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Mark McFarlane

Founder and Managing Director
Tacchi Studios
Canvas Tokyo

Date of birth: June 3, 1982

Hometown: Norwich, U.K.

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 12 (as of June 2020)

Mark McFarlane
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I came to Japan for a month in the summer of 2008 to visit a friend and explore the country. I had an incredible time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagoya. One of the highlights was climbing Mount Fuji, a magical place that I spend a lot of time around these days. When it came time to go back to the U.K., I knew I'd come back to live here.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

It would have to be “work smart, not hard,” something my boss from my days as head of information technology often told me, and something I pass onto my own team now. It's important to have work-life balance and stay creative while controlling stress levels.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I think it’s having had the pleasure of growing and nurturing Tacchi Studio’s team of passionate, supportive and skilled tech and design professionals along with building and maintaining a number of long-term relationships with our clients. It’s not always easy running a consultancy like ours, but our focus on only working with good people and maintaining a strong culture of work-life balance has been very helpful.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I’ve spent the last few years focusing on growing Tacchi, and it’s at a scale and state that I’m happy with for now. As I approach my 40s I see my focus shifting toward enjoying my hobbies, travel and spending time with the important people in my life. I’d also like to start a new business in the next few years, but I’m in no hurry.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Get out of Tokyo and into the countryside. The people are lovely, the scenery is beautiful, the food is amazing and the space is great for fostering creativity. Also, if you're a creative person, check out and share your work! It's a growing community of professional and amateur creatives of all kinds, and a great place to discover and be discovered.

Last updated: Jun 8, 2020