We had the good fortune of connecting with John Bashyam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always wanted to start a company of some kind, I just never knew it was going to be in this field. I knew I would work in this industry, but I imagined I would start some interesting product idea and not something directly related to animation. But hey, doesn’t hurt to start something that you’re good at in the first place! I’ve been passionate about animation and visual effects work since I was in high school and eventually got ingrained in the industry after moving to LA for college. Between internships and freelance work during school I had already built quite the professional network and worked for feature films (Avengers, Antman, etc), music festivals (Coachella, Bottlerock), commercials, etc. To make a long story short, I was working at a large post production studio for a few years right after graduating. We would do visual effects for massive feature films (Ghostbusters, Ben Hur, etc) and high profile VR projects (NYT, Crimson Peak). It was cool at first because I was 22 and getting to do all this crazy stuff, but I got jaded quickly after I realized I was just another cog in the wheel. My supervisor at the time, Andrew Jerez (now my business partner), and I would constantly talk about leaving to start our own thing. We wanted more creative control and less inefficiency. So eventually we did just that – he quit and a few months later so did I. We worked out of our apartments for a bit and then made the move to rent an office space. Since both of us freelanced a lot in the past we were able to bring some of those clients over. We had revenue since day one and never put in a penny of our own money (other than delaying paying ourselves here and there). Fast forward 3.5 years and here we are today. We operate mostly in the brand/advertising space (ironically it’s more creative than the entertainment industry unless you’re above the line). We’ve done work for large names like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Budweiser, HP, Disney, Reddit, NBC, Lululemon, Samsung, and more! With COVID we’ve surprisingly remained busy and seen an increase in people looking to animation as an alternative to filming live action. We have a combination of in-office + remote staff and freelancers, as it allows us to be flexible and scale/contract as needed. If you’re interested in checking out our work please visit www.warmnfuzzy.tv
Please tell us more about your art. We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Aside from the work we do at Warm & Fuzzy, most of my personal art can be found on Instagram: www.instagram.com/bash.yams I just randomly developed an obsession for creating donut related imagery. I mean who doesn’t love donuts? So I’ll occasionally make some CG animated donut video and post it to my IG. Recently been making weird surreal videos of donuts in strange places like the Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge. For me, my art it something I just create for fun. At work I’m making art all day for other people, but my Instagram is a way for me to make the things I want to make. Which allows me to be fully creative without worrying about someone else’s input. I think it’s important to do things for yourself once in a while.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have a literal Google maps list of favorite spots around LA so this one is easy! When it’s not a pandemic here’s where I would go: Food – Felix, Manchego, Zinque, Hatchet Hall, FIN, Father’s Office, Rose Cafe, Nighthawk, KazuNori, Lodge Bread, Superba, Pasta Sisters, Destroyer, Margot, Marugame Udon, Del Rey Deli, Playa Provisions, Wurstkuche, Gjelina, Maple Block, Uzumaki, Kanpai, Akasha, Republique, Bay Cities… there are more but I’ll stop. Drinks – Clifton’s, The Edison, Perch, Break Room 86, No Vacancy, The Bungalow, Oldfield’s, Culver Hotel, The Victorian, The Den. General Hangouts / Site Seeing – Music show at any of the great small venues around LA, Standup show at the Comedy Store, Walk around Venice, Bonfire at Dockweiler Beach, Hike Temescal Canyon, Huntington Botanical Gardens, Day trip to Malibu, Weekend trip to Catalina.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d probably have to dedicate this shoutout to all of the teachers that have been in my life. I don’t want to name them out of fear of forgetting someone, and there are honestly too many, but I’ve had some great teachers over the years from high school through college that have really helped me get to where I am today. My first internships and jobs were through professors in college.