Sunday, June 08, 2014


A creative project feels like raising a baby.

Sleep deprivation. Nothing ever seems to work out the way it did in your mind. A plethora of questions with few concrete answers. There are no shortage of people telling you how to make it better.

And, of course, in the end you will have to love it no matter how it turns out.

This edition is a day late for this very reason. I have been a wedded to a project, an animation, for the last two weeks, pushing against a rapidly dwindling hourglass to get it finished.

There were moments when I was certain we wouldn't finish. There was a day where I was so overwhelmed, I didn't want to get out of bed. A snide comment would have pushed me to tears.

I could sing you a tale of woe. Of the illustrator who had a nervous breakdown two weeks from the deadline and couldn't finish his allocated art. Or the young illustrator, who excitedly got involved, and then refused to be communicated with directly, only to quit, again without completing his work. Or the international illustrator, who came on board for a fee, only to quit...yes, again without delivering.

I could regale you with the horror of the horrible feedback meeting where I was left so demoralised, I contemplated pulling out of the project altogether.

I could tell you about all of that. But I won't.

And I could proclaim to you that I overcame all of these obstacles through a triumph of pure will and hard-nosed determination, forged in the fire of my good character.

But that's not the truth.

No, the truth is that I would have quit. I would have buckled. I would have cried like a freshly spanked baby, if not for a few key people.

We all want to tell ourselves how independent we are. That, when pushed, we are our greatest teammate.

But the truth is, this project only made it to the finish line, limping, battered and bruised (but intact) because a few of us pulled together and wouldn't let it fall. The Producer who refused to give up and became an artist by necessity. The animator in Queensland who cleared his schedule to be our white knight. The sound mixer who joined at short notice, and worked silly hours between existing commitments.

And me, trying not to fall apart.

It sounds chaotic, I know.

But actually, it was quite amazing. Individuals uniting to make something tangible from a pure idea. Supporting each other when it was ready to fail. And, most importantly, delivering.

So, from one creative to another, don't be afraid to be overwhelmed. Great challenges should scare you.

The most difficult feat of challenging work, however, is accepting that you can't do it on your own.

Thankfully, if you surround yourself with good people, you won't have to.


P.S. If you have any interest in watching our film that almost wasn't, 'Chip', it is screening at the Sydney Opera House at TEDxSydney on 26th April 2014. You can watch it live on the day, at roughly 2:45pm via the official TEDxSydney live stream at, or at Big Ideas ABC TV, YouTube & Livestream

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