Job：Freelance Art Director for Film & Animation
─── Tell us about yourself! Are you half Japanese and half French?
Yes, I am half French and half Japanese. I was born in Tokyo and had the chance to live in South America and South East Asia during my childhood. Currently, I am Creative Director at Keytales. We are a studio that specializes in IP development and world-building for film, animation, and video games.
─── Could you tell us about your art learning experience? What was the opportunity that led you to be an artist?
I actually haven't been to any school and am mostly self-taught in that regard. But I have had the chance to do online mentorships, where I've met Emanuel Shiu whom I currently work with at Keytales on various projects. The self-learning years were definitely difficult. There was no feedback for my artwork at first, but eventually, I found that there are quite a lot of resources online to learn software such as Blender and Photoshop and that really helped to get me where I wanted to be.
─── We can see a lot of Showa era Japanese animation and cultural elements in your work. They are somewhat similar to old works such as Mazinger Z and Astro Boy. Is it related to your upbringing?
Yeah. These were actually inspirations from my time growing up with shows from my father's childhood. He always held onto cassettes from old 60s and 70s TV shows, so later I got to watch them during my own childhood in the 90s. Naturally then, when I was looking to show Japan during a different era, I felt like that period was way more interesting. It really exhibits, in my opinion, the evolution and modernization of the country at the time and it was important to me show it from that other angle. I guess because I think there are already a lot of popular shows that depict Japan during the 90s and the 21st century.
─── There are many scenes from different countries in your works, and they look cinematic. Have you actually been to these places? Please share with us if you have a great experience with this!
I've had the chance to travel to a lot of different countries across most continents and I've always been a fan of topics related to history, geography, culture, literature, photography and, of course, cinema, so my natural choices tend to go towards depicting different cultures in my work. I feel like the diversity in mankind is something very unique and worth exploring.
─── Would you mind telling us the business projects that you have participated in? We are also curious about your original work?
I'm actually preparing a couple of posts to show in the near future about the things I've been doing for various client work, so you might have something to look forward to there.
─── You seem to like the SF theme very much. Can you introduce your favorite movies and animations to us? How do you define them? If you can provide your collection photos that would be great
I'm not particularly a Sci-Fi fan, I wouldn't say. Although I do like Japanese animation from the 90s a lot, mostly for nostalgic reasons. To name some filmmaker's I love and my favorite works of theirs, there's of course Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka, Tokyo Godfathers by Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki and his work on movies by Studio Ghibli, particularly Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke. All of Andrei Tarkovsky's films of which Stalker is my favorite. And also Stanley Kubrick, of course, and Ridley Scott's early movies. Special mention to The Piano by Jane Campion, an absolutely stunning movie. What I would also say is that a big part of what defines my work is the relationship between music and that work. Some artists I'd like to mention are Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, and Philip Glass. I also love to attend experimental music exhibitions where I can learn about what's currently happening and being innovated in the music industry.
─── We want to learn about your creative environment. Would you mind showing us your own studio?
Yes. As I've mentioned earlier, there's Keytales Studios, a creative agency where I, together with collaborators, do IP development and world-building for the entertainment industry. Mainly film, VFX, animation, and cinematic. Here’s a link to our website.
You can find more of our work there.
─── How do you plan your future creative direction? What kind of business project you might find interesting?
For right now, I want to further develop the studio I have and create more original projects and stories. I'm actually super grateful to already have a team in which all of our talents are combined. These include graphic design, writing, motion graphics, animation, storytelling, and cinematic image-making, which all come together. I believe the natural step forward for us will be to actually delve more into filmmaking, which is why I spend a lot of time developing my own stories. Hopefully, that's something I'll be able to share with you soon.
─── What is your opinion on the combination of commerce and art? What kind of combination do you think would be the ideal expression?
I think for me, creatively, I found the right spot, where I'm able to provide clients with my vision on a bigger scale. It usually starts with me helping them develop the narrative, story design, and characters and because we then set the visuals, we actually play within our own rules. It's something amazing to have and why I'm super passionate about what I currently do.
─── Thank you for being interviewed, is there any words like to say to your followers?
I'd say just be consistent and be passionate about what you do, you know. Create art that speaks to you and that comes from your heart.
Thank you for having me for this interview.
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