Oleg Igorevich Kuvaev (Russian: Олег Игоревич Куваев; born 6 February 1967) is a Russian artist, designer and animator.
It was Masyanya who brought fame to Oleg Kuvaev. Masyanya, an amusing and touching heroine of the witty flash-animated series that first appeared in the Russian internet on 20 October 2001, has become nearly a cult figure. Oleg Kuvaev started everything on his own: he made up the characters and the stories, drew the flash-animated cartoons, recorded the sound, and uploaded the series (each of them about 3–4 minutes long) in the Internet.
Oleg Igorevich Kuvaev was born on 6 February 1967 in Saint Petersburg (Leningrad). He studied first at a school specializing in the English language, then at school majoring in physics and mathematics. Afterwards there were a number of higher institutions (including the Leningrad Institute of Aviation Instrumentation,Academy of Arts) and service in the Soviet Army. Then, he changed a lot of professions and places, mostly active as a painter and sculptor for more than 10 years, till the times of "Big Worldwide Web" come.
From 1987 he was mainly into painting and sculpture, and from 1997 he turned to computer graphics. Kuvaev worked as a designer in several studios, in "computer gaming" industry as 3D animator and modeler, as web-designer, even java-programmer, in his free time experimenting with various computer technologies including freshly appearing vector animation (macromedia flash).
In 2001 he founded “Mult.ru” studio to promote Masyanya. At this point it was just ten short rough-made cartoons about hooligan girl from Saint Petersburg. But success was unexpectedly explosive. This resulted in epidemic masyanization of the whole country, which is perhaps the major achievement of Kuvaev. Full of fresh indigenous humor (sometimes caustic and absurd but still kind at bottom) the series about Masyanya appealed to the young generation whose life, interests and problems they actually focused on, at the same time embodying an alternative to commercial mass-culture.
The crazy popularity of Masyanya made Oleg Kuvaev waste lots of efforts on fighting for the copyright to his own creation between 2003–2005. Oleg was forced to fight in the forefront of struggling for copyright laws in Russia which was the stronghold of piracy at this time. Many Russian companies have illegally made money on Masyanya and, what is much worse, distorted sometimes the essence of the personage. For example, Oleg Kuvaev had to apply to court to compel the closing of the shoddy commercial talk show At Masyanya’s broadcast at the Russian pop-music TV channel Muz-TV that was using this character illegally, without permission. And finally Oleg and his team has won three such trials on copyright proving that the "times are changing".
Until quite recently Oleg Kuvaev worked as the art-director and owner of “Mult.ru” studio. Besides Masyanya, the studio has released 3 more animated cartoons series: Eji and Petrutchoe, Six and a Half and Magazinchik Boe. Just like Masyanya they could be downloaded from the internet free of charge and were translated in different TV-channels across Russia. Also numerous advertising cartoons, illustrations and even radio-shows were produced.
Masyanya brought the studio about most of the income in merchandize and mobile services. The studio received copyright charges from companies that used the brand. Ice creams, cookies, DVDs, T-shirts and much more of such stuff with Masyanya’s brand now were produced legally. Mobile operators were selling pictures, videos and ring-tones from Masyanya plentiful, which brought stable income. But in spite of this, suddenly, in the middle of 2006 Oleg Kuvaev closed all projects he was working on, left the studio, the city and the country, with no response whatsoever.
Now he lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel. All studio projects are closed except his first and favorite - Masyanya. To the middle of 2008 there are summary more than 150 episodes of cartoon released. And new episodes still appearing made by Oleg Kuvaev himself as in the beginning of the whole story. All of them still available on site http://www.mult.ru
- http://2701.spb.ru/ind2601.html Kuvaev in the end of 1980s