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Creative Director Dan Shefelman Launches Mud Pie Labs

Industry veteran launches New York-based animation studio to nurture entry-level talent from underrepresented communities by pairing them with seasoned industry professionals; company received Epic MegaGrant for its work with the nonprofit Musician Treatment Fund.

Further building on his career passion for creating innovative animation and design work, veteran creative director Dan Shefelman has launched Mud Pie Labs. The New York-based animation and gaming studio will also focus on giving clients access to entry-level artists, many of whom come from underrepresented communities. The young talent is paired with highly experienced experts from the animation, design, and gaming industries.

“Our goal is to help develop the next generation of computer animation and gaming artists,” explained Shefelman. “That many of these young people come from diverse backgrounds is an added benefit to working with us.”

Mud Pie’s junior talents will be working with industry professionals enlisted from Shefelman’s and company president Andy Arkin’s extensive network in the animation and visual effects world. The studio has also assembled an advisory board that includes people like Blue Sky Studio founder Chris Wedge.

Shefelman has worked with leading animation studios and programmers including Blue Sky, DQ Entertainment, and Nickelodeon. He has been an active leader in the animation industry, serving as creative director for The Animation Project, a New York City non-profit that helps at-risk young people find their way into the animation, VFX, and design industries. Since 2012 he has been an associate professor at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) teaching courses on visual storytelling.

The company, which already has a “Get Out the Vote” project for MTV under its belt, has signed with the animation, design, and VFX agents at BLAH BLAH BLAH for commercial representation. Since its official opening, the studio has worked on a range of assignments. In addition to the MTV project, it is working on a gaming assignment for the nonprofit Musician Treatment Fund, which supports musicians in need of medical care; the project proposal landed the company an Epic MegaGrant, which are awarded to a wide range of companies and individuals working on projects that will advance the state of 3D animation, gaming, and design.

Source: Mud Pie Labs