I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I create and form bonds with paper characters. My world is one interwoven web of words, stories, translating Chinese into English, and designing elegant websites. If you need someone to write academic reports, grants, articles, scripts and help with Chinese branding, you know who to call!
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Throughout the past few years I’ve sailed through many places, and have achieved many things. I’ve played the bagpipes for competitions in New Zealand and Canada, crashed movie sets in New York, slept in tree-houses built by circus performers in New Orleans, have been awarded scholarships to study Mandarin in Taiwan and China along with exhibiting my work throughout America, Singapore, London, Melbourne and Sydney Australia. I have also represented Australia in the 15th annual Chinese Bridge Competition and am a recipient of the 2012 Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, the 2014 Taiwan HES Scholarship, and the 2016 Confucius Institute Scholarship.
Looking back now I truly believe the experience in Taiwan changed my life. I was able to grasp my passion of words again through the stillness of my one-bedroom apartment. I slowly learned to forgive myself for all the anguish in the past, and found the answers to my life that I had once known but forgotten in pursuit of fame and success. That I was, and will always be, a storyteller.
To date I have written and translated for such publications as August Magazine, Zine Magazine, and revered entrepreneur, angel investor and New York Times best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk. I’m also the cofounder of a collaborative Instagram account thetravellersway focused on adventure and travel.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Self-awareness, patience, and gratitude. I've always believed that the amount of fulfillment we as humans will find is directly correlated with our ability to embrace, celebrate, and nurture who we truly are, as opposed to who we think we are. In a world permeated by expeditious events and even shorter attention spans, the more patience and awareness we are able to weave together, the more happiness we will ultimately cultivate due to an appreciation of the bodacious journey called life.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Building an online educational platform for Chinese parents and teachers of children aged 8-12. Through a diverse array of activities and animated videos centered around self-awareness, this project aspires to give parents and teachers the understanding of how to create more happiness and fulfillment in life for posterity.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I think I have a Murakami/ Bret Easton Ellis style. A lot of pieces on my Instagram and website lean towards more reflective, and slightly whacky insights into my world. The work I love creating weaves reality together with fantasy so readers question whether a fictional character or place could actually exist. For in the words of Picasso, 'Everything you can imagine is real.'
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Children's fiction, investing, coding, and script writing.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I'm currently struggling with finding consistent, dependable clientele for writing and design work. I also find frustration with finding a way to write for more prominent publications, and be represented by a credible literary agency.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I’d find someone who has a seasoned understanding of the online literary world and human bias. I'd then employ them to constantly critique and heighten my work so that my prose could become sharper, more powerful and emotionally resonant.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
That life may only be lived forward, but only understood backwards.
Remember that it’s not the amount of knowledge you have Mason, it’s what you do with that knowledge that counts. And let me tell you, while some decisions we make often make us feel unquestionably ridiculous, know that they aren’t without purpose and invaluable lessons.
So if I may recommend anything over these few years, it’s to keep an open heart and remember that one often gets what he wants through learning how to give and add value to this world first. Find solutions to others problems, and always bear in mind that the more value you learn to give others and this world, the more you will find it all coming back to you in the most precious gift of all, happiness. We are almost there. Stay strong, keep learning, and above all else never forget that this is our life, we will undoubtedly die like so many others. So live it well.
Also invest in BitCoin while it was still cheap haha.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I’d talk to an expert on three things.
1. The science of writing memorable stories
2. Nuances of human attention and how to work "deeply."
3. What are the 3 most common problems that humans will face on an emotional and mental level in the next 5-10 years, and how can I help solve them.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’d love to be able to find freelance work on a local and international scale that can help benefit people’s lives while also allowing me to create financial freedom through leveraging my creative skills and talents. The kind of opportunities I’m looking for are ones that can help further my aspirations of publishing fiction, writing essays for revered magazines and blogs, as well as writing for TV/ Animation film scripts. I also aspire to find work that can help me expand my professional network, open the doors to investment opportunities, and provide me with a constant weekly income to travel and support my family.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Love working with people who have are driven, passionate, and have an appreciation of craftsmanship. I also admire anyone who’s looking to develop a long-term relationship and can help provide either a scalable income, or opportunities to help expand professional network within both literary and film industries.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Chinese-English Translation I charge $50-100 AUD an hour depending on word count and length of the project.
For web-design work my designs are a flat rate of $8000 AUD ($4000 deposit) which includes 24/7 future website support and training (negotiable rates depending on size/ length of project).
For commissioned essays or fictional work I charge depending on word count and time / research (flexible rates).
For business and proposal writing I currently work with an Australian editing agency who charge $500-$800 per essay dependent on word count.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
An honest, genuine, and laid-back approach is all I need. I’d love to hear about the reasons why you’re happy to work with me.
If you could provide as much detail as possible (budget, timeline, links etc.) in the initial approach via email that would be wonderful!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Coffee, Music, Movies, Running, Books.
This member profile was originally published in June 2017.