From Dreams and Passion to Hit Cartoon Network TV Show — with Thurop Van Orman

Thurop Van Orman

How do you go from being an artist with big dreams and few contacts to creating your own Emmy winning TV show on the Cartoon Network and working with your heroes?

Watch The Full Program Below

Joining me is Thurop Van Orman. Thurop is a director, producer, writer, storyboard artist, and voice actor who is best known for creating the hit TV series “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack”. He is currently working on a stop motion film project called “The Black Forest” and is creating concept art for a film adaptation of “The Little Prince”.

In this candid interview, Thurop shares how he got to where he’s at professionally, a brilliant way to pitch executives on your projects, and a few key resources that turbo charged his career.

  • Emily Nisbet Platts

    little thurop! I can’t believe it! great job, guys! 🙂 xo

  • Sarah-pruett

    Small Voice, Big Body.

    • noah

      Actually, I think he’s kind of a little guy… like jack black size

  • Matt Hardy

    Nice work Mark and John

  • Sgsrules

    We are huge fans of Thurop! Loved this interview with him. He has been not only inspiring to my son and I ,but he is so real and unpretentious,and makes us laugh all the time on FB. My son was Flapjack for Halloween ,and Thurop takes time out to comment on our pics of him! He is awesome and we call him “friend”!!!

    • He has inspired me for a long time as well. You’re right about him taking time out. I think a very big part of his success is that he genuinely does care about his community.

  • Zombie

    I still get told that becoming an artist/writer is a hobby and not a job by my dad who grew up being told that – yeah, I don’t really listen to him about that haha.

  • kateface


  • Mr. Snow

    This is the information I’ve been looking for! Thanks John and Mark, very informative.

    • I’m really happy we could help. Good luck on your creative adventures.

  • Fffever

    thurop’s voice is adorable

  • oh my gosh, thurop’s voice! so wasn’t expecting that xD (the “maybe that was bad” sounded so like flapjack!)
    great info!

  • ooopydoopy

    Flapjack weirds my shit out. I have little respect for anything produced by CartoonNetwork after Samurai Jack. Where’s today’s Dexter’s Lab? Where’s Courage the Cowardly Dog? Invader Zim? Foster’s and (kind of) Chowder were the only bright spots in the last 10 years, and both deteriorated after about 3 seasons. I’m only 18, but I still enjoy the older shows a ton more than the newer ones. I’m sure plenty of kids like the newer stuff, but the really good shows are the ones are the cartoons which appeal to every age group. Spongebob (though it is poopy now) had 8 solid seasons of writing and WIT. Never underestimate the power of real wit.

    • Aheheheheh…

    • Ted

      Thurop pitched Flapjack in 2001.

    • Moshata

      Dude, I <3 Flapjack, and I also loved all the shows you listed.
      Every single one.
      Thurop also storyboarded on ppg a bit, I believe, towards the end.

      Just because there's new shows, doesn't mean you CANT like your old ones.
      all in all
      pretty much
      In summary
      Stop being butthurt
      they're CARTOONS
      get over yourself 🙂

  • Beau Soir

    I used to draw Flapjack and Bubbie and K’nuckles on the board at school… Now, I’m going into art college in the fall. Mr. Thurop Van Orman, you are my hero!

  • Darylyoung

    Great content – just the sort of thing newbies need

  • E102beatness

    i love you thurop!!! <3 flapjack is amazing and im looking foward to black forest!!! your awsome!

  • Mitchell Vizensky

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve recently graduated from art school and am feeling a little lost and this interview has helped me formulate a plan and figure things out a little bit. Thanks for sharing your experiences Thurop

    Also I’ve linked to this blog post on a community animation blog I contribute to

  • A very informative interview! While I’m not necessarily going into the animation industry (gonna be a concept artist!), I can take a lot of Thurop’s advice to heart. Also, I’m going to have to read Story now. Though I don’t write much, I’m sure the info garnered from the read will be entirely applicable.

  • Hobbes

    Thurop is a wonderful person with a wonderful personality.

    I feel blessed that I’ve met him and really hope to pick his brain again someday.