.
I work in the office from around 10:00am to 8:00pm. Then I get into doing my own projects till I sleep around 3:00am. I’m a proud work-a-holic. I enjoy creating things, and it's an integral part of my life.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

My name is Masashi Kawamura, and I work at Wieden + Kennedy New York as a Creative Director. Aside from advertising, I also work on personal projects such as product design, music videos, and interactive contents. The SOUR ‘Mirror’, which recently received the Site of the Day, was one of these projects created in collaboration with Qanta Shimizu, Saqoosha, and Hiroki Ono with the help from Kickstarter.


question What do you do for inspiration?

I try to meet new people. Learning different perspectives makes me inspired.


question Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Google Doc, YouTube, and Twitter. These are where many interesting collaborations begin.


question What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Aside from the SOUR/MIRROR, I think the biggest achievement so far was the previous music video for SOUR, called 'Hibi no Neiro'(Tone of Everyday). It has received over 3 million views on YouTube. (Directors: Masashi Kawamura + Hal Kirkland + Magico Nakamura + Masayoshi Nakamura) We shot everything on webcams using actual fans of SOUR, which we recruited via social networking sites. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfBlUQguvyw


question How many hours do you work each week?

I work in the office from around 10:00am to 8:00pm. Then I get into doing my own projects till I sleep around 3:00am. I’m a proud work-a-holic. I enjoy creating things, and it's an integral part of my life.


question What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

The greatest part of my job is when I come up with an idea no one has ever made before. The hardest part is always about how to bring it to life. How do I find the money? Who do I work with? How do I materialize what’s in my brain? I seldom get stuck, but when I do, I try to make distance from the work and evaluate the problem from an objective point of view.


question What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

The longest I went without sleep was 5 days. I think it's not a very productive way of working though. I love sleeping.


question If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

Hard to say, but the fact I like to keep my ideas simple and universal helped me and my work getting recognized outside of Japan. This allowed me to move and work around different countries. Also, I always liked creating self-initiated projects outside of the traditional advertising. I've made TV shows, mobile services, apps, products, music videos... I think these exercises helped me understand first hand that there are infinite ways to communicate with people nowadays. The method and the medium is only a vessel, and the most important thing is to come up with the simple core idea, and its narrative.


question What software could you not live without?

Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut, Chrome & itunes.


question In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

Not exactly a software, but I am excited about html5 and it’s future.


question Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

I think things like Twitter, Ustream, and Foursquare are interesting services that has influenced peoples behaviors.


question Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

I hope it will :)


question When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

I think the best way is to focus on keeping the idea very simple. Find the strongest human truth instead of worrying too much about marketing segmentations & target audiences. Coming up with ideas are always difficult, but coming up with a solution isn't the most difficult. It's more challenging when you have to find the right problem to answer.


question What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

I think it was a page with a black 'Hello World' back in 1998... I hope it’s not still live.


question Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

I've never written a book, but in the past I made a flipbook called 'Rainbow in your hand'. It creates a 3D rainbow between the pages instead of an animation on the page. I'm not too good with words, so I try keeping my books visually oriented.


question Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

Yes, I always try to keep the right balance between agency work and personal work. I've created TV shows, books, products, mobile services, sites, music videos etc, but I think the way my brain operates in both cases are the same. The only difference is whether or not I am answering to a client’s mission, or coming up with my own question/mission and answering it myself. Both has its beauty and reason, so I hope these 2 can come together instead of being separated. That is what I want to try and make happen at Wieden + Kennedy.


question Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?

Yes, I've made a couple of campaigns that was rooted in digital, and then expanded into other mediums. The 2 significant ones are both for AXE. One was a campaign centered around an interactive film called 'Wake up and Stay Alert' and the other was a mobile centered campaign called 'AXE Wake Up Service'. In both cases, we came up with a strong idea that made sense to be centered around the interactive piece. Like many 'interactive campaigns' the budget was very small at first, but we showed examples of how far this idea can be expanded and at the end, resulted in making 2 massive trans-media campaigns.


question The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

Thinking in one medium alone, whether it's digital or not, will definitely narrow your vision. I always try to think of the idea first, and then find the right medium to execute it in. I think you should never feel like you need to use all the new technologies available in the world. The final work has to always have the right balance between the idea and the medium to create a good story & experience. You only need to choose the right medium for the right idea.


question Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yes.


question What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I never studied art or design at school so I think it’s totally possible. But it is important to meet the right people, learn the right ways of thinking, and have a strong passion towards design. I was lucky to meet my mentor Masahiko Sato while in university, who taught me about ways to think and concept. After that I still had no clue on how to design, but with the knowledge and passion, I was able to absorb the skills through experience.


question If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

It doesn't matter how big the brand or budget is. Just make something with a new and simple idea. If you do so, people will find you and respond.


question How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

It is tricky, but when I look at the work, they normally speak for the person.


question What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

Bicycle.


question How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I talk with my friends, and just constantly check the web.


question What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

Not because I'm from there, but Japan still excites me a lot, along with Sweden.


question There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

It's a secret.


question What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?

I would love to learn more about spatial design.


question What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

Typographica 2. Amazing magazine from 1960, edited by Herbert Spencer.


question It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Arigato.

 


Links

hr


February 03 2011 FWA Site of the Day winner, SOUR 'Mirror'. Visit http://sour-mirror.jp

A scene from SOUR 'Mirror'. By connecting to Facebook, Twitter, and webcam, the video is customized to every viewer.
A scene from SOUR 'Mirror'. By connecting to Facebook, Twitter, and webcam, the video is customized to every viewer.

Directors of SOUR 'Mirror'.
Directors of SOUR 'Mirror'.

Previous music video for SOUR 'Hibi no Neiro' (Tone of Everyday).

A scene from SOUR 'Hibi no Neiro'. Everything was shot on a webcam using actual fans of the band.
A scene from SOUR 'Hibi no Neiro'. Everything was shot on a webcam using actual fans of the band.

Another scene from SOUR 'Hibi no Neiro'.
Another scene from SOUR 'Hibi no Neiro'.

'Rainbow in your hand' is a new type of flipbook that creates a 3D rainbow between the pages.



A series of 'T' shirts that are shaped in the silhouette of 'T' in famous typefaces.
A series of 'T' shirts that are shaped in the silhouette of 'T' in famous typefaces.

August 10 2010 FWA Site of the Day winner, Asher Roth Official Website.
August 10 2010 FWA Site of the Day winner, Asher Roth Official Website.

Using AR technology, every element of the site pops out from a card in the photos Asher takes everyday.
Using AR technology, every element of the site pops out from a card in the photos Asher takes everyday.

All rights reserved © 2000 - 2014 Favourite Website Awards (FWA) -  Terms & Conditions -  Privacy statement -  Cookie Policy -  Advertise -  About FWA -  Contact