We had the good fortune of connecting with Masan Yi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Masan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Being a risk taker in our creative industry is crucial especially for me because I’ve always worked as an independent contractor. Of course I’ve had a staff position before but 99% of my 20 year journey has been a freelance artist. The life of a freelancer is a risk in itself because you always have to be on your toes and expect the worst in any situation. The moment that I graduated college and entered into the professional world I felt that I had no other option but to be a risk taker and run with the odds against me among thousands of other newly graduating students. Way back when I got my first freelance job I lasted about 4 weeks and I was let go because they didn’t need my help anymore, but they still remember exactly how painful it felt to be thrown back out to the streets of LA not knowing what my next project will be. That was one of the hardest things I ever felt professionally and I never liked how that felt. So being a risk taker is an understatement when it comes to life as an independent contractor. The role of a risk taker pretty much defines my life and career and I can’t say enough why being a risk taker is so valuable for anyone who is eager to succeed in whatever they want to pursue. It is a vital part of being the best you can be and if you fail or things don’t happen as quickly as you want, keep trying and push on, don’t ever let anyone else determine what you can or can’t do. My favorite risk taking quote of all time is “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”– T. S. Eliot.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I work in the motion graphics and visual effects industry and the art that comes out of that is seen on television, movie theaters, social media, jumbotrons, stadium screens, concert screens, massive presentations, and even inside your cars. Anything that is digital and is moving is basically the kind of art that I create. I’m most proud of the fact that I have worked on pretty much almost every platform and event imaginable because I’ve had so much experience from working on all types of projects throughout my career. I feel that this sets me apart from someone who just worked on tv spots or just trailers. Being a freelancer for most of my professional career has got me this far and I believe deep down in my heart that all the challenges I had to endure from all these different experiences and projects has made me what I am today. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my career thus far is never burn bridges. No matter how bad the project can get there will always be a finish line and almost always it will work itself out. I’ve learned that being honest and being a problem solver sets me apart as well. I don’t want to be that guy who always says that something can’t be done because of xyz, I prefer to be the guy who says I can be done because we will do whatever it takes like learning something new. The job is not finished until it’s delivered. I bring my best efforts to any brand and my story is just being the best at what I do which is getting things done and doing it as fast as possible with no excuses and always proving to myself and others everyday that I am worthy of my work and the world should recognize that I don’t mess around when it comes to mograph projects. I’ll get it done one way or another. That’s what I want the world to know about me and my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m not a party animal anymore but I love to just go to the beach and hang out with my family. I love going to Monterey to check out the view and scenery like the 17 mile drive. I also love San Diego. They have the best weather in the world and they have one the best Zoo in the world as well. I also would like to take time out and just stay at home and watch Netflix or Lakers games. With this pandemic it’s been a problem going out to watch live events like Dodgers and or Lakers games 🙁 My favorite place to eat is Korean BBQ called Brothers BBQ in Lakewood California. Also, if you are into more hip vibes I usually take my out of town friends to Quarters Korean BBQ, one of the best in LA as well. I’m born and raised in LA county so you almost can’t deny paying a visit to Disneyland 😀
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out to my late mother who was always by my side when I was struggling and also gave me love and support financially and emotionally. I also would like to give another big huge shout out to my wife Elise who has also been with me through so many hardships with encouragement and love. I love you and Elliot, my son, so much. The list is endless to be honest. I also couldn’t have had any success with the help of my peers, college roommates. One that comes to mind the most is Han Lee from Otis College of Art & Design. Without his Tech-Deck motion graphics piece that he made I was amazed and excited that something so awesome can be made with just a hand held camera and some After Effects Magic. Of course a big shout out to the most popular video tutorial artists; Andrew Kramer and Nick Campbell, I don’t know where I would be without their hard work creating cool easy to follow videos and awesome plugins.
Last but not least is all my fellow mograph friends I’ve worked with throughout my career, the list is so long I would be writing a scroll from LA to Korea.
Actually, there’s one ultimate shoutout and that is for my father, he was the one that made it very clear for me to go to a prestigious art college like Otis College of Art & Design, but I didn’t want to at first but I eventually took his advice. I have to give him credit for everything that I have achieved in my career. I know he’s up there watching me in paradise. You see, he passed away while I was still in school and he did not get to see my success so this one’s for you dad! I love you and hope to see you soon in the other world along with my mother. I dedicate this interview to both my parents; Peter Pyong Suk Yi & Sul Ja Yi. Rest In Peace.