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August 8, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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Mason Ward

When I was told that Mason Ward fashions art out of sheet metal, I envisioned some terrifying creations. I was not expecting silver bunnies and the most adorable dragon I’ve ever clapped eyes on.

Did you know while you were at school that you were into art?

Yeah, I knew I was. But when I was about 13, going over to college, I didn’t take art because I didn’t really think you’d get a job in it, and so I took up a trade. But I’ve always been doodling and drawing. I’ve always been interested in doing cartoon characters and making stories. I love the narrative of stories, so with these things, I just try to create a story behind them.

I love the story of how you worked with sheet metal for a long time and then one day threw it in to do what you love. So can you tell me how that decision came about?

I did 11 years in the sheet metal trade. It was a really good time and I really enjoyed it because of the skills and some of the things you learn—it’s really awesome. It got to the stage where I’d just had enough of it so I went to see what else I could do. It got to a point where I was going to go on the dole but I thought, well, if I was going to go on the dole then I might as well just get a student allowance. That’s when I found The Learning Connexion and I thought I’d just try something I really liked to do. And what I really want to do is write and illustrate kids’ books.

Do you have a favourite children’s book so far—something you’d like to
model it on?

I love Roald Dahl’s books and Quentin Blake’s illustrations. A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh is a favourite of mine as well. They’re quite whimsical and fun but at the same time have something really good to say.

If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Ahhh, man…

Yeah, bit of a deep one there.

It is pretty deep! I just think that, like, you need to follow what you’re passionate about and follow what you want to do but at the same time you’ve got to be responsible. Part of something I’ve learnt is that everyone’s got a gift and everyone’s got an ability to do something, but what’s more important is the actual hard work you put behind it.

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