Jim Doran

I make tiny dioramas with paper, wood and ink drawings. I compose and record music. I am a stop-motion animator and experimental filmmaker.

My creative work has been exhibited across the USA, in Europe and in the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. I am fortunate to have been featured on many websites, including This is Colossal, Beautiful Decay, The Order of the Good Death and even CSS-Tricks.

I live and work in Baltimore, Maryland with my wife and our dogs.


  • M.F.A. in studio art from Towson University
  • M.S.-L.I.S. graduate certificate in information technology from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School
  • B.A. music composition from Washington College, with a minor in art history. Graduated with honors


My intention is to lead a creative life, every single day. Making Art is my Joie de Vivre.

My approach to the materials I use in my work is aligned with the philosophy of Les Arts Modestes (the Modest Arts). I value everyday, ordinary, and humble objects.

Equipped with simple objects and containers, I explore and combine the following themes throughout all my work:

  • What happens after Death
  • Metaphysics
  • Identity
  • Humor
  • Scale, Material, Time
  • Linear Narrative
  • Sobriety

In my music, I examine:

  • Improvisation
  • Rhythm, texture, microtonality
  • Approaches in serial composition
  • Musique concrète (loops, DIY audio, Lo-fi production)
  • Non-diegetic sound, found audio
  • Rethinking tonality and musical purpose

In my animation, I combine all of the above.

I identify as a surrealist, an optimist, and a pescatarian.

I started this website (at that time it was in 2001. Over the years, it’s evolved, expanded and contracted as a long experiment in Web publishing.

I began using WordPress as a content management system in 2007. I immediately fell in love with the software and the community that supports it. It freed me up to make and share my work without having to hand-code web pages and it became part of my professional life. Most important of all, it gave me a platform with which to document, share and grow my work.

This website is, then, is a key part of my artistic process. Many pieces don’t seem finished until I post them here.


Please see my exhibition page for a list of my shows and exhibition history.

Grants and Selected Commissions

  • Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant, 2022
  • Maryland State Arts Council Artist Grant, Works on Paper, 2013
  • Wrigley/Altoids Corporation – “Curiously Strong” Hall of Curiosity commission for charity auction, 2011


  • Jim Doran, A Chop off the Old Block, Scientifically Sound Records, 2023
  • Jim Doran, Found and Chosen, Scientifically Sound Records, 2022
  • Jim Doran, The Old San Juan, Scientifically Sound Records, 2022
  • Jim Doran, Goldberg Variations, Scientifically Sound Records, 2022
  • Jim Doran, Music to Hear Blindfolded, Vol. 1, Scientifically Sound Records, 2021
  • Jim Doran, The Septic Blank, Scientifically Sound Records, 2020
  • Jim Doran, The Septic Bank, Scientifically Sound Records, 2019
  • Patrick O’Donnell, Cold Drinks with the Most Beautiful View, Skoda Records, 2008
  • Soundtrack, Façade video game, 2005
  • Patrick O’Donnell, Then I Woke Up, Skoda Records 2003
  • Paul Rose Fishers of Men, Bullfrog Media, 2002
  • Sun Safety CD-ROM Adventures with the Shady Characters HealthMark Multimedia, 2002
  • Patrick O’Donnell, Limbo, Skoda Records, 2001
  • Diana Froley Pet My Kitty, Mr. New York City Skoda Records, 1998
  • Bazooka Joe Imbalance Skoda Records 1995
  • Honeypump, Lava, Hat Factory Records, 1994
  • Blister Freak Circus, Flaming Poet Roadside Pisshole, Beef Platter Records, 1993
  • The Infected, Whisker Biscuit/Back Alley Scotch. AOK Tape Recordings, 1988

Web Development and Teaching

I make my living as a Web technologist, developer, and designer. I’ve worked with the following clients over the years: Johns Hopkins University, O’Reilly Media, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Towson University, The Maryland Department of Education, The Maryland State Arts Council, and over a hundred small businesses, artists, and writers.

I teach (or have taught) undergraduate and continuing education courses, including web design, web coding, web accessibility, WordPress, art, and animation for the following institutions: Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Towson University, and The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).