If you look up the phrase "No No Brush" on Google, you'll find a picture of a smiling green monkey with bristles on the side of its head, a familiar figure that blew up on social media in 2020. Shortly after its viral debut, it appeared on Youtooz as a collectible plushie. The demand for its likeness is still going; Youtooz' No No Brush series can currently be found on resale sites such as StockX for around $122.
The famous (or infamous) green brush avatar is just one of many things VR developer Blueasis has created. Though not all receiving such shockingly popular feedback from users around the internet, Blueasis' work has helped to establish a defacto friendly look for VRChat itself. Many of his avatars are also available on VRChat's public use row. You'll often see Blueasis' work on a friend's main or fallback avatar slot before you meet the creator himself.
But he's never far. His latest project is a team-up with fellow developer Faxmashine for the multiplayer-friendly release Super VR Ball. There's also Hook Junkers, a vast map that can be explored with the help of swinging around via grappling hooks, courtesy of Blueasis and Phasedragon. And then there's a colorful, exploration-friendly junkyard Blueasis has created that suits parkour and platform enthusiasts.
It's amazing to think how someone has created so much for a virtual space, the work becomes as ingrained with the game as stone steps in a garden.
And yet, Blueasis is so casual when he talks about it.
The Metaculture : Many people know you by your creations, but might not know your name. Can you please formally introduce yourself?
Blueasis: Hi I'm Blueasis, or Blue, or Asis, or John, call me whatever. I make 3D art, typically inside VRChat.
M: What drew you to VRChat? How did you get started creating in VR?
B: Ethosaur, my good friend, introduced me to VR when he borrowed a Vive from his stepdad and pranced around in VRC, then convinced me to buy a Lenovo Explorer.
M: Your work has a distinct, colorful, and cartoonish style. Where does inspiration come from for this design approach?
B: I haven't really thought about it, I like cartoons and videogames from the early 2000s, I feel its somewhat underrepresented in VRC. I'm also just bad at realism.
M: What's one thing you wish all designers knew when starting out making 3D work for social worlds?
B: Make yourself happy first, entertaining one person is the same as thousands, you live and die the same.
M: Your latest accomplishment is co-authoring Super VR Ball with Faxmashine. How did you and Faxmashine think up the idea and concept?
B: I had the idea to make a Monkey Ball clone in VRC because I wanted to make levels for it. I pitched it to Fax a while ago and we didn't really act on it. Then the VRChat jam rolled around, and the theme was "obstacle". We kind of just started without much conversation, just like "we are doing this now".
M: What was the split in labor for the process in finishing that project? Who handled what?
B: I did 3D art assets, texture work, level design, essentially all visual asset work. Fax did programming and music. We split the game design, and sound design I'd say [we split] pretty equally.
M: Were you surprised by the reception of Super VR Ball's release?
B: Not really, I knew it was fun. I was confident it would vibe with some people. Even if it didn't, it vibed with me, and it is a lot of fun to work with Fax.
M: You also created a popular avatar that is known to be singularly associated with VRChat now. Please tell us how the green brush avatar came about.
B: Brush is a character I designed back in college (four years ago), a silly sketch I did of a marmoset I saw while at the zoo. I was thinking about avatars I wanted to make for the VRChat default avatar row, and for some reason it came to mind. I made it and submitted it not thinking much of it. I showed it to Ruuubick and he said it might be denied because it has nipples. From what I understand, the internal discussion was very short, and it was accepted.
M: When did you realize you first had a hit on your hands with it?
B: I was sent a TikTok video several times, of a person who was in a green morph suit and had two green floor brushes taped to either side of their head reenacting a Youtube video.
M: Did you regret creating and releasing the avatar at any point? How do you feel now?
B: No, never. I feel the same as I did back then, when you make something and it takes on its own identity its like it doesn't belong to you anymore, but in a good way. It took on a life of its own completely detached from me, and that's fine.
M: Your avatar creations all have a distinct fashion to them. What's your favorite real or digital fashion house and why?
B: Much like my affinity for early 2000s for cartoons and games; I love Y2K fashion, Y2K Aesthetic Institute, Chloma, etc.
M: What is a real-life fashion trend you wish were more popular in VRChat?
B: More funky strange unrealistic stuff, its a videogame after all. I like seeing what people choose on their own volition, you can tell a bit about someone from their avatar choice.
M: Where do you see your work going from here?
B: I'm not sure, I'm content currently so I'm inclined to say I don't care a whole lot. I'm going to just keep making stuff I like.
M: Thank you so much for answering our questions. We want to leave room for you to plug what you're getting up to next. Please promote whatever you like.
B: Glory to Ukraine!