God hates you.

For the 25th anniversary of Nickelodeon Animation Studios (NAS), we thought it was time to celebrate what made them so special. When they formed in the 90's, they gave individual creators freedom to tell their stories in their own voices. Animation at the time was driven by selling toys and house (mouse) styles, machismo, and beauty. Now, there was a place for weirdos, oddballs, and actual emotional stories to have a home-and that resonated with their fans who have grown with them.

25 Year Gallery Retrospective

While other teams worked on crafting custom pieces of art, I was tasked with managing the curation of the show, set up and creator documentaries. We explored many different approaches of looking at NAS artwork, from the very straightforward to the esoteric. Once we decided on internal themes with the client - we spent the time in archives finding work that facilitated these pieces.

Since the show was to take place at CalState Fullerton, we were able to highlight much of the hidden, early process work. Ironically, the finished cels of shows are often much less interesting than these incredibly early pieces. The creators are working through their worlds, handling internal feedback and improvements (or not).

Some of the earliest NAS work was heavily worn and mangled - and the worked over nature of these pieces worked to our advantage in showing them via transparent panels.

The show ended up being broken into six sections: the origins of the studio's voice, scenes that have heavy resonance with fans, internal correspondence, background and setting, show bibles and a linear(ish) walkthrough of each show throughout the storied history.

We designed the space to be a step inside of the world, and designed it in a way that would be energetic and amazing for the fans (we didn't want an elbow-patches-required look), and set about to set the tone with an over-sized living room replica to make visitors feel like kids again. A custom, far too comfortable, couch set the proportions for the space, which included a TV, custom art, an oversized coffee table with cereal, and a ton of easter eggs, as clips from Nickelodeon shows played on the TV.

The opening reception had appearances by original and current creators, as well as over 2,000 people, poster signings and an outpouring of social love through the #NickAnimation25 hashtag.

"I got a lot of hotdogs into the show." Crap I say