Joe Bl uhm
Joe tells us what he brings to the Moonbot table
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.