014

2014 Faculty Exhibition

View full story croppedrusso.jpg

Story: Sep 22, 2014

Television and film writer teaching narrative writing at CIA

View details Mizoguchi's Greatest Decade

Events: Sep 06, 2014

Mizoguchi's Greatest Decade

View Link

Social: about 21 hours ago via Facebook

Rachel Lamping '14 won first place and the audience favorite award at the California International Animation Festival 2014 for her 2D animation, "Different Not ...

View full story tinacassar.jpg

Story: Sep 16, 2014

CIA Professor Tina Cassara inspires Sculpture Center exhibit...

View details Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

Events: Oct 03, 2014

Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

View full story dormdeckyoga.jpg

Story: Aug 27, 2014

New residence hall welcomes first-year students in comfort, ...

View details CIA Portfolio Day

Events: Oct 11, 2014

CIA Portfolio Day

View details exhibition2.jpg

Blog: Sep 24, 2014

9/25-28: John Waters in person, Sansho the Bailiff, three by Joanna Hogg

View full story liberal-artscma.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

View details A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

Events: Oct 18, 2014 @ William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, OH

A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

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

Join us tomorrow @ 12:15p for a free presentation featuring young pros from @GM Design Center. Free pizza + bevs! http://t.co/z4gf8MO6d5

5 days 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

Uptown Residence Hall

Check out the new student digs.

Read More

Cores + Connections

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