Big Mother’s fully decentralized “Studio Novità” features a community both in the arts and the sciences. Nothing represents this marriage of art and science more than the fields of cartoons and animation. For over a century, cartoonists have had to integrate wild imagination and highly caricatured visuals that defy the laws of physics with precise mathematical timing.
The classics of animation, from Disney to Warner Bros, in the story of Hollywood is one of the ultimate expressions of art and science in culture. The mind of the cartoonist is one that is broadly intuitive, yet balanced with a very sophisticated mathematical precision that produces a rare type of creative design intelligence, an often underrepresented in the broader arts and design.
Why not World Game features the first “Narrative Novelty”, a story told through smart contracts, created by three of Hollywood’s top masters in storytelling and design: Carey Yost, Mucci Fassett, and Paul Rudish.
“When Rome first told me about this “DAO” and how a studio could work off of NFTs, I thought it was the most ridiculous and absurd thing I ever heard in my life,” says Carey Yost, Lead Designer and Creative Director for Why not World Game, “That’s what excited me the most. That’s what I’ve already have been doing for thirty years, making absurd and entirely unrealistic concepts reality. It’s what we cartoonists do best.”
Our narrative performance, “Why Not World Game”, is fortunate to have three masters of design and illustration in Hollywood cartoons and animation join our mission.
Carey Yost, Mucci Fassett, and Paul Rudish have all known each other since art school, CalArts specifically. Since meeting 30 years ago, they’ve gone on to vastly influence most of the animation and cartoons we see today.
Act I, Sc 1, 2, 3 features Carey Yost
Carey Yost’s professional artistic journey in the animation industry spans a breadth of design aesthetics, techniques and genres.
He has animated and designed characters for shows that radically revolutionized animation for television and film, such as Ren and Stimpy, Samurai Jack, Clone High, SpongeBob SquarePants and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.
His character designs possess an emotive, theatrical quality that speaks without words. His personal artistic style is just as dynamic: an economy of line, a broad, bright swipe of color, and an intentional emphasis on the language of light and shadow. There is an innate musicality to his work, almost synesthetic, as if each design has its own musical accompaniment.
Yost attended CalArts, the premier animation school, with several of the artists who would become longtime colleagues in the industry, including Paul Rudish and Mucci Fassett.
Their mutual associations, personal and professional, have helped shape his career and artistic growth, and the animation industry as a whole, as they formed the foundation for what would become Cartoon Network studios.
This shift in the industry toward highly stylized designs and inventive, and often irreverent, writing became known as the “Cartoon Network style.” While Yost’s designs square well in that space, his work maintains a surreal quality, making him one of the most versatile working artists.
Act II, Scenes 1, 2, 3 features Mucci Fassett
Mucci Fassett is an artist of life, which makes animation a good fit, as it is a moving caricature of life.
His professional artistic career exhibits his penchant for the unconventional, while maintaining his authenticity. As a designer and director, his credits range from Tiny Toons, Batman, and The Powerpuff Girls to Puss in Boots. His personal art is intimately observational, at once comforting and provocative, nostalgic and contemporary. There is a dynamic immediacy to his work: as if he is catching a moment before it becomes altered by memory. All formats are fair game: digital, pen and paper, café napkins; whatever messenger can deliver the message will be employed.
While a self-taught artist and illustrator, with several published sketchbooks to date, Fassett honed his craft at CalArts, alongside many fellow animators, including Carey Yost and Paul Rudish. That experience helped open the gates to the animation industry, where his talent, ambition and attention to detail solidified his presence both in the studio system and in the art world in general, as “the artist’s artist.”
Act III Scene 1, 2, 3 features Paul Rudish
Paul Rudish is from a long line of designers, artists and craftspeople, and has been drawing since he could hold a pencil. Growing up on a horse and goat farm in rural Missouri gave him a unique, naturalist perspective, evident in the gestural and lyrical qualities of his art. In his delicate linework lies bold expressiveness: storytelling is in the artwork, and his designs need no captions. He is just as comfortable with pencil and paper, ink wash, paint, or whittling, as he is on the Cyntiq, creating fantasy creatures or award winning animation for television and film, such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars:Clone Wars, Tron:Uprising, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and Mickey Mouse Shorts.
A graduate of CalArts school of animation, as both Yost and Fassett, Rudish studied with fellow artists of all disciplines, with whom he would maintain relationships throughout his career. These relationships, as well as his natural talent, curiosity, expansive skills, work ethic and experience, poised him to be one of the most prolific, and respected, animation artists in the industry. It is no surprise that Disney chose Rudish to carry the mantle of Mickey Mouse, imbued with his expressive designs, stylized backgrounds and delightfully original music direction.
Throughout his animation career, Rudish has maintained a distinct, recognizable personal style that is as approachable as his demeanor. There is a generosity to his work that conveys his comfort in both mastery and exploration, in life and the arts.
All three featured artists worked on iterations of Felix the Cat. Paul Rudish designed product, packaging and display for Felix the Cat at Determined Productions while in high school and CalArts. Carey Yost and Mucci Fassett were both layout artists for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat for Film Roman, 1995-1997.