Joe Morse’s Academy Awards illustration featured on front page of LA Times


The cover of the Oscars Calendar edition in 2013.


The front page of the LA Times on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Illustration by Sheridan’s Joe Morse.

Sheridan’s Bachelor of Illustration program coordinator Joe Morse had his illustration featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. According to Morse, the same illustration was used in 2013 to preview the Academy Awards. The LA Times decided to run Morse’s image once again due to the controversy behind the 2016 Academy Awards nominations. Morse said “This piece was a bit of a surprise as I had done an Oscar poster as part of a series the LA Times does every year in their Calendar section back in 2013. An art director decided to reuse that image as the front page image in Wednesday’s paper. It is interesting that my image could be re-purposed and still connect to the content of this contentious issue. Illustration can provide an image that communicates the meaning of an argument by focusing on a visual idea rather than depicting a specific visual scene or object.”

Morse also said relating to the man featured in his illustration “The original idea for the image was to show the star with the laundry list of names to thank (the accordion folded note in his hand). It is not a particular star, I had done a male and female version but with the three posters in the series having mine as a male was preferred by the Art Director.”

The Oscars controversy was revived last week when, for a second consecutive year, the film academy unveiled yet another slate of all-white acting nominees for this year’s Oscars. A handful of notable performances —  including Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, Michael B. Jordan in Creed and Benicio Del Toro in Sicario — had earned critical praise and were widely expected to be nominated but were left off the ballot.

Morse’s illustration is evidence of the emerging Canadian connection to the Academy Awards and their yearly nominations. The most notable of the 2016 Canadian nominee’s include Montreal based producers Pierre Even and co-producer Marie-Claude Poulin whose film Brooklyn received three Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Brooklyn is a Canada-U.K.-Ireland co-production largely shot in Montreal. For more, read Peter Edwards Toronto Star article. A new addition to the Canadian wave is the Irish-Canadian co-production Room based on the bestselling novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue. The adapted film received four Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director).

Sheridan College has a significant connection to the Oscars through the animated films category in 2016. Animated films Inside Out and Shaun the Sheep both received nominations in the Best Animated Feature category. Sheridan alumni Allison Rutland (Character Animation) and Domee Shi (Story-boarding) worked on Inside Out while Shaun the Sheep: The Movie received contributions from Sheridan graduates now employed at Aardman Animations. Graduate Alexander Poei (Visual Effects) worked on the critically acclaimed film The Revenant which leads the Oscars with 12 nominations.

Congratulations to Joe Morse all of Sheridan’s alumni involved in Academy Award nominated films of 2016.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *