Animation Business as Unusual Life is so Daily

I have this studio….

Posted on by Joe Murray


I have this studio in downtown Glendale. I’ve had it for awhile. In my building is a mixture of film production, and business types. Craig Barlett’s in the building. Passes by at times on his way for noodles.  It’s a strange pocket, this creative spot I’ve carved out. My line producer brings thai food for meetings. I have a Nespresso coffee maker that keeps me sane. Rocko, Lazlo and Frog in a Suit memorabilia on the walls.

The studio has a couple projects going on, with emphasis on the PBS project, which is almost out the door for now. Playing around with a new studio card for the back credits.

May be going to Toronto in  a couple weeks. I’m already cold.

Happy birthday to my Mom. I miss her.


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Animation Business as Unusual

New Year, New Projects

Posted on by Joe Murray


My new project for PBS is going extremely well. Almost too well. I think I love it more than any other show I have worked on. It says something that needs to be said at this time in our evolution. Not to place too much importance on an animated show, but if I’m going to share my talents as well as those of my colleagues in this form, I’m glad it’s a positive contribution.

There is also another project in discussion that is too early to disclose. It’s crazy and ludicrous. A “not right in the head” project.

I’m often amazed at the twists and turns of ones life, how much it differs from the one we plan, and yet so much richer. We often don’t aim high enough. I need to write more often on this thing. Too busy having fun I suppose.

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Animation Business as Unusual Life in Art

September 8, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray
Judy Greer, Joe Murray and Mark Haslett at the Luna Around the World record.

Judy Greer, Joe Murray and Mark Haslett at the Luna Around the World record.

Sorry, way too long between posts. Been working on my pilot for PBS which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. It’s turning out better than my expectations, and I feel it’s something that is needed right now children’s programming. Great to work on something that is putting something of real value out there.

Things didn’t work out with Joan Cusack. I won’t get into any dirty laundry here. Let’s just say Joan didn’t seem entirely committed to the project. But it all worked out for the better because we got extremely talented actress Judy Greer: (IMDB)  to be the lead role, and I feel her voice works better, and she was such an amazing joy to work work with ( above is Judy, myself and co-exec producer and head writer Mark Haslett at the record).

The materials just got shipped to our Canadian animation team, so things will lighten up a bit until the the film comes back.

My two year old can’t stop watching the animatic for the project ( yes, at home I have to review a new pass of the animatic, and Louis comes to watch.) Glad he likes it.

More to come.

Posted in Animation, Business as Unusual, Life in Art | 8 Comments

Animation Business as Unusual Life in Art

June 11, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray

Extremely crazy busy.

PBS pilot moving forward. Just signed Joan Cusack for the lead role. Very happy about that.

Todd Henry sent me his new pre-release copy of his new book “Louder than Words”. I strongly recommend buying it when it comes out in August. In my classes, I’m always talking about finding your authentic voice that is only yours. Creatively, in business, in life. This is what the book is about, and it is inspiring.

Just got done working on a project with Carl Jones that he is doing for Adult Swim. Carl is extremely talented ( and a good guy.)

More later.

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Business as Unusual Life in Art Serious Thoughts

May 11, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray

I was speaking with my old high school art teacher Mark Briggs yesterday ( he just turned 94 last week and still “sharp as a tack”), and we got on the subject of branding. He said he just learned about it as it is being used in the contemporary business world, to him it was something you did to your cattle.

I told him I just recently had an executive tell me they wanted to be part of the Joe Murray Brand. I never thought of myself as a brand, but I’ve been told my work stands out as it’s own thing. I’m not part of a Nickelodeon look, or a Cartoon Network look, and I am definitely not a PBS look. There may have been a time in my highly ambitious 20’s and 30’s where this would have been a highly prized label. But it’s funny that by the time it takes to achieve such a “brand” as an artist, there are different things that are important to you.

To just maintain honesty in your work, and the way you do business. To lead a simple life and do no harm ( or the least amount of harm) socially and environmentally.

And one thing that I’m finding more and more important ( and that actually what my new show is about) is that we are all one. All around the world, we are all connected to each other. What you do to another, good or bad, you do to yourself.

I guess that can be part of the brand, but then we are all one global brand. Right?

Life is good.

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Animation Business as Unusual Life in Art travels

April 25, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray


A Return?  Hmmmm….

I recently went out of town for a large gathering of PBS producers, content creators and local stations ( my friend the very talented Craig Bartlett was there) and I have returned with a new hope and optimism that there are institutions that are wonderful to work for, and that, if you look hard enough, you can find those people who share your values and goals in life, and if you work together you can both co-create contributions of joy.

I love this project I’m working on so much, and along with my film Fish Head, and spending time with my family, my dance card is filled with a night of blissful moves.

I hoard clippings from magazines, newspapers and such that strike my fancy. I was going through some today and found an article from 2000 about authors and creators working with PBS. There is a quote from William Joyce that I totally agree with when faced with the challenge of educational content coupled with quality entertainment. He said:

” The ironclad rule is to check your cynicism at the door. Being mean and funny is the easiest thing in the world”. 

It’s going to be a challenge, and that is why I like it.

It could also be that energy that surrounds you when it’s close to your birthday ( which I share the same birthday with my wife). Or just that everything in your life leads to this moment.

Sounding a little hippy dippy but this is genuinely how I feel.


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Animation Joe Murray Archives

March 10, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray


Previously unpublished Rocko Archive Art

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Serious Thoughts

March 5, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray


Happy 2nd birthday to my son Louis. Since he’s mostly into airplanes and the moon right now, I made him this illustration for his gift.

But he is a gift to us. We are blessed.


Posted in Serious Thoughts | 3 Comments

Joe Murray Archives Life in Art

February 23, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray
Poster recently completed for the La Guarimba Film Festival in Italy.

Poster recently completed for the La Guarimba Film Festival in Italy.

Posted in Joe Murray Archives, Life in Art | 1 Comment

Animation Business as Unusual Serious Thoughts

February 10, 2015

Posted on by Joe Murray
Art from Children's book "Who Asked the Moon to Dinner"

Art from Children’s book “Who Asked the Moon to Dinner”

Had a great skype with Todd Henry a couple of weeks ago, author of “Die Empty” and “The Accidental Creative” ( Two books that I highly recommend.) Really down to earth with lots of insightful advice and banter.

Had a pilot commissioned by PBS Kids on a series that I created and that I’m really excited about. More on this as it develops.

My two year old son Louis is on a major “MOOON ” kick. Has to go outside every night and say hi to the moon. Loves any book that has anything remotely “Moon”. So of course he found my children’s book “Who Asked the Moon to Dinner” published way back in 2001. He needs to have it read at least twenty times and day, and go to sleep with the glow in the dark cover.  I have to say that I’m loving it. ( although I get tired of reading my own words so often, and I find myself critiquing my paintings done 14 years ago.)

Been in deep thought on the effects the ego has on our creative process. Any project that I have taken on that had any attachment to ego ( money, competition , keeping up appearances) has always nose dived for me. Any project that I love and would do for free because I love it so much have been the major highlights for me. Seems logical, but you would be surprised how the ego lures you into things that you think are for noble purposes. Could be why those who become successful at something artistically runs into blocks at times when there is output “expected of them”.

Just thoughts.


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