Joe Bl uhm

Joe tells us what he brings to the Moon­bot ta­ble

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artist Q&A - Joe grad­u­ated from the Cleve­land In­sti­tute of Art and built up a ca­reer in car­i­ca­ture art, which he also taught, be­fore join­ing Moon­bot. www.joe­bluhm.blogspot.co.uk

Had you pub­lished any­thing be­fore com­ing to Moon­bot?

I pro­duced car­i­ca­tures for years. When you see how peo­ple re­act to be­ing drawn, with their in­se­cu­ri­ties com­ing to the fore, you find it’s such a strange an­thro­pol­ogy. I de­cided to pub­lish a car­i­ca­ture art book called Re­jects where I show the draw­ings peo­ple didn’t like be­cause they were done too well.

What was your first ex­pe­ri­ence at Moon­bot?

I came to the com­pany to do sto­ry­board­ing, but I in­stantly started ask­ing if I could be­come in­volved with the char­ac­ter de­sign and con­cept art. I was re­spon­si­ble for the ma­jor­ity of the de­sign and sto­ry­boards for The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more.

What do you fo­cus on as de­part­ment lead?

I make sure all the artists are en­joy­ing what they’re do­ing, that com­mu­ni­ca­tion is hap­pen­ing be­tween mem­bers of the art team, and try to set a stan­dard for the qual­ity of art we do.

What are your per­sonal tasks at Moon­bot?

It can be sto­ry­board­ing, cre­at­ing an­i­mat­ics for the begin­ning of a project, help­ing to con­ceive the story and aes­thetic. Some­times, it’s do­ing con­cept art, such as a style­frame at the begin­ning of a project to de­fine the look of a film or com­mer­cial, and my favourite thing is to do char­ac­ter de­sign.

What have been some of your favourite projects?

We re­cently did a project for Am­plify Learn­ing, putting to­gether a tablet and dig­i­tal cur­ricu­lum to teach Edgar Al­lan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. I was a huge Poe fan when I was younger so I was re­ally ex­cited to do this. I got to in­ter­pret the text vis­ually, de­sign the char­ac­ters and sto­ry­board and cre­ate some­thing to­tally new. I was lucky enough to lead story, art di­rect, and di­rect the film with Bill Joyce.

What was your favourite task on Chipo­tle’s The Scare­crow?

I re­ally en­joy colour and es­tab­lish­ing pal­ettes. The model and an­i­ma­tion team sends you a screengrab: it looks like a weird, half-fin­ished grey sculp­ture shot, and I get to paint on top of that, sup­port­ing the light­ing artists as much as I can. Those are fun be­cause all you are think­ing about is light and colour and how it plays in the scene.

Moon­bot Stu­dios artists and an­i­ma­tors work

in the “artist pit,” which was de­signed to

fos­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion. As the main il­lus­tra­tor on The Num­berlys, Christina El­lis worked closely with Kenny Cal­li­cutt, col­lab­o­rat­ing on ideas to cre­ate the best re­sults.

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