Tim's Ten Thousand Hours

Hour 4: From Imagination

Since approaching this challenge I’ve learned that creative inspiration can come from so many different places, and that one of the incredible things about Animation is how it brings ideas to life that would otherwise be considered crazy. For example, if you watch the film Up from Disney’s Pixar, it’s largely about an old man who’s struggled since the passing of his wife, who flies away in his house using helium party balloons. On the face of it, that sounds absolutely bonkers but the film is one of the most emotionally charged films I have ever watched. The team at Pixar that pulled it together went through a number of iterations before the story was finalized but it was never re-jigged so that it ended up dull, lacking in creativity or without the aid of imagination.

I always find it incredible how audacious Microsoft was to introduce a paper clip to it’s office suite of applications that would tell human beings how to write, design and calculate. Again on the face of it it’s crazy but they managed to produce a world renowned character off the back of it. Nick Park worked tirelessly on his first animated short with the characters Wallace & Gromit by pulling together a story about a Yorkshireman and his dog who were going to build a space ship in their basement before flying to the moon, which is made of cheese. Who in Yorkshire has a basement?

There is something I love about the creative industry attitude towards imagination and that you are allowed to give it free reign. In my profession it would be considered ludicrous to have even a sketch on your notepad of something slightly out of the ordinary. If for example next to my previous meetings notes, I’d drawn a sentient Cactus who spends his spare time sand boarding, I’d be considered a weirdo.

This brings me to the point of this post. As it stands I feel like a creative person trapped inside someone who can’t sufficiently control their limbs. I have loads of ideas. Ideas about characters, ideas about shows, ideas about businesses and books. What I struggle to do is action on them. The fundamental problem I’m having (and hopefully addressing) is my ability to get down what’s in my head on paper. I have a vivid image of what a sand boarding Cactus might look like but I am unable to draw it to the standard I see it in. As I progress through the hours I’m hoping that practice makes almost-perfect.

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