Joie de Vivre

Go O’s

I worry that I’m “Orioles poison” because every time I go to a game, they lose. I’m staying away now so they can clinch a trip to the playoffs.


The Value of Reading

Cut paper diorama in an metal box showing a library and the saying - if you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't fuck 'em.


During non-pandemic conditions, the Sweaty Eyeballs animation festival opens with live musicians accompanying a silent animation. Since this year’s festival is online, Phil Davis decided to try the reverse, where animators add film to Baltimore musician’s recordings.

Phil asked me if I’d be willing to do one, and I asked to work with the band WUME. They sent me a track called Indigo, and this is what I made.

I started working on this in August. I listened to the song, wrote the lyrics in my book, and let the images appear. I like narrative, and the more surreal, the better. I threaded certain images into the loose narrative, and some key elements repeatedly show up.

My notes on the animation table

I made dozens of puppets and props for the scroll, which ended up being 45′ long. I began the actual process of animating on September 27th, and finished on October 11th. The video clocks in at 4:11.

It is an honor to participate in Sweaty Eyeballs. I’ve drawn such inspiration from the programming there, as well as the time I’ve known Phil Davis. We have all done our best to persevere during these weird times (please make sure you vote – and as Phil said, please vote for people who support the arts).

I hope you enjoy this. I had fun making it, and fun with this opening!



Danger & Filth

Danger and Filth: Baltimore.

I love Baltimore, I chose to move here almost 30 years ago. It’s an amazing city, and a beautiful one. It’s full of hardworking, loving families. It has a vibrant cultural scene, and is home to numerous universities and colleges, both public and private.

It sucks when the president of the United States insults my home. In short, I hope our country finds a way out of this mess soon.


The Sea House & The Room of Indefinite Holding

My colleague Jenny O’Grady created The Baltimore Ekphrasis Project, a special collaboration between LED Baltimore and The Light Ekphrastic. I submitted The Sea House as an inspiration piece for the talented Juliana Converse, and I made The Room of Indefinite Holding as a response. Any local artists reading this – please reach out to Jenny and participate in future projects.

sea-wip SH-left SH-right Wanna-get-weird
On the big screen…




I am so very excited to announce my first solo show! At School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. I’m working around to clock to finish everything I want to share with you.

From the press release, which is soon to be released to the press:

Jim Doran’s objects reflect his fascination with the sea, the macabre, the divine and the metaphysical. His tiny dioramas from paper cutouts, pen & ink drawings and recycled packaging become tiny theaters where giant narratives unfold.  Doran explores the concept that there are many worlds: the world we live in, the world each of us carries around inside ourselves and even a mystical “Land of the Dead.” He places his ideas inside of found objects, which gives them their own purpose and mission.  By working in a small scale, he is able to recycle containers and packaging, giving them a second life of their own.  In spite of the dark subject matter, the work is optimistic and joyful and you can truly see the spirited fun that went into the making.  Doran finds it comforting to explore mortality in his work…it reminds him to live more fully, love the people around him and gives him hope that, when they finally pack him away in the ground, the stories will go on.

School 33 Art Center
1427 Light Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
P: 443.263.4350

Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 12-6pm