Is pro­cras­ti­na­tion some­thing to be ex­plored or ex­cluded from your prac­tice? Ju­lia Sa­gar watches as the cre­ative vice gets flip-re­versed at Sauce 2

Computer Arts - - Culture -

The sec­ond in­stall­ment of London-based studio An­i­made’s new se­ries of talks, Sauce 2, tack­led a topic close to many cre­atives’ hearts – pro­cras­ti­na­tion – when the team took over the cap­i­tal’s Pro­tein Stu­dios on 15 Novem­ber.

As An­i­made co-founder Tom Judd ex­plained, pro­cras­ti­na­tion of­ten in­spires a love/hate re­la­tion­ship: “It can be an en­emy that tears us away from work,” he pointed out, “and it can be our friend, giv­ing us op­por­tu­nity.”

Studio AKA an­i­ma­tion di­rec­tor Kris­tian An­drews took the lat­ter po­si­tion dur­ing an en­ter­tain­ing open­ing talk in which he in­tro­duced the au­di­ence to Gavin Paul – a pseudonyum un­der which he bom­barded Com­edy Cen­tral with a se­ries of hu­mor­ous stings, in re­sponse to an ‘ex­po­sure’ email from the com­pany. “It was an odd jour­ney of pro­cras­ti­na­tion with these Com­edy Cen­tral films,” he re­flected as he walked through the an­i­ma­tions, which be­came in­creas­ingly bizarre. “I was hav­ing fun so I kept rolling,” he laughed.

Pro­cras­ti­na­tion also led An­drews to cre­ate his first videogame, Bar­bara-ian, which re­volves around “a myth­i­cal badass with perma-rage and a pen­chant for smash­ing”. As he showed, good things can come from fo­cus­ing on tasks other than the one in hand.

An­other cre­ative to flip pro­cras­ti­na­tion on its head dur­ing the evening was sound de­signer Mu­tant Juke­box, who talked about the vice as a tool to progress – and had a wealth of ad­vice for get­ting more from pro­cras­ti­na­tion. “Who you pro­cras­ti­nate with mat­ters, and where,” he ex­plained. “Pro­cras­ti­nat­ing with oth­ers can pre­vent you from stag­na­tion.”

For him, pro­cras­ti­na­tion has played an im­por­tant role in the de­vel­op­ment of his work. “Mess­ing around be­came an es­sen­tial part of how I was ex­per­i­ment­ing with sound and mu­sic,” he ex­plained, adding that “hang­ing out” with other cre­atives is a good way to get to know peo­ple re­ally well, and can lead to bet­ter work. “Re­mem­ber: don’t pro­cras­ti­nate by your­self,” he urged. “Get out there and pro­cras­ti­nate with oth­ers.”

Graphic de­signer and il­lus­tra­tor Bee Grandinetti also took a proac­tive ap­proach to the is­sue. She de­scribed Hun­gar­ian psy­chol­o­gist Mi­hály Csík­szent­mi­há­lyi’s con­cept of ‘flow’, in which a per­son is com­pletely ab­sorbed in what they’re do­ing; be­fore dis­sect­ing some of the is­sues that can pre­vent cre­atives from reach­ing that state. “You need enough skills to be able to do the task, but there has to be a chal­lenge too, to get to the flow,” she said. “Once you find the trig­ger for your own flow and why you pro­cras­ti­nate, you can con­trol your mind­set.”

“I’ve learned to ac­cept and em­brace pro­cras­ti­na­tion as an­other way of pro­duc­ing work,” said an­i­ma­tor So­phie Koko Gate. Un­usu­ally, she man­aged to de­velop a new, highly client­friendly style of il­lus­tra­tion while pro­cras­ti­nat­ing on de­vel­op­ing a per­sonal project – show­ing once again that pro­cras­ti­na­tion cer­tainly can lead to un­ex­pected places.

For an­i­ma­tion studio Golden Wolf, pro­cras­ti­na­tion is a nec­es­sary evil: “Some­times you need the space to let your mind wan­der,” said co-founder Ewen Sten­house. It’s also a cre­ative tool that can be used for good, as cre­ative di­rec­tor Ingi Er­lings­son pointed out. “We send stupid GIFs and things on Slack all day,” he laughed. “It re­ally helps us bond as a studio and fo­cus on our work – it gives us a com­mon sense of hu­mour and out­look on life. As cre­atives, we have to live with pro­cras­ti­na­tion and em­brace it.”

Left: An­i­made’s Ed Bar­rett and Tom Judd kick off a fan­tas­tic evening of in­spi­ra­tion.

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