25 January 2021

Daniele interviews Patrick Masson

Interviews of the Sculptors Legend #6

Daniele Found interviews

Patrick Masson

Our sites:

Found Miniatures (Daniele Trovato)
Artik Toys (Patrick Masson)

I'm super happy to make this interview.
Firstly because Patrick is a super talented artist and man, but especially because his experience is very useful for all artists and sculptors.

We can learn a lot from him, from his thouths, his words, and also some very interesting and unique technical answers

A very unique interview with a very and unique person and artist.

Enjoy :-)


Good times with (from left) Claudio Casini, Patrick Masson, Me, Stephane Camosseto, Valentin Zak

ps. sorry for the echo effect voice of Patrick, 

some technical problems while I'm recording it

The interview


I started this interview series to help the community, because compared to traditional sculpture, miniatures sculpture is a small niche, and you don't always find the information to do everything.
When I try to explain it to people it's hard to explain what your job is.
How do you explain it to people "what is your job"?

I start by saying that I am a sculptor and then I simply explain that I sculpt "small sculptures" (laughs)

Last year in Monte San Savino, I discovered that you've 3 children. Right?

Yes exactly.

Ok it's an embarrassing time. How old are you?? (laughs)
You are 25 right?

(Laughs) 25 would be fine
I am 44 years old now.

ok, tell us what is your secret?Sculpting?

(laughs) I don't know!
I think it's something in my family, in genetics.

A genetic thing?

Yes, my mother, my father, are the same.

Ok let's start. What did you study before becoming a sculptor?

I studied Mechanical Engineering.

Like Roman (Van Den Bogaert see interview here) who left the university after his university career.Many artists have done the same thing.

I worked 10 years as a mechanical engineer

When did you think, "I want my job to be sculpting something"?

Well, I started playing with polymer clay when I was 15. And I had fun, and I started making gifts for my family and friends.

How many years ago?

Well about 29 years ago. While I was in college, I played with some modeling clay. The play doh.

But was it a hobby?

Yes sureBut when I discovered the polymer clay it was much easier because you can work it, and then you put it in the oven.
Yes, while I was studying, I sculpted as a hobby, but when I started working I didn't have much time to sculpt.

 What year did you graduate?

I believe in 1998

And did you start sculpting after college?

No, I started working as an engineer, nothing else in Paris.
I've done some small commissions for a small company

How did you manage to get commissions, since you didn't sculpt during college?

I was in Paris at that time and went to a big gaming exhibition and convention and other stuff, (Fenryll) And I brought some sculptures that I had made from pictures or other things that I liked. And they asked me if I could sculpt something for them and then I sculpted the first 32mm miniature
I think it was bad, but it was enough at that time. Then I made 3 little dragons.

So you were an engineer by day and a sculptor by afternoon?

No, in the night I was a sculptor :-)
Yes, but I only made 3 pieces in a year.

But it wasn't your job at the time.
But it wasn't an action you were doing for the money, right? It was passion

No, I did it because I liked it
Then I moved to Belgium, again as an engineer. And I continued in my free time to sculpt things from pictures and photos that I liked.Then for personal reasons, I quit my job, for other reasons.
It was a bit of a weird time in my life.

Was there any problem with your job as an engineer?

No, it was the distance. I drove 4 hours every day to work. 2 on the way out and 2 on the way back. I was completely crazy.

Oh, it wasn't just a good life

Yes exactly! So I started looking for work as an engineer and also as a sculptor, because those were the two things I knew how to do.Unfortunately, I was not yet ready as a sculptor and went back to being an engineer.

And then you had a family!

Yes, indeed!

It was the safest way.

Sure, it was.

I went back to being an engineer and I did it for another 8 years.

At that time I stopped sculpting

Didn't you miss sculpting?

Yes, but I was very busy with my work so I didn't think about it.
I had other priorities at the time.
After a few years the work as an engineer did not go very well, and a lot of things went wrong.I was very frustrated, and going to work became a nightmare.§
I marked each day on the calendar to go to work.
And it was around that time that I resumed sculpting something.
I was not very aware. I wanted to sculpt for fun.
And that's how I discovered other artists doing what I did, going to competitions and shows.
Then I went to my first sculpture competition and brought my sculpture (show it in the video).
This sculpture I made for the competition, to try.
Actually it wasn't the first, the first was the rabbit (show the sculpture in the video), very different and in cartoon style.

When did you decide to permanently quit your job as an engineer?

2011 but first I started working as a "seriously" sculptor. After the competition, I had a big impact on the community and so I started to make myself known. And I got a lot of important feedback.

Then I started taking commissions while I was an engineer and tried to find time to be an engineer and a sculptor.

But at some point I was tight, I couldn't do both things correctly

But at some point I was tight, I couldn't do both. I had to deviate. 
"Fortunately" the company wanted to reduce staff and so I took advantage of that.

Are you sorry for the decision?

No, it was good for me and my family

Do you think it is difficult to work as a sculptor today?

It's a tough question. Everyone told me I was crazy when I made that decision. Everyone went against me.
then I took my first commission for Cool Mini or Not (they had another name at the time) and I work with them as well.
I've always worked with them.

You got on the ship at the correct time.

Yes, it seems so.

Even today you work a lot for them (CMON)

Yes sure.

Have you ever thought of stopping taking commissions and dedicating yourself only to your brand?

No. Maybe because I don't think I'm very good as a concept designer and ideas. I sculpt other people's things, but I'm not a character designer. Plus the pieces I sell don't sell much. And I didn't get much money out of that.

You feel safer working with commissions.

Yes, I feel safer. It's a question of money.
It is logical, I look for the best solution for money and to earn.

How many pieces have you sculpted?

I think about 200.

Are you totally self-taught?

Yes, totally.

Have you never studied art?

No. I have done several courses and workshops with Philippe Faraut.

I love him he is a great teacher. Any advice from him?

The advice is to use the same modeling clay to make something, then destroy, and do it all over again.


Because if you sculpt a face 30 times, the thirtieth is always the best. The more you do it, the better you get.
Practice makes perfect.

But if you spend 1 hour doing something and then destroy it, it looks like you have lost 1 hour.

The more you practice, the better you become.

Do you have a daily routine to work?
Is there anything you do every day?

Not really, because I have a lot of commissions and it is difficult to make a routine.

Do you always work on one project or do you work on different projects at the same time?

I normally work each sculpture 1 to 1.
The only pieces I do in parallel are my own sculptures. I never mix commissions with personal work.

How long does it usually take to complete a sculpture?

Difficult to answer, it depends on the complexity of the piece. Time for sculpting a piece is more 20-30 hours for a 35mm scale.  54mm normally more.

Do you count the working hours for each sculpture?

Because it's a job and I have to be pragmatic. So I have to count how much time I need to do a job.
It's a good thing if you work with this.
At the time, counting hours was a way to be efficient and compare my work with that of an engineer.

Yes, I got it, When you have a concept or a drawing, you analyze it and imagine how many hours of work you could need to sculpt it.
What is your hourly rate?

It is around € 35-45. 14-15 was the rate I tried to reach when I started.

Most are between € 15-20

Yes, normally yes.

How many hours do you work a day?

Usually 5-6 hours of "actual" sculpture. But I spend 10 hours at my desk working on everything else, promotions, marketing, customers, etc ...

Do you prefer to work in the morning or in the afternoon?

Afternoon. I'm much more awake in the afternoon.

I would like to change and work in the morning but I'm trying.

Do you have a hobby outside of work?

Not particularly. I like to play sports when I can.
Sculpture is not a hobby. It's a job, and this is why it makes it difficult for me to work on personal projects.

Question: Do you happen to wake up in the morning and say to yourself "I don't want to sculpt today"

Yes sure! But it's the job and I have to meet deadlines. This is how it works.
Sometimes you are in a bad mood, but it's your job, it's not a game. You understand that I don't want to.

Tell me 3 sculptors you admire.

Yeah, the first is Bernini. When I saw some pieces in Rome I felt like crying. He was from another world. Incredible shapes.
The second is Remy Tremblay, he is a great sculptor. One of the best. The third, I would like to say Jacques Alexandre Gillois (Jag).

I have nothing to say about JAG. Is the best.
Whenever I ask someone who is the best miniature sculptor in the world, everyone replies Jag, I don't understand why.

Because it's the best (laughs).

Each piece of Jag seems to be sculpted in 3D.

Everything in his pieces has a motive; nothing is put by chance.
He is the only one who asks you "how did he do it?".

He uses the same material, which is FIMO + MixQuick, if I remember correctly.

Yes exactly.

Do you only use FIMO?

Yes, only. Sometimes the Magic Sculpt.

I saw you did something in 3D. Are you planning to completely move your work to 3d?


Do you prefer to use your hands?

Maybe for work it would be better to change, but I feel better using my hands.

Do you think all companies will move to 3d or will there always be room for traditional sculpture?

Difficult to answer. I wonder too.

The problem is that many sculptors started working with Zbrush without ever touching traditional sculpture.

Yes exactly.

It's weird because it's like you learn to draw with photoshop but you've never used a pencil. It's weird.
When I see one of your pieces, I immediately notice that you have a sense of "matter" in your head. Your experience.
You only change the medium, but you remain a sculptor.
Many look like digital artists, but they are not sculptors.

Exactly. It is sure that if you are a good traditional sculptor you will also be digital, not the other way around.
It is not a quick process. It can be done, but it's not fast.

I prefer the traditional because I feel safer.

In 3D you have "UNDO". and you can go back whenever you want.

Exact! In traditional there is not. You have to destroy and redo.
I honestly don't want to do miniatures in digital

Do you have any advice for those who want to start?

Practice practical practice. Is the most important thing. The only thing you can do is practice. The more you practice the more you learn, there is no secret formula.

Thank you very much to Patrick to his time. So fun with him. 

 Link and resources:


Massive Voodoo is FREE for you!
But WE work A LOT to create valuable contents 
Support NOW Massive Voodoo!

If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

1 comment: