We Interviewed Mason Jandreau The Creator of Starbits!

Welcome, fellow geeks and enthusiasts, to an exciting venture into the creative realms of indie brilliance! At All Ages of Geek, we are on a mission to support and showcase independent creators who bring unique projects to life. Today, we chat with Mason Jandreau, the mastermind behind Starbits! Join us on this journey as we explore the inspirations, goals, and the intriguing projects!

Hey there, thank you all so much for reaching out. My name is Mason Jandreau, I am a welder by trade, but I love writing and illustrating as my primary hobbies. Starbits is the main project I work on, as it is both my favorite and my most popular. 

1.What initially inspired you to become a creator, and how has that inspiration evolved throughout your creative journey?

I first wanted to become a creator as long as I can remember, but the decision to really start writing and creating stories started when I was nine years old, after playing Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64. I was blown away with the kind of Storytelling that game had and it woke something up in my little kid mind that has never died out.

2.Can you share a specific moment or experience that fueled your passion for your current creative project?

While I could give several throughout the course of my life, I will share the one that has meant the very most. In 2019, I gave up the ambition to become a creator of any kind, knowing I didn’t have what it takes and that my style wasn’t something people could care about. Through a crazy twist of fate and on Facebook of all places, I randomly came across an incredible piece of art from artist ShezaMonQuay. An artist that now has a fantastic comic, Hooo: Talk Dirty to Me. We started to chat and she encouraged me in a way no other artist or creator ever has to get back into drawing and writing, as she saw something in me that no other artists or teacher ever did. With that, the passion was back and I have been drawing and writing on a daily basis ever since, and actually starting to improve.

3.What challenges have you encountered as an indie creator, and how have they shaped your approach to your work?

My “House style” has never been very popular. You always hear: “create your own style.” but when you do, people don’t always connect with it. I was even told when I was a kid by my art teacher that my “Style is unappealing and will never draw a cent.” But I decided to bet on myself and stick with it as to adopting a trendy style. Thankfully, I have pretty thick skin, so I have learned to just take the criticism and move forward. The other biggest challenge is TIME! I work full time and have a family so time is often my kryptonite.

4.Are there any particular creators who have significantly influenced your style or approach? How do you incorporate those influences into your own unique voice?

Growing up I was a huge fan of films like Young Frankenstein, and History of the World. The Mel Brooks style of parody/with story has always been my genre of choice to write and illustrate. I was also heavily influenced by Wizards (1977) and the unique style of Mike Ploog. His art was what made me decide to create my own style. Cammiluna is another artist who could draw any character and you could instantly recognize it was her art. I have always strived for that in my own work. As far as writing, I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, but my biggest influence is Robert W. Chambers. There are elements from his stories I reference and that play an actual role in my work nearly 100 years after his death. If that isn’t an influence, I don’t know what is.

5. How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and adapting to feedback from your audience or collaborators?

I have the benefit of doing this as a hobby, so I write originally for an audience of one. With that said, I do listen and read comments to see what people enjoy the most and take it into account. If it is something I can do more of that won’t result in the audience hijacking the project, then I implement it whenever possible. Telling the Story I want told is always the primary objective.

6.Can you recall a memorable success story or milestone in your indie creator journey that stands out as a turning point for you?

When I began writing the Starbits novel on Wattpad. The feeling of having the characters’ stories out there available to anyone who wants to read them was a childhood dream come true. While the numbers the novel does are nothing to bigger creators, I cherish every one of those numbers. When my friends and even some of my biggest art inspirations have now been a part of the project, allowing me to finally feel like I am an actual artist.

7.What role do setbacks or failures play in your creative process, and how do you overcome them to keep moving forward?

The majority of my creative career has been failures and setbacks. I’ve been trying to make something people would love since I was in my teens, but with each failure I just try again. Another of the many benefits to doing this as a hobby. I can create something new to help me heal from the failures of past creations, they can only get better.

8. How do you manage your time and energy to sustain a consistent creative output while juggling other aspects of life?

It isn’t an option, my family’s needs come first. My project cars or my home renovations all get a turn, and the creative “fun” hobby is where I wind down. If I have a day off, I might just spend the whole day writing or drawing or both. I don’t watch tv, if movies are on, they are old movies I’ve seen a million times being used as background noise and I rarely play video games. Creating is the primary way I spend my time recreationally.

9.Have you found any unexpected joys or rewards in the indie creator community, and how has it contributed to your overall experience?

For the first time in my life I have friends that are fellow creators. I’ve never had that until the last few years, though it is something I have always wanted. I’ve also had the opportunity to sign autographs and meet fans, something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do.

10.If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be based on your own lessons learned?

Family’s needs first. If you have to wash dishes, clean toilets, work on construction equipment in a literal several hundred degrees aluminum smelter …like me, you do it. The fun projects will get their day, but make a life for yourself even if it isn’t doing the dream job. That makes the dream job all the more rewarding!

11. What are your thoughts on All Ages of Geek? What are some things we should change/do? What are something you enjoy about our website?

This is my first experience with you all. By reaching out to me and hundreds of other creators to get to know us like this is all it takes for me to say you have gained a fan for life.

12. Goals for 2024?

Get the first Starbits novel finished. (I upload a chapter a week if I am able.) I want to continue to improve as an artist, and I want to do more collabs with fellow creators. I am working with one of my biggest influences right now on some design work for Starbits and I am having the creative time of my life.



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