Q+A With Jerome Gaslain

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I was born in France 34 years ago. I played basketball at a high level and after multiple injuries, decided to take my life seriously by enrolling in a law degree. After graduating in 2006 (while partying a lot!), I decided to move from Paris to Australia to perfect my English (as you can see, it’s still a work in progress). I loved it straight away and never left. I got a job in a law firm as a junior solicitor. Things were going very well, but I started to get bored. My love for fashion and visual creativity prompted me to quit my job and enroll in Award School. I never looked back! I have been lucky to work with great agencies and amazing people since.

What inspired you to become a professional Art Director?

A French movie called 99 francs by Jan Kounen. After watching it, I was sold on the idea (no pun intended) of working in advertising as a fun way to make a living.

How did you get your first break?

By getting a foot in the door at any cost. I quit my well-paid job as a solicitor and joined the office admin team at M&C Saatchi. There, I was able to meet creatives, stole briefs at the copy machines, and succeeded at Award School with the help of the best mentors.

What paths have you taken to get to where you are today?

It’s not about how long you are doing something, but what you are doing with that time. In a short time I purposely moved around, seeking new challenges, new experiences, meeting new people, learning a lot in each place and doing loads of work.

What advice about the do's and don'ts would you give to an aspiring art director?

Listen, learn and shut up. Don’t wait for a good brief. In the first two years the good briefs will not come your way. You have to be proactive and embrace every challenge. With my first copywriter, we even financed our first proactive TVC. My last advice is to avoid comfort. Don’t stay in a place if your book is not moving.

Tell us about the campaigns you're currently working on and what sets you/ Red Jelly apart from the rest of the industry?

Red Jelly is changing massively and I’m very pleased with the changes we have made in just six months. As most of our portfolio of clients are from interstate, we are moving from a Tasmanian agency model to becoming an Australian agency based in Tasmania. It’s a big difference. I’m grateful to work with people that have a big vision for the agency and invest in skilled people, structure and training. So right now it’s about finding the 10% and pitching a lot!

Check out Jerome's Twitter handle and the Red Jelly website here.

Ricky Mutsaers