His “spirit animal” is a pink rabbit with two katanas and one eye, and his essential possessions include a notebook, blue lead pencil, and a good pair of sneakers.
We caught up with Osmoze to talk about design, inspiration, and Bon Jovi.
“I believe that you can be who you want to be, if you do everything for that purpose.”
Originally from Marseille, France, Osmoze has already left his mark on multiple continents. Currently based in Montreal, he has also displayed his work in Japan, North America, and Europe. This much success obviously comes after a long period of dedication. Yet although he recalls being interested in other people’s creative work, it wasn’t until he was around fourteen years old that he actually began drawing on his own. What triggered his passion for drawing, and ultimately animation?
“I discovered graffiti and hip-hop culture. It was a revelation for me” he says, which propelled him into studying art. “I studied art knowing that I wanted to become something connected to creativity, but very quickly I knew that I wanted to work in the animation industry. I like doing other types of work (like graphic design, fashion, and other things) but animation is my real love. I think I do it because I don’t wanna grow up. There is simply something inside me which pushes me to want to live in order to create and share my ideas. Maybe it is only the “ego” ?! I don’t know.”
“One day in a festival, I was introduced to a big producer. I told him that I was “just” an illustrator and he answered to me that I was not only that. Since then I believe that you can be who you want to be, if you do everything for that purpose.”
Since his early days in Marseille, his love for street styled art and animation has connected him with a variety of creative opportunities. We asked him what criteria were important for him when choosing a new project to work on.
“For animation, I am interested in creating something from scratch. I love to find the ideas, and to work on all the steps of the pre-production. Whether character design or art direction, all aspects of the project are important – the whole package. The target audience as well as the client are also very important, whether it’s an animation or not, and I try to find a good fit between my work and the audience. But I also try to think of everything possible, even what the client has not identified, in order to raise the level of the project and give the client new perspectives. I usually try to be original and new, but sometimes it’s not really possible, so at the very least I try to do something fresh in whatever way I can.”
Osmoze is no stranger to working with a variety of big name clients, including Musique Plus, Gameloft, and Moment Factory, to name a few. In particular, his animations were featured as the multimedia installation for a Bon Jovi tour. Is he a Bon Jovi fan? And what were some of the highlights of his experiences working with Moment Factory for such a well known rock performer?
“Ok, I am not really a Bon Jovi fan but during the show, I realized that I know a lot of his songs! I was happy to have this particular song for his show because I didn’t like the others on the album, but even so I sometimes turned off the sound for working on the animations ahahah!”
“It was my first job with Moment Factory and I was lucky to work with a great team. Nelson De Robles is a great multimedia director and he trusted me from the beginning for this job. Later I also worked with him on the Super Bowl projection mapping on Macy’s, and for DJ Tiesto. Moment Factory is a kind of company where you feel free to create and in the same time it is totally different than the animation industry that I really know. The process, the pipeline, the steps, it is really different. The deadlines too – everything is tight, and you need to be efficient. I am lucky because usually they give me the keys to work by myself and to organize my production.”
Working in the creative industry can be extremely rewarding, but also challenging at times. Many creative pros struggle from time to time with “creative blocks.” How does Osmoze handle it?
“Something that gets me unstuck creatively is music – it’s a good kick to find ideas. I have lot of references in cinema and music because it is necessary in my creation process. Also, travelling- I love it and I love to immerse myself in new places and the people around me. I love drinking coffee in local cafes in order to examine people and find new inspiration.”
And if he weren’t doing this, what would he be doing instead?
“If I weren’t doing this, the only other thing I think I could do would be cooking. It’s my second love in this world, but for me cooking is an art too.”
What advice does Osmoze have to offer other creatives?
“Recently, during my exhibition in Tokyo, someone told me “You are not drawing like a Japanese.” For me, it’s the best compliment that I could ever receive from a Japanese guy! Stay true to yourself, be humble, be curious about everything, and drink beers!!!”
Sounds like great advice to us!