Business as Unusual Life in Art

December 9, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray

Right Livelihood

What we do as an honest vocation says so much about us. I’ve always tried to go by the eightfold path of Buddhism and “Do no harm” in my vocation. But what I had a hard time with in my years working for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is the sponsors of those programs. I had no say what they were trying to sell to these kids. Sugar, sugar, war toys, over stimulating garbage. The only time I had a say was when they wanted me to be in a McDonalds commercial with Lazlo ( Which I declined and got in big trouble with the network). Obesity is a big problem with kids these days and McDonalds is a big contributor.

So what I have found out in these last years, is that my soul won’t allow me to go down that road anymore. It feels awful when something comes up. And it never works out. Even though I’m trying to support my family, it’s hard to muster up the passion it takes for one to succeed creatively in this very competitive time ( especially when you are in my age group). I don’t want to be like the fox and the grapes, but when these studios have said “no thanks” I didn’t shed a tear.

The good news is that I’m in business with a network developing a project where I am completely behind it’s funding model, and I feel proud of the entertainment. ( as well as liking and trusting the executives). It’s what these other failed projects were leaving room for. For the fans of my two shows Rocko and Lazlo, they may not be behind these decisions, but my soul definitely is. I’ve got excitement and passion that I have not had in a while. ( except with my teaching).

So cheers to right livelihood! Don’t give up before the miracle happens.


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Serious Thoughts

November 21, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray

Warning: Heavy truth. But more people need to hear this message.

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Life in Art

November 18, 2014

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Animation Fish Head Progress

November 14, 2014

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Serious Thoughts WARNING! Political Views!

November 7, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray


A Spoonful of Sugar

About 3 months ago, I realized that my diet had drifted into dangerous areas. I started juicing again, but I also decided to lower and try to eliminate my sugar intake. That, I found, is much easier said than done. I started watching documentaries on the obesity problem in America, and found out that , in order to reduce fat in everything, sugar ( or forms of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup and concentrates, and others too numerous to mention) had been added to almost EVERYTHING to improve the flavor. Turns out sugar, and not fats, and not lack of exercise, is causing the obesity and diabetic epidemic in America.  More research found a seriously flawed food system that pays no regard for the health of consumers, in all areas of consumption. The hardest hit are out children. In fact, this new generation is the first generation that are not statistically slated to live longer than their parents. This is due to the quality of food, or food like substances that they all eat.

My quest had been to improve my diet, but since my running and exercise regimen had been reduced due to taking care of my son, I didn’t expect to lose much weight. But so far I’ve had almost 20 pounds come off. That’s not starving myself, thats just cutting down on sugars, processed foods and white flour. That supports the notion that the Michelle Obama campaign to “get active” in response to the juvenile obesity problem is almost as ridiculous as Nancy Reagan’s “Just say No” campaign against drugs. In fact, it takes 3 hours of strenuous exercise to work off  the calories of one can of regular coke. And that’s not a big gulp.

So, hmmm,,, I’m on a soap box again. More on this as it develops.

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Fish Head Progress Life in Art

November 1, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray


Is it persistence or insanity?

When you are focused on a project, as I have been for years on Fish Head ( with several interruptions  for other life stuff like making babies, making money to pay for films and babies) your mind goes to places. I love the work, the slow progress, the characters coming to life and telling their story. It’s a good story with a message that I feel will resonate. It’s waiting for me when ever it’s time to sit down and work. Blister McFlatus calls me to the studio needing attention, the way my son Louis always wants to read more Dr. Seuss. But I look beyond the horizon for a completion date, only to see open sea. Will it end?

Just keep rowing. Except animating a film is much more fun than rowing.

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Business as Unusual Life in Art

October 30, 2014

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Life is so Daily Serious Thoughts

October 27, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray

I’ve always been an outsider.

Never really fit in to any group. Not part of the entertainment community really. Came in as an independent animator. Even though I’ve had two shows, I’ve never fit into any group that circulates through the industry. And even though I’m making an independent film, I’m no longer part of the independent community. I’m looked at as a television guy.

Hmmmm,,, well. It’s okay. I don’t mind. Was never much of a joiner. Always kept to myself. Still do.

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Life is so Daily

October 20, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray

Say what you will about doing art exclusively for the money, but nothing of worth comes from me unless I remain true to a personal vision with as much persistence and diligence as a pitbull’s jaws locked on a mailman’s leg. I have trouble doing entertainment for the sake of entertaining. When a piece doesn’t say anything. Has nothing relatable. Is not part of me.

This gives me many headaches. And schizophrenic episodes . At times I wish I could be that. It would make my life easier. (And my wife’s). But I have to make peace with it.

I’m an independent animation film maker and artist. I’m more alternative than mainstream. There are many new young people who can pump out the stuff better than I can.

Just some thoughts in a time of inner constipation.

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Business as Unusual Life in Art

October 18, 2014

Posted on by Joe Murray


Leanin’ Tree Greetings has licensed my art and writing for a line of greeting cards that is scheduled for a June 2015 release to retail.

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