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About

Jim Doran drinking coffee in San Juan

I’m a multidisciplinary artist from Baltimore, Maryland. I make tiny dioramas with paper, wood and ink drawings. I love to compose and record music. I’m a stop-motion animator.

I earned my B.A. in music composition from Washington College, a certificate in computer programming from the Community College of Baltimore County, a graduate certificate in information technology from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.F.A. from Towson University.

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.

Artist Statement(s)

I am an interdisciplinary artist exploring themes of metaphysics, identity, and humor through the mediums of illustration, assemblage, animation, and sound. My body of work consists of tiny, cut paper dioramas in discarded objects (metal boxes, watches, tins, spoons, etc.), large drawings on Tyvek and scrolls of paper, hand drawn stop motion animation, and sound recordings consisting of composed music, tape loops, and musique concrète.

My intention is to lead a creative life, every single day. Making Art is my Joie de Vivre. I find peace and purpose here, as well as discovery.

I explore and combine these themes throughout all my work:

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

In my music, I examine:

  • Improvisation
  • Rhythm, texture, microtonality
  • Approaches in serial composition
  • Approaches in improvisation
  • 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 jimdoran.net) 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.


Selected Exhibits & Such

2022

  • Digital album release: The Old San Juan, Scientifically Sound Records
  • Digital album release: Goldberg Variations, Scientifically Sound Records
  • Sweaty Eyeballs – Behind the Screens, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD
  • Born in Baltimore Film and Photography Festival at Johns Hopkins University + MICA. Baltimore, MD
  • Overlea Arts Festival, Film Festival, Baltimore, MD
  • Towson MFA exhibit, Rhizome, Washington, DC
  • Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, Baltimore MD

2021

  • Hamilton Gallery Winter show, Baltimore, MD
  • Bearing Witness, (online) Hamilton Gallery, Baltimore, MD
  • BO/DY, Nefarious Contemporary, Baltimore, MD
  • Indigo animation
    • Official selection Standalone Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA
    • Semi-finalist Sweden Film Festival
  •  SPARK IV: A New World? Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
  • Hamilton Gallery Spring show, Baltimore, MD
  • 7×7.la Exquisite Corpse
  • In Plain Sight(site), Le Mondo, Baltimore, MD
  • Two Feet & More, Towson Art Collective, Towson, MD
  • Bearing Witness, (in person) Hamilton Gallery, Baltimore, MD
  • Born in Baltimore Film and Photography Festival at Johns Hopkins University + MICA. The Benefits of Radiation winner: Audience Favorite & Judges’ Award. Baltimore, MD
  • Young Blood, Maryland Art Place. Baltimore, MD
  • Overlea Arts Festival, Film Festival, Baltimore, MD
  • Supernova Silent Screen Denver Digerati digital film festival, Denver, CO
  • Window of Opportunity, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
  • Hamilton Gallery Fall Show, Baltimore, MD
  • Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, Baltimore, MD
  • Music to Hear Blindfolded, Vol. 1, cassette release, Scientifically Sound Records.
  • Under 500, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD

2020

2019

  • Under 500, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
  • …and Your Bird Can Sing, Fleckenstein Gallery, Baltimore, MD
  • Small Stories and Other Stories [solo show], Hamilton Gallery, Baltimore, MD
  • ZIP: 21214, ArtScape Gallery Network, Baltimore, MD
  • Repurposed on Purpose (2), Fleckenstein Gallery, Baltimore, MD (continued)
  • Digital album release: The Septic Bank, Scientifically Sound Records.

2018

  • The Great Mystery Show, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD (continued)
  • Maryland Psychic Fair, Bowie, MD
  • A Gorey Night: Artist Talk and Crosshatching Lessons, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
  • Two Worlds Touch, Greenbelt Arts Center, Greenbelt, MD
  • Repurposed on Purpose (2), Fleckenstein Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

  • Lotta Art Exhibition, School33 Baltimore, MD

2010

  • ArtScape Here, There, Anywhere Baltimore, MD
  • ArtScape Comic Wall, Baltimore, MD
  • ArtScape Banner Exhibition, Baltimore, MD
  • Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore, MD
  • Illustration Friday Pick of the Week (Layer)
  • Videopolis, Maryland Film Festival Metro Gallery Baltimore, MD

2009

  • PENNED Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA
  • Illustration Friday “Pick of the Week” Shaky
  • Johns Hopkins National Arts Program Baltimore, MD (first place)

2008

  • ArtScape Penned Exhibition Baltimore, MD
  • PENNED Lump Gallery/Projects, Raleigh, NC
  • Artful Blogging Magazine
  • Johns Hopkins National Arts Program Baltimore, MD

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

Discography

  • 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

I make my living as a Web developer/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 began teaching Web design, web coding, and WordPress at the Community College of Baltimore County and MICA in 2006.