Interview with Jerome Masi

“I willingly associate curiosity with creativity, maybe that’s where everything starts, with curiosity.”

Hello, Jerome!
How would you describe yourself – who is Jerome Masi?
Hi, I live in Annecy, France. I’m 42 (well, it seems) and I’m the happy father of three nice children. I am an artistic director and freelance illustrator, represented by Creasenso. I like fantasy, pretty things, people passionate about what they do and bo bun nem. I do not like artificial flavors, spam and flyers in my mailbox.

Could you tell us a bit about your daily routine?
I start by taking my daughter to school, a little walk … it’s always a good time. Then I take my bike (when the weather is nice) to join my studio and friends with whom I share it. Then I always dig a little on the net … Generally I choose the right playlist that corresponds to my mood of the day then I start working, most of the time on the computer but not only. I often have a lot of work order, but as soon as I have a moment, I bump on personal projects. The day is often interspersed with a few battles on the officeʼs arcade game (thank you Will!) In the evening I go home, it is rare that I bring work back at home.

Can the creativity be learned later, or is it a feeling that is always within the human being?
I can not really answer that question in a general way. But for my part, I think I know that creativity has always been part of my life. I willingly associate curiosity with creativity, maybe that’s where everything starts, with curiosity…

How would you define your own style and what kind of emotions do you try to awaken with it?
I said it recently in another interview but I like, whether in the concept or the form, to leave all space to the imagination of the one who looks. Like a free chair in which one could take place and live his own film. For this we must not say or show too much. I like silence in images, as in the paintings of Edward Hopper. Aesthetically I try of course to bring things back to the essential, to find a kind of obvious balance.

We really like the branding that you did for Deskopolitan. How was the creative process? Did you have any challenges during the process?
Thank you, this is one of my most comprehensive and interesting global design project. We have developed many things with Alexis Rebiffé (co-founder of Deskopolitan) and his team. The latest production is a mural of 12 by 5 meters on the new site that comes to open in the heart of Paris. Alexis left me, from the beginning of the adventure, a great freedom on the project and that generated good things. I was able to express myself fully as an AD and illustrator. No problem during the process.

Have you ever found it difficult to make a living from what you do? Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance?
I finally didnʼt had a lot of difficult moments in 15 years of freelancing. Certainly because I have always been in motion, always on the lookout for the project that would moves me forward. Iʼve been freelance graphic designer on many different projects; then manager from the studio Mon Oeil in Lyon – Cité Internationale, then Iʼve created WMA (We Make Art), a collective specialized in motion design, then Iʼve moved to Annecy … If I had any advice to give, it would be to never give up, to believe in what we do, to meet people, to produce, produce, produce…

Can you say the advantage & disadvantage of being an illustrator? If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be doing?
I only see benefits! As long as it works, of course, you have to be a real Swiss army knife to take on all the roles of the independent. If I had to do something else, maybe a musician or a treasure hunter!

Have you ever had any bad client experience? If so, how did you handle it?
I had a few long ago, nothing very serious, sometimes problems of regulation. It is necessary to know the rules and know how to use them.

What are your top five songs on your playlist?
My top five of the day 😉
1 / Because i’m me – The avalanches
2 / DNA – Kendrick Lamar
3 / La haine – Cut Killer
4 / Ballade de Melody Nelson- Serge Gainsbourg
5 / Your woman – White town

Is there something you would like to do and have not done?
Yes many things … walk on the moon, spend an evening with Alain Chabat, talk to Quentin Dupieux about his latest film THE DAIM and kiss Bill Murray on the front!

Where are your favorite spots in Annecy? Food, coffee, shops, etc.

  • Art By Friend – This is an association that organizes exhibitions and events around street art and skate culture.

  • Biutiful – A nice concept store with pretty things in.

  • Le Banh Miʼs – a great bo bun nem take away.

  • Stand up Annecy – A beautiful spot on the lake for hiring SUP.

Have you found any inspiration in an unexpected place recently?
Difficult to say, I find my inspiration in my daily life, finally I know only that.

What other illustrators/designers are you digging these days?
Aurélien Jeanney from Maison Tangible in Paris allowed me to exhibit in his gallery and on this occasion I met Marie Laure Cruschi aka Cruschiform, I love her work! Also my long time friend Julien Vray, he is a film director, weʼve met during our studies in Emile Cohl Art School, Lyon. Otherwise the graphic designer Anaïs Coulon, who is also my sweetie and the mother of my daughter.

Are you obsessed with something?
As the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I run after time…

Could you give us three fun facts about yourself?
The things that come to my mind are not recountable here… Oh yes, once I put odd socks … pouf pouf

Finally, is there something you wish interviewers would ask you — but never do?
That’s a great question, I’ll think about it ..

Thank you!