Posted Jan 14th 2008 by

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An interview with
NATHAN JUREVICIUSwords by , January 2008

MTV Fauna are a collection of creatures which appear on MTV in Canada as part of the network’s unique branding. They were created by internationally-acclaimed illustrator Nathan Jurevicius, the man behind the Scarygirl empire, and they’ve recently been transformed into a limited edition set of vinyl figures. They can be bought online and at a handful of exclusive stores. More info can be found at mtv.ca/fauna. We thought we’d track down Nathan and find out a bit more about the project.

Hi Nathan, welcome back to Thunder Chunky. Did you have a good 2007?

2007 was quite full-on with various ups and downs. Spent a large majority of it trying to finish my first graphic novel.

Your range of MTV Fauna vinyl toys have just launched, but lets take a step back first, and look at how it all started. MTV Fauna are an integral part of MTV Canada’s branding. How did the relationship with the company come about?

Originally I was asked to come in to the MTV office and give a couple of lectures about my work / process to the creative team and various heads of departments. After this the creative director (Peter Moller) and I started chatting and throwing around ideas with other lead internal designers at MTV.

MTV Fauna - Daen

MTV Fauna – Daen

In the end the concept was to tell a simple character based story involving indoor objects that could throw off their dreary shackles and experience the outdoors. I had already been playing with some loose sketches and i refined these, wrote back-stories for each character, developed potential indoor / outdoor colours and and then we set an overall vibe to how the theme would be translated to the various tv spots. From here Anthony (the director / composer) really pushed the way the 3D characters interacted with the live backgrounds. He along with an amazing team of artists really took fauna to the next level. It was one of the best collaborative projects I’ve been involved with.

Tell us a bit about some of the characters. Do you have any favourites?

All the characters were initially indoor type creatures / objects that would blossom into a revitalised character once outdoors. This was modified to some degree later on but the general idea is still there. Each character is named (in a jumbled type way) after various people who were associated with the creation of the tv spots / toys and all have special bios (that are made up). I like so many of them – one in particular called Dreran has a nice bio you can read on the MTV Fauna site. I also really love the Rayan, the snake arm character that was made into a toy.

MTV Fauna - Darb

MTV Fauna – Darb

The toys seem like a natural extension to the animation shorts, did you always envisage them being 3D from the start?

Yes, very early on I met with some of the marketing guys at MTV to explain how we could translate these designs into some unique toys. Klim from Bigshottoyworks discussed in detail the process of using resin as an alternate to vinyl for the first run and looked after production for us. The end result has an amazing finish to them – beautifully hand polished, with a weighty-ness to them.

Are there more Fauna vinyls to come in the future or is this a one-off thing?

We are discussing the idea of making a mini blind box version of all the characters or maybe another large resin set.

MTV Fauna - Dayan

MTV Fauna – Dayan

Have you got any projects you can tell us about for 2008?

A bunch! Mid 2008 should see the launch of book 1 of the Scarygirl graphic novel as well as the launch of a new Scarygirl online game / website. There’s also a great project with Toytoko / Threezero about to be released early this year (a series of windup blind box owls).

Finally, what’s the one thing everyone should do today?

Hope

Nathan is the internationally acclaimed illustrator behind the Scarygirl series/brand. You can check that out HERE and he may update his portfolio soon HERE. And finally, more info on the MTV Fauna can be found HERE

POSTED BY Jon

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